4 Reasons Why You Should Always Ask for Feedback from your Clients
On this special day of celebrating love and relationships, I’m sharing an article with four reasons why you should always ask your clients for feedback. And it’s actually more related to Valentine’s Day than you might think!
To illustrate, here is part of an e-mail I got from one of my clients this afternoon (click to enlarge the image):
“It is still very early and as you know gathering feedback is a bit of a challenge in our current set of regulations. But some colleagues pro-actively share their feedback and I just wanted to share one example (below) with you. Other feedback we get verbally goes in the same direction.”
#1 Feedback makes people feel valued 🙏
This feedback came after I delivered a 2-hour long online course together with an account manager, a film crew, an expert and direct input from the client. They are all part of this.
And receiving an email like this makes their contributions feel valued and worthy of their time.
It’s important to realise, though, that this feedback came from an end user – someone who actually followed the course to learn something new. And it’s feedback that’s directly related to the product we delivered, or in other words: the value we delivered.
The feedback from our direct client – the people who funded this project – would make more sense in terms of the collaboration itself.
#2 Feedback helps you improve 🚀
Were we available for questions? Did we deliver on time? Did we communicate well?
These are all questions you could ask in terms of the collaboration with your client. These questions will help you improve.
So what I usually do is: I set up two feedback systems.
In one feedback system I ask feedback directly from the end users. I usually incorporate this into the product, for example with a Google Form.
In the other system I ask for feedback from the client I collaborated with directly. I usually do this through a meeting at the end when we delivered the project and the first couple of feedback forms by end users were submitted.
I don’t just ask for feedback at the end of a project though. I try to ask for it throughout each project to make feedback loops as short as possible. I aim to learn as much as I can before the final project is delivered and we can’t do much to change the final result.
#3 Feedback creates a positive image 😇
Now, I think there is a limit to the amount of feedback you should ask. Probably a subtle “is there something we can do to improve our collaboration” at the end of a meeting in the middle of your project is good enough.
But even that subtle question can change the way people think about you.
After all, asking for feedback puts you in a vulnerable position. It may be good or bad. And because it might be bad, a lot of people don’t dare to ask. Though, it’s not the feedback itself that matters, is it?
What matters is what you do with it.
And if your client sees that you’re willing to do what’s in your power to try and improve the value of whatever you’re delivering… they probably like that. They probably even would want to work with you again.
#4 Feedback makes clients come back 👋
I’ve seen many entrepreneurs that underestimate the value of returning clients.
They are sharing stuff on social media like crazy and they are reaching out to people they don’t know. What a lot of us could do a lot better, I think, is to focus more on the clients that we already had. People we know. People we have a relationship with already.
What better way to do that than by asking for feedback?
I often schedule what I call “a check-in meeting” 3 to 6 months after delivering a project. I schedule this during the “feedback meeting” at the end of the project, which I mentioned earlier. It makes planning a whole lot easier. During this meeting we discuss the feedback from end users and any changes that we may need to do to improve the product.
And that’s how the step to a follow-up project is easily made.
Dare to ask 💪
I hope this article helped you see why to ask for feedback from your clients and that it’s not as scary as it may seem.
I also urge you to periodically improve your way of asking for feedback, to make the feedback itself as valuable and as unbiased as possible.
What asking for feedback really does is that it helps you get into a mindset of continuous improvement, which makes you and your skills more and more valuable.
And sometimes, it may even lead to a similar heartwarming moment that I had on this Valentine’s Day.