Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Positive Feedback is Good For Business

If you are proctively asking for client feedback in your firm then you may only ever focus on those responses where your client is not 100% happy. Negative responses are typically the ones we take action on, leaving positive feedback as simply a validation that we are doing things right. But positive feedback is an extremely valuable marketing tool so when you receive it you should make sure you use it wisely.

Your clients verbatim comments make excellent testimonials - check out my own website for ours at http://www.finqs.co.uk/casestudies.htm. When a client likes what we do, we ask if we can use their positive comments as a testimonial. Good feedback also helps you identify referral opportunities, those clients who will be advocates for your business so don't be afraid to ask them if they know of anyone else who would benefit from what you do.

Generating referrals is one of the most effective marketing activities you can undertake and receiving positive client feedback is key to this. Too often referrals are only ever received passively, because a client happens to mention you to someone. For you to really benefit from referral business make it an active part of your marketing strategy. Ask for feedback as a way to remind your client that you did a great job and you will identify referral opportunities...and when you do, don't be afraid to ask!

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Friday, 5 June 2009

Confirming your client proposition and generating opportunities

In today’s climate, clients demand the best service more than ever before. When times are tough, clients are more choosy about where they spend their money and for businesses to gain a competitive advantage, clients must be satisfied, loyal and most importantly engaged with your business.

Clients who are engaged with your business are enthusiastic about what you do, they recommend you to others, they provide you with testimonials, they become part of your marketing collateral and ultimately they increase your profits.

A strong service proposition increases a clients engagement in your firm. As client engagement increases, this builds trust, increases loyalty and client retention, leads to more referrals, increased revenue and profitability. Your most loyal and engaged customers become brand enthusiasts. Some commentators call this ‘Customer Advocacy’, taking the view that clients are less likely these days to simply accept whatever services you provide, indeed according to a white paper published by The OMC group about Customer Advocacy in Financial Services, today’s customer is now “value-extracting” meaning that clients will look for the value in a proposition and how it meets their personal requirements. This is the very reason why firms need to develop a strategy to align their service, marketing and branding efforts with the needs of their clients.

To develop client engagement or customer advocacy with your business you need to understand what drives it for your clients. Is it that you provide a well delivered, excellent service? Is it the frequency of contact you have with your clients? Is it that you care enough to ask for client opinions? Is it that you take an open and responsive approach? Is it that the client has confidence and trust in the service and advice you offer? Is it the perception of the quality of your communications with your clients?

Finding out what inspires your client’s loyalty and engagement with your firm is the first step to creating a successful service proposition. The only way to really understand what your clients want is to ask them for their views. Doing this enables you to benchmark your service proposition and set a solid foundation on which to build your client proposition and marketing strategy.

So don’t just assume you know what your clients opinions and perceptions are, ask them. Reach out to your clients and inspire them to talk about you. You may or may not be surprised by their responses, but you will certainly benefit from them.

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