Anna Lake looks at the need for client feedback.

I thoroughly enjoy hearing the results of the annual Marketing Leaders’ Benchmark survey and this year was no exception. However, I was a little perplexed by a couple of the stats relating to the highest priority activity for firms.

‘Making improvements to client service/experience’ came out top with 29% of firms placing that at the top of their list. “Great!” I thought, until I read across the slide and saw that ‘Obtaining client feedback’ is only a priority for 6% of firms – surely the two go hand in hand!

Perhaps gathering feedback is a close second or perhaps firms have already gathered client feedback and are now ready to put in into practice by making necessary improvements – if so, that’s brilliant. But if you’re one of the firms in the 29% and you haven’t got any feedback, I would urge you to get some.

If that is you, consider these questions.

Are you making improvements to your client service/experience based on first-hand feedback from your clients which identify the areas of frustration? Or from reviewing Google analytics which looks at website journey data? The latter is important and gives you some insight, but nothing beats feedback from an actual human who has experienced working with your firm.

Do you have a baseline to work from? Or do you just have a rough idea of how satisfied you think your clients are? You don’t need to get hung up on an actual score itself, but you do need to know how you’re doing so you can make sure you’re moving in the right direction.

Do you have a consistent process for seeking regular feedback? Or do you only seek it out if you need new quotes for your website or for a new business proposal? Some firms operate a six monthly or annual programme for collecting feedback and that’s okay but be agile enough to spot the signs that you might need to seek feedback from a client during the in between times. Also think about collecting feedback across the entirety of the client journey or engagement, not just at the end.

Do you take a balanced view? Or do you only ask the clients you are pretty sure will give you a glowing review? Although it may be uncomfortable, you’ll gain the most learning from your less than completely satisfied clients so make sure you ask them too!

How did you answer the questions above? Are you completely confident you’ve got the evidence you need to make the improvements which will reap the most benefit for your clients? If so, get going and I look forward to reading about the results. But if not, you might want to reconsider your priorities.

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