Direct customer feedback is an essential ingredient for brand building and delivering outstanding services. Good, bad, or ugly you need to hear how your company is doing. And getting that input is easy. All you have to do is ask for it.
There’s no better way to verify your company’s performance than hearing it directly from your clients.
Make feedback part of your business
At every opportunity, look for ways you can gather feedback from your customers. Merge Solutions, for example, asks their clients for feedback after every project.
“As a project is wrapping up we have a meeting to debrief with the client,” says Alaric Nurm, VP of Operations of Merge. “The step is so important. We are communicating with the client throughout a project, but at the end of the process we need to sit down with the client and assess what we did well and what we could have done better.”
Gathering feedback is baked into their business operations. It happens with every client and every project.
Build trust with openness
Good feedback is open and unfettered, but getting that can be easier said than done.
Alaric says, “Clients don’t necessarily like to deliver negative feedback, at least not right away. We will help kickstart the conversation by being very open. I find clients are more likely to open up when we are proactive in calling out issues in the project without being prompted to do so.”
Trust is a two-way street, and clients often need to see you are serious about receiving their feedback — good, bad, or ugly — before they will give it.
Embrace the feedback
Collecting the feedback is only one step. What you do with it is what matters.
Alaric says, “We have an internal mandate where we want all of our clients to be referenceable and give us a testimonial.”
Merge’s approach to gathering feedback is designed to build those sticky customer relationships. The feedback provides them the data and insights they need to continually improve, delight their customers, and generate those much needed referrals.
Gathering client feedback is not complicated or difficult. All it requires is purpose and effort. Take the time to engage your clients in meaningful conversations and they will tell you how your firm is performing and where it can improve.