Posted by Terry Melnik, PSA Product Marketing Director, NetSuite

Client satisfaction is paramount in the professional services industry.

Cost overruns, delays and mismatched resources can not only derail a project, they can derail the client relationship. And, in a world where angry reviews are just a tweet, blog, Facebook post or online software review away, they can derail a firm’s future.

The most effective safeguard is regular communication and transparency, a hallmark of maintaining client relationships. After all, even the best laid plans can go awry, whether it’s from shifting client demands, expanded scope, employee turnover or worse. In a prior life, I had a project waylaid by an overly aggressive customer who continued to change and broaden the scope. Luckily, we kept the executive sponsor plugged in. “What are you guys doing? I asked for a Chevrolet and you guys are building me a Cadillac,” was his reply to his team. Maintaining that client relationship depends obviously on maintaining the executive’s sponsorship and involvement by communicating progress in a timely manner. But transparency with clients requires visibility into operations and, unfortunately, too many professional services organizations are still managing projects and resources in disparate spreadsheets and siloed systems. These systems are often such a difficulty to deal with that internal project managers are loathe to look at them, never mind share even a small section of it with a client.

Fortunately for OpenAir customers, with the latest release, NetSuite has introduced the automated status report to its professional services automation (PSA) software. The automated status report effectively reduces the hours project managers spend each week to report progress into a 30-second effort. The result is a report that is easy to consume and ready for management to review – and to share with customers.

Client satisfaction is also deeply impacted by another critical step – ensuring the right resource is on the right job (which also improves employee morale). For many professional services companies, this too means Excel spreadsheets. Again, the latest OpenAir release addresses what can be an incredibly complex task. The new Advanced Booking Worksheet allows team leaders to view their team sliced any way they need, and then update multiple bookings on a single screen in one shot, gaining critical information on availability and capability as they go. For the first time, a resource manager can update their entire team’s, department’s or division’s bookings in minutes, what took hours in the past. And when trying to assemble the best team for any customer engagement, we’ve introduced our Side-by-Side Resource Compare tool, allowing managers to select key candidates, pick the skills and attributes most important to the assignment and make the most informed decision when creating a resource booking.

These are just some of the new features we’ve introduced. See what we’ve done with proactive project reporting and our new mobile capabilities.

Best of all, every OpenAir customer is on the same code and have access to all these amazing features right now. To learn more about these and other incredible features that are standard with OpenAir, contact us for an OpenAir demo and value assessment of your services organization.