When did you last ask your clients what they think of you?


Chantal

Every two years, we take the plunge and ask our clients what they think of us and the service they receive from us.

We ask questions like “What value did you expect to get from us?” and “What value do you actually get from us?” The answers to these questions can be very revealing and show us how well (or not) we set expectations for our clients. We then go on to ask how the differences between what they expected and what they get make them feel. What this has shown is that in general, we deliver more than our clients expected, which makes them feel safe and valued; and that’s a great result for us.

However, knowing this means that we can never get complacent and just expect that we’ll always over deliver. We actively look for things that we do to add value to the service we provide – like giving extra advice and not charging for it; like putting our clients in touch with other people they need to know; like taking them out for lunch just to ask them what they think of us!

Another question we ask in the survey is about what our clients don’t get from us. This has brought up some really interesting answers that are leading us to develop new services, and new offerings for particular clients. One client, for whom we write a monthly email newsletter, said that she doesn’t get a full ‘marketing department’ service from us. This is my cue to ask her exactly what she means by this and look at how we can provide it for her. Another client, for whom we write regular marketing materials, said that we don’t challenge her and her marketing ideas enough. I had no idea that she wanted to be challenged; and that’s something I love doing! From now on, when she comes to us with a particular idea, if I think there’s a better way of doing it, I’ll present her with a different idea, which might cost her less or get her better results.

Of all the suppliers I use, only one of them ever asks me if I’m happy with the service they provide. I get a phone call from them every six months and we have a chat about the service; and I get a birthday card from them too! I wish some, if not all of my other suppliers took as much interest in my business. Perhaps I should offer to run a client value survey for them?!

Asking your clients what they think of you can be daunting. You might not like the answers you get; and if you don’t ask, you’ll never know that a customer isn’t happy until it’s too late and they’ve left. If you’d like to know about sort of questions you could ask your clients and the best way to do it, call me on 01635 578 500 or email me at Chantal@Appletreeuk.com.

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