“He’s a lovely chap but OMG his breath smells so bad I can’t be in the same room as him, never mind at a meeting table!”
“She comes across as very insecure, the way she laughs at everything I say drives me mad.”
“The problem is that I’m sure he fancies me, and the way he looks at me is very off putting.”
Sometimes it’s no surprise that a client won’t tell their account manager what’s on their mind. Some things are so difficult that you won’t tell your best friend, never mind a supplier.
And suppose they told you instead? How much would you enjoy conveying messages like these to the people who need to hear them? It’s not that common for something like this to come up, but it’s disproportionately awkward when it does.
Another reason why many organisations prefer to use third parties to collect client feedback and pass it back to the recipients. Your client is much more likely to tell the truth to a feedback consultancy, and their interviewers will be trained to get below the surface of vague discontents and uncover the real issue. Plus they’ll pass on the message to the account manager with tact and clarity.