Client Feedback Program


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There are two effective ways to understand how satisfied your clients or customers are with the service your company provides: 1) hire an outside professional with a focus on customer satisfaction or, 2) administer a client feedback program yourselves. This slideshow provides everything you will need to know and do to prepare, capture and respond to customer satisfaction interviews.

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  • Objective: get into the minds of your clients. For businesses who genuinely want to know what their clients think so they can get more like them and keep the ones they have. Not a survey as we normally think. This is based on creating a climate of open dialogue to collect their opinions and turn them into business opportunities. The results may feed a traditional survey, if you wish.
  • Keep clients Get more clients Fix what’s broken Discover and be clear about the strengths of your people and your firm
  • Always take two people. One to build/keep the relationship and another to take notes and be another pair of ears. Dialogue Champion Note taking Champion (not a secretarial role)
  • Clients who bring in the highest revenues Client firms where you know or suspect there have been service problems Clients who have potential for additional services Clients you have no idea how they feel about your firm
  • Keep it going by committing to the full program. Starts and stops may help individual client situations but will not allow you to get overall information about how your firm as a whole is doing. This program will be more worth your time than any anything else you can do. It’s even more important than delivering exceptional service. For one, you must talk to your clients to find out what they believe is “exceptional service” in order to get credit for it.
  • Learn your questions because you want to engage the client in a dialogue. If you are asking them question #3 and they also answer your question #10, don’t ask it again, just note that they have already given you your response.
  • Plan the choreography. You must get what you want but your clients must be comfortable at all times. They must experience a positive ego-stroking conversation where they are allowed to express all their opinions. Do the dance with the client. This is a subtle but meaningful business development activity for you.
  • General areas to test
  • Develop GUIDE QUESTIONS. Remember the goals: Let the client know that you are listening to them express their opinions Build on your relationship with him/her.
  • Disappointments. Make this question open-ended. Don’t be specific by inserting someone’s name or a specific service or a specific time period. Let their mind wander to whatever is there. Listening to complaints: Acknowledge them but don’t sell your staff short. Tell clients you are sorry they had a negative experience and you will look into the matter. This is easier for us because they aren’t expecting us to fix the problem. You, however, must find them some kind of response.
  • Let the clients tell you who they think your competition is. You may be surprised. Words to describe. Important to make sure marketing messages are accurate as well as effective.
  • These actually address client expectations. You are asking what you need to do, specifically, to win them over. This last bullet is something each service provider should ask for each engagement.
  • e.g. Company wanted to roll out services to a new industry but existing client feedback had them put the brakes on and, instead, stay focused in their industry but expand geographically. e.g. We often check taglines or messages we see our clients use in their websites. We have checked company names, marketing materials, etc. e.g. “Do they trust us?” e.g. Need information to develop client touch programs and want to know what their individual interests are: sports, causes, issues, special boards?
  • Don’t make judgments until all the feedback is in. Clients express opinions but that doesn’t mean they are always truths. e.g. Client said “Joe” was not responsive enough. All other clients volunteered info about Joe that led us to believe he’s quite responsive. We asked Joe about this client and they want him to check in with them every week. The client was an unreasonable client and their opinions need to be collected but the firm should not be literal about deciding what to do with the information. Shoot Joe? No, devise a plan to satisfy the client’s need for response or let them go to a competitor. All complaints don’t have a direct tit for tat response. Client comments may likely lead you to do some investigation. e.g. Flare up of personalities created a service problem. Client’s client shared apology letter he received from employee. The big question we had was: what’s the firm policy or M.O. for handling complaints? Everyone on their own? In addition we asked to interview this employee (among others) and he told us, “I’ve never had a problem with a client.”
  • This must be a company wide initiative or improvement program. What can each employee do in response to the feedback collected from your clients? Your Response Program should include actions to correct problems, actions to take advantage of opportunities captured, actions to make improvements to prevent problems mentioned by clients, action to position yourselves properly in the market place, actions to make sure your marketing messages, plans and activities align with your external image.
  • Client Feedback Program

    1. 1. Conducting your own Eight-Step Program. Presented by Darcie Davis Marketing and Management Consultant Capturing Client Feedback
    2. 2. a.k.a. keeping your clients out of the jaws of the competition
    3. 3. Engaging clients in a strategic dialogue to use their opinions to develop more business and make other improvements
    4. 4. The Importance of Their Feedback <ul><li>New sales </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing messages </li></ul><ul><li>Client service improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Market image and position </li></ul><ul><li>Identify red flags </li></ul><ul><li>Identify or validate new opportunities </li></ul>
    5. 5. Step #1: Who should do this? <ul><li>1. External, objective, trained, third </li></ul><ul><li> party consultant </li></ul><ul><li>2. Internal “third party” </li></ul><ul><li> a. Managing executive + </li></ul><ul><li> b. CMO + </li></ul><ul><li> c. COO + </li></ul><ul><li> d. Two who benefit most </li></ul>
    6. 6. Step #2: Prepare for Mining <ul><li>Select types of clients to be interviewed </li></ul>Most profits Known problems Most Potential ?
    7. 7. Step #3: Pick Your Numbers <ul><li>Select the number of clients to be interviewed </li></ul><ul><li>Be realistic about your time. How many clients can you interview? Do not allow starts and stops to happen. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Step #4: Logistics <ul><li>Notify clients </li></ul><ul><li>Book and schedule interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Set a deadline for completion </li></ul><ul><li>Public accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Assign nag duty </li></ul><ul><li>Stay the course! </li></ul>
    9. 9. Step #5: Develop Effective Questions <ul><li>Build comfort level </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly open-ended </li></ul><ul><li>Some can offer a scale from 1 to 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare for an interactive conversation, not an interrogation </li></ul><ul><li>Plan your time and know what you absolutely must find out </li></ul>
    10. 10. What do you want to know? <ul><li>Buying motives </li></ul><ul><li>Experience with firm </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Continuance of service </li></ul><ul><li>Firm image and market position </li></ul><ul><li>Your special concerns or objectives </li></ul>
    11. 11. Buying Motives <ul><li>Criteria used for selection </li></ul><ul><li>Who else did they talk to </li></ul><ul><li>What did they like about the others </li></ul><ul><li>What - specifically - locked in their decision </li></ul>
    12. 12. Experience with Your Firm <ul><li>What are your firm’s strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Where does your firm need improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Have clients had surprises or disappointments </li></ul><ul><li>Does your firm understand them </li></ul><ul><li>What could make it easier to work with your firm </li></ul>
    13. 13. Firm Image and Market Position <ul><li>Who are your competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Why them </li></ul><ul><li>How do you compare </li></ul><ul><li>What should you watch out for </li></ul><ul><li>How would they describe your firm </li></ul><ul><li>If you were to roll out new services… </li></ul>
    14. 14. Will They Recommend <ul><li>Confidence level in recommending </li></ul><ul><li>Why recommend </li></ul><ul><li>Capture positive testimonials </li></ul><ul><li>Permission to use as reference </li></ul>
    15. 15. Loyalty <ul><li>What’s the likelihood of continuing your service </li></ul><ul><li>What does your firm have to do to stay or get in their best graces </li></ul><ul><li>Is there anything that may go wrong in the relationship ahead </li></ul>
    16. 16. Special Concerns <ul><li>New marketing messages/taglines </li></ul><ul><li>New services or markets </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity, communications, responsiveness, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Goals/needs of client </li></ul><ul><li>How to stay in touch </li></ul><ul><li>Where clients network </li></ul><ul><li>Client special interests </li></ul>
    17. 17. Step #6: Conduct Interviews <ul><li>Know your questions </li></ul><ul><li>Re-confirm interview times </li></ul><ul><li>Explain your purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Document ALL of the dialogue </li></ul>
    18. 18. Step #7: Analyze What You Heard <ul><li>Look for themes: good and not so good </li></ul><ul><li>Look for and capture every action item </li></ul><ul><li>Look for opportunities for follow up </li></ul><ul><li>Capture all good things said about your people and let them know </li></ul><ul><li>What are the implications? </li></ul>
    19. 19. Step #8: Response Program <ul><li>Develop a plan that will strategically inform all others in your firm </li></ul><ul><li>Get ALL others in the firm engaged in a Response Program </li></ul><ul><li>Include deadlines and responsibilities for actions </li></ul><ul><li>Assign a credible nag and expect accountability from everyone </li></ul><ul><li>Be creative about letting ALL clients know about the changes </li></ul>
    20. 20. What’s Next? <ul><li>Get ready to be busy </li></ul><ul><li>Continually review Response Program to keep it active </li></ul><ul><li>Get ready for pushback from some of your colleagues </li></ul>
    21. 21. What’s Also Next? <ul><li>It’s wise to initiate an employee feedback program as well </li></ul><ul><li>Compare the findings to feedback gathered from clients </li></ul><ul><li>Keep pushing for improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Stay the course! </li></ul><ul><li>Call the bank </li></ul>
    22. 22. Good luck! <ul><li>Darcie Davis </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Helping you keep your clients </li></ul><ul><li>out of the jaws of the competition. </li></ul>
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