If you want to set yourself apart in a crowded market and attract the right clients, there’s one question you must be able to answer:
“What do your clients thank you for?“
Are you squirming in your chair right now?
In my experience, we entrepreneurs chronically, systematically and perpetually underestimate the value of our work. When what you do comes naturally, there’s a tendancy to take it for granted, to undervalue the difference you make. Everyone else looks awesome and amazing, but you’re just doing your thing.
Your clients see the value you bring, far more clearly than you can. They know and feel the difference you (or your product) have made in their life or work.
When you take the time to listen to your clients, you will discover the impact of your work runs a whole lot deeper than you had realised. And when you understand that difference you make from your client’s perspective, you can use their words and their experience to attract more clients just like them.
I know it can feel excruciatingly awkward to ask your clients for feedback. No one wants to be that person who rings up just to ask “Why don’t you tell me how awesome I am?”
But when you understand how you really help your customers, you can finally figure out how to position your product or service to attract more people who need exactly that result.
Thankfully you don’t have to do it in a schmarmy, look-how-great-I-am way. Here’s a few tips to help you get customer feedback without feeling like a total slime:
1. Systemise your feedback
Make a habit of seeking feedback from your clients every time you finish working with someone. When it’s simply part of your customer service process, over time it will start to feel less awkward.
2. Look for the overall impact
Invite your customer to share the impact from their perspective. Ask ‘how has your life/work changed since using this product/service?’
3. Look for the benefits behind the benefits
The real impact of your work is often not the obvious, surface result. For example, someone who declutters your house does a lot more than create tidy spaces – they may well improve the harmony in your household, because you’re no longer fighting about who made all the mess.
Ask your customers “How else did this work/product help you? Were there any other unexpected or spillover benefits to our work together?”
4. Focus on the process, not on you
Ask your customer about their experience of using your product or service. How was the process? What worked well and what could have gone more smoothly? Did they have all the information they needed? What else would they have liked to know and at what stage in the process?
5. Look for areas where you can improve or put things right
This is not just an awesome-fest – it’s also a chance to honestly hear how you could improve your product or service. So pay attention to what didn’t go so well and look for opportunities to shift the way you deliver your product or service, or create a supplementary offer.
Ask: “What didn’t go so well? Was there anything I could do differently? What could I have offered that would have helped you over this hurdle?”
If you need to fix something for that customer, go out of your way to put things right. Unhappy customers can quickly turn to raving fans, when they see you’re willing to go the extra mile to fix a problem.
6. Look for the opportunity
Don’t assume that just because this project is complete, all your customer’s needs are met. People like to buy from those they know and trust, and it’s much easier to sell to an existing customer than to go and find new prospects in the marketplace.
Ask ‘What challenges are you currently facing? How could I help you most right now?
Most importantly, remember to write down or record all their answers. Then you can turn the highlights into a testimonial and send it to your customer for approval – many clients will be grateful they don’t have to come up with something themselves.
Do you regularly seek customer feedback? Share your top tips in the comments below.