Know Your Clients
Press Release: January 3, 2011
Experts are saying that constantly tracking client needs and wants and delivering relevant products is the secret for success in 2011 and beyond.
Mike Phillips, a client feedback expert for the industry, told the Jan. 3 issue of The Zweig Letter that only about 5% of firms regularly collect meaningful feedback from clients.
Also: when they approach clients, they often don’t do it frequently enough. They may ask the wrong questions and only try to collect feedback after a project is over, which equates to a “post mortem,” according to Phillips
“We’re very poor at collecting feedback from our clients,” he said, adding that the secret is asking the right questions often enough.
Phillips has developed and sells a hugely successful client feedback tool called DesignFacilitator, which has already collected data from 33,000 client respondents.
“You’re looking for feedback that will let you fine-tune your process with each particular client to make your firm the most valuable to that client,” said Phillips, who is also the president of Phillips Architecture in Raleigh, NC. “The clients are ready to give feedback if that feedback will help you do a better job in your project.”
One industry practitioner said collecting constant feedback has proven essential for his firm.
“We use the feedback to help define company improvement opportunities and added value, as such it is improvement to follow-up and communicate the improvement opportunities to the individuals who provided feedback,” said John Brand, president of Butler, Fairman and Seufert (BF&S) a civil engineering firm in Merrillville, IN.
“We view the client feedback as a gift to our firm on how to improve,” he said.
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