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July 23, 2014

Is the customer always right? Uhhh… pretty much!

customer-feedback.133103555As I write this, I’m in the midst of a project with a client… helping them to develop their “go to market” messaging for a new service line. We’ve been talking about features and benefits, what “pain points” we think it addresses, what those that have tried it think about it and so on.

But we can only do so much. If you believe that “the buyer’s perception is the seller’s reality” (and I do!), then before my client makes any final decisions on messaging, he needs to get some input from those for whom the messaging is intended… his clients and prospects.

The fact is, getting feedback from clients could be the answer to most of your business questions and problems. Think about all the issues you deal with and where client input could be helpful…

  • Your new website
  • A new ad campaign
  • Content topics for blog posts and articles
  • New products or services lines
  • Updating your logo
  • Opening new locations
  • Changes to your operational processes
  • A new capabilities presentation
  • A new proposal package
  • Even new pricing (but be careful here…)

OK, so you have some concerns that your clients’ feedback could help with… how do you go about gathering that information?

  • Surveys, of course
  • Creating a client advisory council – sort of your own in-house community
  • In your booth or networking at conferences
  • Start a thread on a social media site (I like LinkedIn groups)
  • Track website metrics (e.g. if your blog post on bulletin boards gets twice as many visitors as your blog post on in-person focus groups… that tells you something)
  • Conduct an exit interview with clients you’ve lost… and find out why
  • Most importantly (and probably most effectively), just pick up the phone and talk with a few clients

Bottom line: You’re in business to find and service clients… making important decisions without at least listening to their opinion is simply bad business.

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