As Sutherland’s Chief Client Engagement officer, DC Wright puts the customer at the center of all that the company does: “For me, engagement starts with them, not us. And that can come in ways of, for example, deep insights, experience, ideas, being available, and supportive of what their initiatives and challenges are.”
The importance of client engagement is not a new concept, but it is where Sutherland differentiates itself from its competitors, according to Wright, who credits Sutherland Labs for helping the business put the client at the center of everything we do: “We built a really awesome lab practice around doing human-centric research, getting insights from that research, and then taking those insights and designing bespoke solutions that actually create the light or a seamless experience.”
Sutherland Labs, a company-wide resource, with offices in both San Francisco and London, describes itself as an “experience design agency.” For Wright, the success of Sutherland Labs rests on its ability to identify and eliminate pain points for clients with a strong focus on “the speed of change, the adoption of technology, and process improvements.”
Why is this important? According to Wright, the margin for error with client relationships has never been more important when trying to grow. “Before you could have a misstep, you could, maybe, be a little behind and catch up but I don’t think that’s the case anymore. I think that there are just too many potential startups or companies that can come in very quickly with the tools and are able to engage and take away clients.”
So how can Sutherland stay ahead? According to Wright, the Labs is a critical component: stay “We created an environment, a safe environment where, I say, we can get intimate with our clients. We can talk about the real issues, the real insights from the research, the data that we’ve analyzed and work together to prototype what might be some really elegant and impactful solutions.”
So how can Sutherland stay ahead in the game? To stay truly nimble in the market Wright believes the Labs is critical element, “We created an environment, a safe environment where, I say, we can get intimate with our clients. We can talk about the real issues, the real insights from the research, the data that we’ve analyzed and work together to prototype what might be some really elegant and impactful solutions.”
Looking ahead, Wright sees an even closer Lab experience for Sutherland’s clients, “The real Holy Grail to me is we embed the capability inside the customer. So, instead of them coming to San Francisco, we should be in their headquarters or in the operations center that is leading the engagement they have with their customers and users. You can’t take it to the lab and wait for a result. It has to be done on the spot, right now we need to make a decision, in seconds, not hours, days and weeks.”
The biggest question that remains is whether customers can keep up with DC Wright’s vision of the future of client engagement.