Recently we have had poor service from a globally known bank, a globally known accounting firm, and a globally known law firm. Without going into details there is a common factor here.
Emissions trading has become hot stuff and lots of companies want to get into it. As a result global brands are turning into fly-by-nights.
This is how it works:
- Demand for professional expertise picks up
- There is a shortage of expertise because the topic is not sufficiently mainstream for it to be worthwhile a global firm investing properly in it. They have one or two people globally who know about the topic, and sell globally on the strength of those one or two people.
- You turn to a global firm because they claim the competence and you need high quality work in return for a high quality fee
- Because there is a shortage of expertise a person is put on the job who does not know what they are doing
- There is a screw up
Global professional firms are exploiting their brands to offer services and win work but then are unable to execute the work properly, resulting in losses for their clients – sufficiently small losses for it not to be worth suing the professional service provider.
It would be far better if these firms had the guts and decency to say “No, we don’t have the capability or time to do the work properly.” Meanwhile they could invest properly in product and service development and training, and launch services which enhance rather than erode their brands.