Businesses love to talk about customer-centricity but what does it actually look like when an organisation reimagines every aspect of its behaviours, working style and operations for its clients? PwC is finding out.
“We all have a role to play in ensuring Australia’s future prosperity. But it is only by working together, combining our talented network of clients and suppliers with our skilled people, that we can solve the important problems we face as a nation, collectively exploring beyond the bounds of what we think we can achieve.”
Meaningful change can be slow and incremental. Or it’s imposed and comes in a rush. And then sometimes, just sometimes, an industry embraces an uncommon chance to refashion the bedrock - to shape a profound physical and cultural shift, to change the game.
That’s the approach PwC is taking as we unveil a radical transformation aimed at enshrining the client experience at our philosophical core and transforming our workplaces into destinations.
The goal? Taking professional services into the client-centric domain of premium airline lounges, tech firms and boutique hotels. It presents a reimagined corporate landscape by changing perceptions and triggering different expectations with a fresh emphasis on the value of genuine collaboration and co-creation, rather than dealing out advice.
Tech companies might have infamously reinvented the new workspace as a means to attract and keep the best staff (think slippery dips in foyers, bring-your-dog-along policies, sleep pods, massage chairs and Nerf gun shootouts across desktops).
But now PwC has reimagined the potential of the modern office, by showing a more mature, sustainable way ahead for cutting-edge commercial interiors with a values-based, client-centric approach. “These are seismic changes,” says Luke Sayers, PwC Australia’s CEO.
The emphasis has been on creating spaces that are conducive to co-creation and collaboration away from “a transactional mindset,” says Peter Konidaris, Market Managing Partner, Melbourne, “to a far more relational approach to how we engage with our clients. Here we can sit with our clients and have a bite to eat, introduce them to other clients and other people in the firm,” he says. “And we can do that in a way that is far more relaxed and casual than sitting behind four closed walls with a white-linen service.”
“There’s nothing else like this in Australia,” says Angela Ferguson, Director at Futurespace, the company tasked with delivering a set of innovative client-collaboration floors to PwC’s comprehensively researched client-experience brief. “And I don’t think there will be for a long time because it has set a new bar for how organisations interact with their clients.”
“I genuinely feel as though our space is our home,” says Helen Fazzino, Head of People, Partnership and Culture at PwC, “and we’re inviting our clients into our home.”
There is no shortage of recent examples in the business world of companies that have shaken their industries through new approaches that put customers and their needs at the heart of their operations.
However, these moves to reimagine legacy processes have been concentrated in the retail and consumer space. PwC’s new way of working is a move to bring the same transformation to professional services, and offices in general.
Whereas offices are traditionally designed with staff needs in mind, PwC’s vision recognises that the value of the work our people produce is entirely dependent upon how well it serves our clients' needs and preferences. This means the strongest, most effective collaboration possible is needed.
With our new way of working, that mindset is now built into our very foundations.
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