Client Feedback Tool
  • Uncover what’s hidden (and other tips to increase your firm’s value)

    Posted on April 30th, 2014 Ryan Suydam No comments
    Uncover what's hidden (and other tips to increase your firm's value)

    Increase your Client’s Perception of your value

    You win a project and sit down at the kickoff meeting with your client. You discuss meeting frequency, deliverables, schedule and expectations. Everybody is positive and excited. Your client is convinced they hired the right firm for this project and everybody believes the project will be a success.

    Fast forward several months. You have finished the project and are asking your client to let you know how things went. You are surprised to see that a member of their team gave you a ‘did not meet expectations’ rating on schedule. Sure, there was one set of deliverables that were a week later than originally planned but you and the client’s project manager had discussed this and understood the delays were really due to workload on their side.

    What do you do now? You could go back and explain that the delay was really on their end but that doesn’t seem like such a terrific idea. The reality is, this project is complete and the client’s perception (at least for one individual) is that your firm missed a deadline. It is not possible to go back and undo or adjust this perception.

    Client Feedback Tool recommends that, as a best practice, you measure client expectations throughout a project. Only by capturing client perceptions early can you actively manage those perceptions and change outcomes to everyone’s advantage. Following are 5 advantages of this approach:

    Uncover the hidden. In spite of your best efforts, your client made some assumptions when you began the project that they likely did not share with you. They know what is most valuable to them and just assume you do as well. Measuring client expectations regularly lets you uncover those hidden assumptions, respond to them, and become their expert.

    What’s measured improves. You measure profitability, utilization rates, backlog, etc. Simply by measuring your client’s perceptions throughout the project, you will find their perceptions will improve because your performance will improve. Automatically.

    Builds client-centric culture. Staff know that your firm measures the metrics that are really important. Using an ongoing feedback process to measure client perceptions puts increased focus on client interactions. Staff will have their antennae up, looking for the unusual, and will typically reach out to clients even before you ask for feedback.

    Earlier problem identification. When a problem does arise on a project, the fact that you asked while there was still time to make a course correction decreases future problems and increases your value to the client. In fact, our research has proven that when you ask for feedback and follow up, problems are reduced by 83%.

    Increases staff satisfaction and retention. Most feedback is positive and encouraging. Your clients will demonstrate their appreciation and give you the opportunity to recognize your staff for the good work they do. Research shows that one of key drivers for staff retention is acknowledgment of the individual’s value and contributions. Letting your clients praise your key employees creates a win-win for everyone.

    Want to learn more about asking your clients for feedback, scheduling an online Demo by calling us at 1-866-433-7322 or visiting our website at www.clientfeedbacktool.com.

  • When is a door not a door…when it’s ajar

    Posted on April 10th, 2014 Sally Orcutt No comments

     

    When is a door not a door … when it’s ajar.

    I still remember my grandmother telling me this one more than 40 years ago. I believe I remember it because I didn’t see it right away. But once I did, it made perfect sense and I felt the joy of discovering the hidden meaning.

    When is client feedback not really client feedback … when it’s not about the CLIENT.

    If a firm is asking their clients for information, it should be “about the client.” This means putting the client first in how you ask. The difference impacts the clients’ answers, and how you respond going forward.

    5 Ways to know if you’re getting “client feedback”:

    1. Client responses change your process. Client responses should have the ability to impact how you serve them. If you can’t take specific action to a question answered, don’t ask!
    2. The request benefits the client. The client receiving the feedback request must see the value (to them) of responding.
    3. It’s not an autopsy. Requests made during the project while there is still an opportunity for their responses to be acted upon drive participation from your clients, and gives you time to take action when it matters most.
    4. It can be acted upon. Your client is responding to the person that has the ability to act on their request. No one else can fix the project other than the people working on it. Keep them involved.
    5. Value added – not time waster. Don’t throw away any questions on ‘knowable’ information. “Was the project on schedule?” That question is one you should already know the answer to and asking makes you sound like you don’t know something you really should. Focus on areas that will benefit the client and that your firm has the ability to influence.

    Discovering hidden meanings in life is a universal delight. Effective client feedback is a great way to uncover what you didn’t know, simply by asking and asking well.

    Live Webinar: Ryan Suydam, co-founder of Client Feedback Tool and industry expert on understanding client expectations will share 10 case studies detailing the impact of real feedback on the bottom line of the clients involved. You will learn how they discovered the hidden, and turned that insight into real dollars. Register now for this 45-minute webinar to be held Thursday, April 24th at noon (EST). Click here to register. You will receive a login confirmation.

    Client Feedback Tool is a recognized expert in the feedback business, particular for the A/E/C industry. The company was founded as an extension of an architectural firm that realized if they just had a richer understanding of what their clients valued, life would be so much easier. That said, we share with you the expertise that has come through the hard knocks of learning what feedback is (and is not).