For those unfamiliar with the operations of the casino/hotels in Las Vegas, many of the larger ones have certain individuals who serve as hosts. Their job is to make sure that the high rollers, individuals gambling huge sums of money, are happy with their stay at the hotel. The reason is obvious. These establishments have determined that the high rollers contribute significantly to their revenue.
The hosts often pick up the players from the airport in stretch limousines, provide a complimentary suite, get them access to Vegas shows, and so on. Hosts repeatedly make contact with these A-rated players during their stay, making sure the accommodations are more than satisfactory, including providing many free services such as having a suit or dress quickly pressed.
They also shmooze with the high rollers and, at times, will even dissuade them from gambling, albeit quite subtlety. At first glance, one would think that is not in the best interests of the casino, but it really is, especially if the gambler is on a losing streak and betting foolishly. The host sees the big picture, wants the gambler to have a good time, and keep coming back to the hotel knowing, in the long run, the casino always wins because of the house edge.
We who are not as lucky to have a host, or generate as much revenue as Vegas hotels, often make this keeping the customer or client happy as part of someone's responsibilities. So, the lead partner on an accounting or audit engagement is also monitoring the client's day-to-day satisfaction.
In magazine publishing, account executives perform a host type of service for advertisers to make sure they do what is best for themselves over the long run. Like the hosts at the Vegas hotels, they usually have outgoing personalities.
Why can't the larger accounting firms create the position of host to work in conjunction with the lead partners who provide services to the firm's A clients? The accounting firm host would be attuned to seeing that the A clients' needs are being met. This could really provide a benefit to a firm where the partners are extremely busy, might not recognize when a relationship is going sour, or simply exist in a denial stage as to client satisfaction. With smaller firms, individuals directly responsible for marketing or business development can assume this role.I am hoping there is a firm out there that has already established the so-called "host position" in their firm. If there is one, please let me know, as anytime I make a suggestion to anyone in a firm's management I am almost always invariably asked, "Can you give me the name of firm that does it?"
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