Last month we looked at the methodology you might use to gather feedback . Beyond this you will need to give attention to the logistics and preparation. Careful planning will help you to gather feedback more efficiently and get the most out of your practice.
Here are some tips for getting practical about your feedback programme.
- Lists, data and recording. A fundamental requirement of effective client feedback is a good list of clients which you can use year on year. You will need to think of how you will select these clients. You can randomly select clients to get an overall temperature check of your client portfolio. Or you can select clients who will help you meet your company goals. For example if you have aggressive business targets it would make sense to select relationships with the most potential in areas of the business you want to grow.
For a fully effective feedback programme you will also need to track which clients have been asked for feedback, what they said, critical actions and their completion, and ROI. This may be part of your CRM system or a stand alone Excel spreadsheet or similar.
- Communication, training and development. A feedback programme will be relevant to all members of your client team. They will need good information about what is happening. Some may need new skills, especially if you are carrying out interviews using internal people. Make sure that your project doesn’t slide because participants don’t feel confident to fulfill their roles.
- Plan your client introductions. Good client introductions are essential to get valuable responses from the greatest number of clients. The senior client relationship owner should contact the client personally to explain the purpose of the feedback programme and ask them to participate. You may need to provide central material and support to ensure that this happens at the right time.
- Resources. The issue of resources often gets overlooked but dedicated resources will make your feedback programme run smoothly and consistently. You should be looking for people with strong organisational, administrative, and analytical skills with access to expertise in stakeholder engagement.
- Accountability. Everyone is busy and it’s easy for client feedback to slip down the priority list. There needs to be accountability to ensure that the client feedback is collected and that action is taken. How people are made accountable will vary from business to business, but its importance never varies.
That’s it for this month. Next month we’ll be looking at taking action.