Post originally appeared on Standard Bank BizConnect
Are you asking your clients for feedback and are you actually implementing your findings? If not, you could be missing opportunities to step up your offerings and boost your bottom line.
These are questions I ask myself after every client workshop, training and career coaching session I facilitate. If I didn’t, how would I be able to evolve my offerings to fulfill my clients’ needs in the best way possible?
But yet, so many people fail to track their client interactions and results so they end up falling short of optimising their service offerings and stand the risk of personally stagnating – by proposing outdated solutions and limited thinking.
Don’t get stuck in a rut of doing things
We’re all in the business of adding value, making a profit and making a difference – well, I am at least – so if I’m to step up to my potential and offer exceptional value to my clients, I’d better pay attention to what’s happening around me and ask for feedback.
Let’s be honest here, not all feedback is uplifting and encouraging but that’s alright because, even if you don’t appreciate what is being said, you can still gain massive learnings if you leave your ego at the door and broaden your perspective.
Even if you disagree with the feedback, ask yourself why the person reacted as they did. Could you have framed something differently, changed your ‘language’ or approach, given them more background, statistics and so forth?
Every situation is an opportunity to grow as a person and as a service provider because ‘customer feedback’ can help you uncover flaws or shortcomings in your business and current service offerings. As long as you are open to growing and learning, perceived ‘negative’ feedback can be used to refine what and how you do what you do and can also clarify any blind spots that you may currently have.
A word of caution: Be mindful of who your ideal client is. Not every person will be your ideal client so you may be inclined to disregard their feedback completely. But, I urge you to at least consider their ‘WHY’ behind their perceptions and opinions.
So how do you gather this feedback and ensure that it is valuable for your business?
1. At the risk of stating the obvious, the first step is to ASK
Prior to commencing, ask your clients what their expectations are. Be sure to record this down in detail and refer to your notes throughout the process. Consider creating a check-list for yourself so that you can stay on track.
2. Post event, ask yourself the following questions:
- What worked?
- What didn’t?
- What could I have done better or differently?
3. Third step is to ask your clients to provide you with FEEDBACK post the event or project
Many businesses have a generic feedback form, but this may not give you the answers you’re looking for so make sure that you understand your business goals and design your survey questions around those. Asking the right questions will enable you to gather the data you need.
4. The fourth crucial step is implementation
Research is great and even fun – I get a kick out of researching. Truly I do, but all of this is in vain if I don’t apply it. So, what will you do with the data? How are you going to implement it?
In summary: Ask; Apply; Refresh and Reinvent. That is the formula to ensure that you are current, up to date and understand your client’s needs as they change. In our tepid business environment, you cannot afford to neglect these steps to ensure longevity in your business. My hope for you is that you thrive in your career, business and in life.