The business case for seeking feedback from commercial clients

I have recently met with a number of firms who have, to date, focussed their client feedback efforts on their private clients, many of whom have only engaged the firm on a one-off, transactional basis.

Often the feedback is captured by a relatively simple method – usually an electronic survey which mainly gathers quantitative data and asks for a quote if the recipient wishes to give further information about the service received.

Perhaps capturing feedback from commercial clients is perceived as a more complicated (and costly) exercise but I believe there is a solid business case for these firms to extend their client feedback programme to encompass their business clients for the following reasons:

  • In a Business to Business context, service is an increasingly important factor when appointing advisers – often ranking above technical expertise (which is a given) or price
  • The recent ‘Marketing Leaders Benchmark’ survey of 60 marketing directors from professional services firms carried out by Meridian West and PM Forum showed the top two areas of increased focus for 2019 are Improving the Client Experience (85%) and Obtaining Client Feedback (78%) so it is highly likely your competitors will be surveying their clients in a bid to improve their service 
  • The revenue potential from corporate clients is often greater than from transactional clients so it pays to seek their feedback and keep them happy
  • It costs up to 10 times more to secure a new client than to keep an existing client so you need to know which clients might be looking elsewhere, why, and address any issues quickly. 
  • Appointing new advisers is also a costly and time consuming exercise from a client’s perspective so it’s important to proactively seek their feedback. It demonstrates integrity and cements your commitment to ensuring you are providing clients what they need
  • You will gain a wealth of useful information to use in bids and other external communications in order to attract more business clients

Undertaking a feedback programme which focuses on business clients need not be an overly onerous exercise for either the firm or the client. The insights gained from such a programme, if used effectively, can bring about a number of positive changes for the firm and contribute to its growth. To find out more about the benefits of a client feedback programme for your business clients, please contact me.

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