One of the best things that happened to me this year with my business pivot is a couple of past clients telling me they didn’t completely understand what I was doing now. My messaging wasn’t quite right in explaining my services.
At the time I didn’t feel quite so positive about this feedback. I felt a bit despondent that it was more work that I had to do on my copy. Not my favourite thing to do I have to say. But this kind of feedback is worth its weight in gold if you are building your business. I could have happily tootled along with the messaging I was doing and not realised it was part of the reason why my pivot wasn’t going as smoothly as I had hoped.
I still don’t feel I have completely nailed the messaging – partly because with the pivot I have been doing in my business I am still refining and defining my services as I work with clients. More feedback – this time from my own feelings about how work has gone and where I felt I could improve.
But without that initial feedback I may not have worked with the clients that I have this year.
It is one of the reasons why I am a huge fan of feedback even though I can feel super awkward asking for it and uncomfortable receiving it. It can make such a difference to your business.
Now if you are on the fence about feedback I have 3 reasons why you should have in place systems to regularly collect information on your business:
One: To improve what you are doing.
The best way to get new clients is by doing exceptional work so that your clients refer you to others. And one of the main ways you become exceptional is by being open to feedback.
That doesn’t mean you have to take on board everything that people tell you. Some feedback is not going to work for your business. But if you see themes running through your feedback about a part of your service that is not working or is not as clear as it could be then it is something you need to tackle.
I want to do a great job for my clients. I want them to achieve the outcome we have agreed on. I also want to do in a way that makes my clients feel confident throughout the time we are working together that we are going to achieve that outcome.
While I get internal feedback – I know when I don’t feel things are going as smoothly as possible at least from my perspective, I am not a mind reader. I want to know what has gone well and what hasn’t from my clients’ viewpoints. Nothing is every perfect, there is always something to do better.
But unless they are particularly annoyed with you, clients are probably not going to give you feedback unless you ask.
It is important to remember not all feedback is about what you are doing wrong, it can also be about what you are doing right. It tells you what to double down on. What is it about your services that your clients particularly appreciate?
Feedback also helps deal with some of the tricks your mind plays on you. In some cases I find that what I think has been a bit of a messy process hasn’t felt like that to my clients. For example I tend to get anxious if I don’t reply immediately to clients but when there are delays (at least from my perspective) clients have still commented on my quick response times. This has been great feedback for me in terms of managing my own expectations of me!
Two: Speaking in your clients’ language
If you see great marketing out there, it is partly because the person who has created the marketing campaign is fabulous at using the language their potential clients use. The marketer knows how their clients talk about the problem they want to solve.
There are many ways to get to grips with this language. You can see what questions people are asking in Facebook groups and forums, you can look at Amazon reviews for books that solve the problem you solve but another great way is by asking for feedback.
The other methods such as looking at questions being asked in Facebook groups are great for finding out what general problems people want solved. Asking your clients is much more specific to you. What is it about you that appealed to them so much that they were willing to hand over cash? This is what you want to emphasis in at least one element of your marketing.
Three: Collecting Testimonials
Social proof in the form of testimonials is such a useful marketing tool for you to have. Testimonials help give confidence to future clients that you can help them solve their problem. They are also one of the best ways to speak in your clients’ language.
Some of the best performing Facebook ads I have run for people are where we have used testimonials that clients have provided in the copy.
However, it can be difficult to get clients to write testimonials that help you sell. A testimonial that says “Mavis did an awesome job” doesn’t really tell future clients what you can do for them.
A great way to get around this is by using the responses to feedback questions to craft testimonials. You draft the testimonial using the answers to the feedback questions. You need to run the draft testimonial past your client and you are going to use what they said in their feedback, this is not you writing something from scratch. But it is about putting a framework around your testimonials.
It doesn’t have to be all glowing fluff either. If your client says you don’t pull any punches, this can be great to include in a testimonial. You are going to attract people who love straight talkers and repel those who aren’t open to this kind of communication.
The trick is to ask the right types of questions when you ask for feedback. Questions that go to the core of how you make people working with you feel and the outcomes you deliver.
While asking for feedback may make you feel uncomfortable it is worth doing if done well. It can have a wonderful impact on your business!
Would you like help in implementing systems to collect feedback from your clients? If so check out my Fantastic Finishes package. We work together to put in place a system in your business so you start seeing the benefits of feedback.