Advice Market Blog
Is client feedback a GOOD or BAD idea?
June 2, 2016
Anyone working hard to make their practice successful knows that happy clients are essential. But you can’t do everything so you have to be very selective about the things that will give you the biggest return on your valuable time.
We believe client feedback will deliver you the biggest return for your effort and we’re going to show you why. Surprisingly, less than 30% of practices bother to collect feedback from their clients, despite industry research that shows those who do tend to double their profitability per Principal.
If you still need to be convinced, we guarantee that by the end of this post you’ll wonder why you haven’t yet embraced client feedback as a central part of your business strategy. We’re going to show you how you can achieve outstanding benefits for your practice.
But we don’t want you to blindly rush in and make rookie mistakes and then stop collecting feedback because you aren’t seeing the benefits. Sadly, many practices can get it wrong – even those that are already collecting feedback.
As a customer, you’ve probably been asked to complete a ‘short 10 minute survey’, or maybe you’ve given feedback only to feel that nobody even bothered to read it. If this has happened to you then you may already have a jaundiced view of surveys and be reluctant to use them in your practice.
Here are the reasons why you definitely should.
You may already be asking your clients face to face how things are going. Even if they say things are fine, that may not be what they’re thinking because they don’t want to have an awkward conversation with you.
But we know that, despite best intentions, even small issues can build up over time to the extent that clients may become more receptive to a pitch from a competitor. You need to make the grass greener on your side of the fence before that happens by making it clear that you welcome honest feedback and make it very easy for them by deploying a survey through a third party like this one.
Word of mouth recommendations bring in new clients for free so they help your practice grow in a very cost-effective way (low cost client acquisition). So why would you want a client to have any reason to not recommend you to their friends, family and colleagues? Any why wouldn’t you want to know which of your clients are most likely to recommend you? That’s why you need to collect their feedback to check on their experience using your services and that there are no issues or challenges that need to be addressed.
Next-Sell, Cross-Sell and Up-Sell
You naturally expect your clients will welcome your offers and not discard them. However, it is their money after all and they should only be willing to spend it on new services with a practice that already does a great job for them. So you first need to make sure they are happy with you to ensure your offers don’t fall on deaf ears.
Happy clients make for great testimonials that can be used to demonstrate to prospects that you are great to do business with. Great testimonials make people much more confident to use your services.
Ratings & Reviews
When you find yourself in a competitive situation, your happy clients are the ones you can count on to provide high ratings and glowing reviews. If you have independent reviews on sites such as this one and you are level on other key service elements, having evidence that you’re better will make your practice the obvious choice because the client will not feel like they’re taking a risk.
You should always want your clients to tell you how they feel before they tell their family, friends and colleagues. If it’s good, you can learn from it, celebrate, and thank them. But if it’s not so good, you would want to fix it and keep them as a client make sure that problem doesn’t happen again. You can only learn these things if you make it easy for clients to tell you. By the time they tell anyone else, you will have had the chance to really shine.
When a client gives you great feedback this should provide your team with a real boost of confidence, knowing that your practice is on the right track and providing the peace of mind that another client is secure and will continue to contribute to your bottom line for the foreseeable future.
All the training in the world is no substitute for lessons learnt through personal experience so when you receive verbatim comments from clients through a survey there’s nowhere to hide. Humans are naturally inclined to avoid negative feedback because it can feel raw, but provided you can learn from it and put things right, you will probably never make that mistake again.
On the other hand, please don’t start collecting client feedback to benchmark your client satisfaction against other practices or because it’s considered best practice.
After all, you should be 100% focused on your clients and become the benchmark that every other practice aspires to. And, unless your clients and your team can see specific reasons that address the ‘what’s in it for me question’, then collecting feedback is likely to quickly unravel and you will not see a return on your investment. Just asking for client feedback is never best practice, it’s what you do in response that delivers the real business benefits.
Hopefully, you are now totally convinced of the merits of collecting client feedback. Good for you and get to it!
Is client feedback a GOOD or BAD idea is the fourth in a special five-part series which has been authored by Ray McHale, Founder of Marketing-Based Assets International Pty Ltd and in collaboration with Spiros Christoforatos, Founder of AdviceMarket . Both Ray and Spiros are passionate about providing businesses with the tools, guidance and support required to ensure they are thriving, robust and dynamic entities in the ever evolving space that is financial services.
Ray’s mission is to make sure practices (just like yours) become very successful by generating valuable insights about their client relationships. He helps practices identify and listen to their clients, measure financial impact and take targeted action to maximise the value they create. His company provides consulting services, on-line resources such as Valuiza and coaching/mentoring services. Simply visit www.valuzia.com to find out more about Ray and how he can help you.
Spiro’s ambitions, through his AdviceMarket platform, is to make it easy for consumers to connect with advice professionals and to provide advisers with another way to grow their personal brand and expertise to an audience that is looking for verified and socially proofed advisers. Ultimately the goal is to contribute to increasing financial literacy among the community and to encourage all Australians to seek advice. If you’re an adviser and you want to find out more visit www.advicemarket.com/adviser