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A Consultant’s Pain Point and How RTC Solves It

Consultants do receive lots of requests for ‘quick’ consultations (for free that is). These quick consultations come in the form of simple questions asked via WhatsApp or other real-time chat and call applications.

But Lo and behold! Those quick consultations ended up taking hours of consultants’ valuable time. This means opportunity costs, particularly if your business model is based on the number of hours you put in for a client. It may be especially hard to say ‘No’ to prospective clients as you never know who will eventually convert to be your valued clients.

It is, therefore, common to hear consultants lamenting how they have spent hours traveling to meetings and giving free advice, just to know that the prospective clients would prefer to remain ‘prospective’. They are not willing to bring the relationship to the next level which involves payments.

Traveling will cost too much.

Are there ways for consultants to get paid for the valuable their time in giving these ‘quick’ consultations?

This is tricky. On the one hand, consultants do want to generate new leads and convert these leads into long-term clients. So they are unwilling to charge for the initial or preliminary discussions and consider them as a form of ‘building rapport’. But on the other hand, not all these rapport building meetings successfully convert to bring in actual sales.

So the common advice we hear is that consultants will need to be smart in sifting out those clients who are serious from those who are ‘shopping’ for advice. This usually comes with experience, but still not highly effective in solving the Consultants’ pain points.

What if there is a way to build rapport and at the same time charge a minimal fee for the time spent in those preliminary discussions?

With WebRTC ie video calls and chats, this is possible. Consultants are able to adopt a white-labeled solution whereby prospective clients are able to contact and have quick consultations right from their mobile devices via chats and video calls. Best of all, there can be an in-built billing system (or in Qiscus we casually term it as a ‘Taxi Meter’), where clients will automatically be charged based on per minute or per session –in real-time. There is even no need for consultants to send billing statements and reports on what their time has been used for. Everything is well recorded and can be seen by both consultants and clients.

This concept has been applied in many industries including healthcare, education and even in the consultancy/advisory sectors.

This is advantages for clients as well.

Clients who may just need 15 minutes of consultation will not be required to pay for a full hour, of which the first few minutes are being used for rapport building. Additionally, for ‘quick’ consultations, the client will not be required to travel for hours to get ‘preliminary’ advice.

In addition, because the system allows for per minute billing, clients will be able to clearly see how their money is being spent. Every minute of it. This greatly reduces the possibility of disputes.

Summary of the pain points.

So as a summary, consultants’ pain points are:

  • Especially in today’s context where WhatsApp, Skype, and other apps have made it really easy to have real-time consultations, it is more challenging for the consultants to say ‘no’ to quick consultation.
  • More often than not, these ‘quick’ consultations turn out to be not so quick after all – hence a big opportunity cost for the consultants.
  • Billing for these short consultations (less than 1 hour) is not possible as the cost of travel to meet the clients itself would have been costly.

On the other hand, the clients’ pain points are:

  • Clients may genuinely just need a few minutes of consultation. So having to pay for a whole hour will unfavourable and even unaffordable for the small and medium size businesses.

These pain points suggest the risk of being digitally disrupted.

There are several indicators of whether a business is at the risk of digital disruption. One of the indicators is related to the highlighted pain points above. According to McKinsey’s research findings, one of the indicators of the business being at the risk of digital disruption is that your customers have to buy the whole package for just for the one part that they want.

qiscus is here to help.

qiscus has managed to come out with a game-changing solution which tackles all the pain points above. Therefore if you need a sounding board, just drop us a note at [email protected] Don’t worry. It’s FREE!

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