Client feedback is one of your most important weapons to design a bullet-proof business strategy that scales.
The feedback that your clients give you is extremely powerful because you are getting paid for it, meaning that they are willing to invest in you and your services or solutions make sense.
You just need to reverse engineer what they need and how they need it, and figure out every aspect of it, write it down properly, and sell it to other customers. However, it is not necessarily a trivial process, which is why we are going to break it down into separate steps.
Initially, we are going to start with some preparations or essentially, outline some ways how to approach gathering feedback.
- Write down everything – You need to start documenting as much as possible from different conversations that you are having and revising different conversations that you are having as well. Meaning that you have to instill meeting minutes for your managers too, and check them out as frequently as possible.
- Look for clues in every conversation – Sometimes you may not get a direct feedback from your customer, or rather, oftentimes, you are not going to get such, but if you see that your customer may be annoyed, or if they are stressed out about something related to work, definitely try to nail down and try to figure out what it is. If you see in certain comments, that there’s a lot of back and forth, figure out what made the corporation be or what made the challenge be, so that you can improve it in next phases, or if they are extremely happy about a certain thing, try to analyze it and just break it down.
- Observe trends in lead requests and internal work – This follows a similar principle, but also compiles lead requests, and leading queries. When you hop on sales calls and pre-sales calls, and when you work internally with a team, try to make sure everything is documented and find out what they may need.
- Test out new concepts and collect feedback – Try out new things, new products, new services, new solutions, or so forth, and pitch them to your existing clients. Get feedback and iterate accordingly.
- Pay special attention to problems – Problems are your worst enemy. You may lose a client, you may get a negative review, you may get sued. A lot of different things may happen, pay special attention to them, reverse engineer them, gather for internal meetings, whatever it is, to make sure that nothing goes south too bad.
- Ask for outright feedback – If you are uncertain, if you can’t really get the clues right. Just ask for feedback directly. And you are going to collect valuable information.
In terms of actionable items, let’s look into certain areas where we can act better, collect more information, be more vigilant, and adapt our strategy accordingly.
1. Draft Client Meetings In Detail
Regardless of who is going to draft these, make sure that you are not just writing down actionable items, but also, you are writing down specific clues that may be positive or negative, or specific problems your customers have.
Treat every conversation as a consulting meeting. Consider the following questions:
- What are the pain points that your client has?
- What are the things they get extremely excited about?
- What are the areas that they are going to generate additional revenue for?
- What are the ROI-driven aspects of the job?
- What are certain areas that could be automated or improved?
- What do your clients see as tedious?
Draft your answers to these questions in detail.
Monitor clues for more context, analyze them and work accordingly.
2. Document Sales Inquiries
Whenever I have a sales meeting, I normally end up with at least a full page of notes—oftentimes, longer—with different key points that I’ve written out of the conversation. This is during the pre-sales process wherein I’m actually pitching to and consulting on the fly.
The reason I’m doing that is to get extremely important feedback on what leads look for. These are some things to note:
- What are their main pain points?
- Why have they found us?
- What made them pick us as a vendor?
There could be a lot of subtle things that may not be as easy or as direct to gather, but it is really important to position yourself better by documenting your sales inquiries.
you are going to be surprised by how much valuable information you are going to get.
3. Reflect And Analyze Old Conversations
The more you start to document, the more you are going to see trends after each conversation.
More importantly, every month or two or every quarter, you can gather the previous conversations and the former notes from sales meetings and internal team meetings, and actually try to analyze them as a bulk. This can help you to uncover patterns that are going to be invaluable in adapting your business strategy in the long run.
If you do not use a CRM system yet, start using it and start collecting notes in one specific place, meeting notes, emails, tickets, anything that may be relevant to the same conversation. So that you keep a backlog of this.
If you do not use one yet, you can start with Sales CRM, or WP-CRM that we own and take it from there.
4. Regularly Browse Support Tickets and Requests
If you have a ticketing system, or if you are not directly working on project management inquiries, make sure that you spend some time browsing conversations between your client and your team.
This way, you may find certain things that your leads or supervisors, or managers have missed, or have not paid enough attention to. Those clues may be important for certain patterns and paradigms that may affect your business strategy, the way you work, the way you sell, and the services you sell.
This will also improve your documentation as a result because you can create FAQ sections or different Wiki articles for your team and for your clients.
5. Hop On Regular Meetings With Clients
If you do not keep in touch with important clients, you may be missing out on certain things that are going south, and eventually, lose your clients.
In any case, just keeping in touch with them and making them feel more valuable is going to be important for the long-term conversation.
And this way you may gather some direct feedback by asking for regular meetings. Just making sure they feel well, that the roadmap is clear, figuring out what their current problems are, and identifying how you can help them, both short-term and long-term.
6. Ask To Receive Testimonials
Whenever appropriate and you have big wins such as launching a project and the client is happy, or just solving major problems, ask for a testimonial.
Testimonials are among the best ways to generate proof for your business and create valuable relationships as well as potentially bring new clients in. So, always be on the lookout for testimonials, especially when something major happens for a client.
Just try to improve this conversation and make it more valuable.
7. Conduct Case Studies With The Happy Clients
Note that this particular step builds on top of the previous point. Case studies are important for more reasons than reviews.
A case study is actually a breakdown of the type of work that you do for a client.
Having case studies is great for your sales activities, but more importantly, this is a great way to collaborate with your client on identifying what are the actual wins they see—whether it is more traffic, faster solution, or something else that you helped them deliver.
This is a great way to improve your sales positioning and grow your brand while getting those specific nuggets that may be hard to find and disclose otherwise.
8. Build Anonymized Use Cases As Plan B
If case studies are not possible and you have Non-Disclosure Agreements or NDAs, or other reasons not to be able to disclose the work, work on anonymized case studies.
This is a little tricky. You may still work with your clients, or you may do them internally, but essentially you have the right to disclose the type of work that you do in detail as long as those details cannot be associated with a client.
But then again, if you decide to work with your client, you may say, “Hey, if you cannot allow a case study, we are going to work on an anonymized use case, which is going to be in no way relevant to your brand, but at least it is going to be really important for me to just figure out what the actual wins are.”
In this case, you may at least get invaluable insights in terms of feedback and problems that you solved, while also improving your sales process, as a result.
9. Send Regular Service
This may be every quarter or twice a year or monthly, depending on your type of engagement. If you use the Net Promoter Score or NPS as a feedback schedule, this may be after every ticket.
It really depends. In any case, make sure you gather regular feedback and services are a great way to automate it first and second, make it less intrusive by just saying, “Hey, it is a standard procedure, and it would be nice if you can fill it out, if not, no worries.”
This way, you can also standardize certain questions so that they are easier to analyze later on.
10. Test Out New Pricing Plans or Packages
Your clients are a great way to test out new concepts that you are unsure of, or pitch them new concepts that you are thinking of introducing by saying, “Hey, we are working on a new initiative or a new process that is going to deal with ABC. Is it something that you are going to be interested in using or testing on our end?”
Again, using your existing clients as a test pool is great. This way, you can pivot and create new solutions or validate certain concepts that you are unsure of.
As a result, those are the main steps of figuring out how to use client feedback for improving your business strategy.
How to Leverage Client Feedback
The main thing that we need to figure out is how to use this information or feedback, and to improve your business strategy.
Come up with new service offerings – This type of feedback gathering may help you come up with new service offerings, new types of solutions to offer, or new landing pages.
Repackage existing solutions – Certain things that you do may not be well-defined or they may not be bundled together. By speaking to your clients, you may figure out ways to package certain deals to create, and new landing pages featuring certain outputs.
Productize a service – If a specific service is really common and it appears to work in a similar fashion, you can productize it and actually put a specific price tag on it, with certain limitations and sell it as a product. Some businesses find that really helpful. If you can automate it especially and make it really high profit generating again.
Develop initiatives – One thing I really know, depending on this feedback gathering, is figuring out multiple things that a certain portfolio of clients needs. When SSL came in, we introduced major SSL roll-ups across most clients. When HTTP came in, we did that for our clients. Those types of initiatives are something that may work for two or three clients at a time. And you may roll it out to the rest of your portfolio and also pitch existing clients in terms of sales.
Rebrand your landing pages – This is a great opportunity to figure out what works, what sells, specific keywords, specific terms, specific slang, that your customers care about—this is also a great way to rebrand your existing landing pages, improve them, and make them convert a little better for new clients.
Create niche sales pages – Niche sales pages may be about a very specific little problem, or a niche problem your customer needs, but one that is really worth paying for. So you can just use it in your PPC campaigns. Create a new landing page around it or play with it in different ways.
Incorporate official feedback gathering – Once you have that, you can turn this into regular sessions, not just a one-off. Say, “Hey, let’s do that every three months. Let’s iterate, let’s gather with the team. Let’s gather with the marketing or with the leadership team, and just formalize that internally, to figure out the best strategy forward with the rest of the team.
So that is it. Once again, you can use client feedback to improve your business strategy and your sales strategy further, to come up with new solutions and offerings, to make your clients happier, grow your revenue, retain them longer, and generate new customers along the way.
For a comprehensive list of business strategies, check out this massive guide.