If you’re serious about managing your clients as your most important and valuable asset, then you should make the effort to obtain their feedback on a regular basis. Yes, this could include an ad hoc discussion while you’re meeting with your clients, but ideally should include a more formal request for structured feedback about key outcomes that are critical to the future of your client relationships and your business. Here I mean the need to understand whether your customers:

  • Are satisfied
  • Trust you
  • Are happy
  • Will remain a client
  • Are likely to spend more on your products/services
  • Are likely to recommend you to colleagues, family and friends OR are likely to dissuade colleagues, family and friends against using your business.

These are all critical markers that determine the strength of your client relationships and provide sound insights into your clients’ intentions and their predicted lifetime value to your business. Just as importantly, it’s important for every business to obtain feedback from former clients as well to find out the cause of their defection, whether they’re likely to return as a client and the single most important thing you need to improve in order for them to return.

Here are some of the benefits that client feedback can bring to your business.

  1. Your clients’ opinions and feelings are acknowledged as being important. Your clients will feel like they’ve been listened to and heard and that their opinions count. They’ll feel that you care for them and are genuinely concerned about whether they’re satisfied with you. Just the act of collecting feedback through a simple survey can have a profound positive impact on the quality of the relationship.
  2. Satisfied clients provide affirmative quotes, narratives and stories that can be used to promote your business and these are a good source for testimonials that you can use in your marketing activities. Remember, new clients are looking for tangible and credible evidence (social proof) to validate their decision to become a client.
  3. Your business is escalated in the client’s mind so that referrals can occur and continue into the future.
  4. Clients feel open to provide honest and upfront feedback to a neutral third party. This insight is often inaccessible in any other manner.
  5. You can link client feedback with your bottom line using Valuiza, thereby understanding the impact of feedback on customer lifetime value and the implications of any changes in client relationship drivers.
  6. Your clients are reminded of your business’s name and the diligence you have taken to meet their needs.
  7. Your employees are reminded that their diligence and client focus is paramount.
  8. As businesses grow, senior managers may become isolated from what is happening on the front line. A well implemented client feedback program provides them with the information they need to make insightful decisions.
  9. Receiving client feedback enables a business to correct any issues or concerns clients may have with the business. When clients provide feedback, a business is able to save money, time and improve relationships with its clients.
  10. Not being in tune with your clients is like living in a parallel universe. The way you think your clients feel about you and your business is not always the same as what your clients really feel, no matter how often you talk with them.
  11. A dissatisfied client may tell many other people about their bad experience, which could harm your business’s reputation and have an effect on lifetime value, market share, profits and business valuation. Feedback allows you to correct these problems.
  12. Some clients will not tell you they are unhappy with your service; they will just stop doing business with you. A situation such as this can be avoided when feedback is requested on a regular basis.
  13. When you get client feedback, it allows you to better understand your clients’ needs and concerns. This information can help you go above and beyond the call of duty and exceed client expectations and develop loyalty and generate client referrals.

As you can see, asking for client feedback can provide extremely valuable insight and other benefits for your business because there’s a lot to be gained and absolutely nothing to lose. All you have to do is ask!

Do you collect feedback from your clients on a regular basis? What sort of things do you seek feedback about and can you link the feedback to your bottom line?

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