Client Feedback – Getting engagement (2 of 6)

Last month we looked at why you might want to undertake a client feedback programme and what it might deliver for you. This month we’re looking at how to get engagement and buy in from your organisation.

Why does this matter?  Experience tells us that very often people ignore feedback, however insightful it is. And yet you wouldn’t be thinking about asking clients for feedback if there wasn’t a clear and compelling reason. So how can you get people to pay attention?

The usual strategy is to seek the most senior sponsorship possible, ideally from Board level, CEO or equivalent. This gives you hierarchical power and access to money and people to help you in your task. In most organisations it’s the method of choice to put some influence behind a project. If you can manage this, great, and you’ll have high level sponsorship to approach your most important clients.

It’s not the only way, however. Where conventional tactics fail, guerilla tactics can be helpful. This might involve scanning your network within the firm for people who already do what you are hoping for, engaging with them and using them as examples to get leverage for your project. Or you might link up with two or three senior people who are also persuaded of the need, and trial the approach with them so that you have a proof of concept to offer others. Once you’ve got a willing group together, you can choose which clients to approach to get the most interesting and valuable feedback.

Getting engagement is an essential part of your feedback programme. Without it, you’ll struggle to access clients and lack the leverage to get relationship managers to pay attention to feedback and take the necessary action. With it, it’s full steam ahead.

Next month, we look at step 3 – how to do it.