By Jennifer Escalona Dunn
Every business owner likes to think that his or her business is great and is operating at 100% efficiency. If your clients havenÂt complained and your bank account is fine itÂs easy to pretend that nothing is wrong. However, you could be setting yourself up for huge problems down the line if you maintain this illusion.
Undoubtedly, one or more of your clients has something to say about the services youÂre providing. Whether or not theyÂve told you personally is irrelevant; sometimes people donÂt like to upset the apple cart and wonÂt tell you what you thinkÂ unless you ask!
Why Feedback is Important
This isnÂt to say that your business is falling apart at the seams. ItÂs only natural that a problem might crop up from time to time.
However, one problem that occurs all the time may end up harming your business in the long run. WouldnÂt it be terrible if some little thing you could have easily taken care of irreparably damaged the work youÂve done over the years?
It may seem like youÂre tempting fate by bringing these issues up in the first place. After all, if youÂre asking about the problems people have, doesnÂt this give them a chance to focus on whatÂs wrong?
This may be true, but you want these problems coming up when you can control them rather than out of the blue. If your problem is being late with assignments, one or two wonÂt kill you Â a whole year of it, though, certainly wonÂt help your bottom line.
How to Get Feedback
Feedback is pretty important to the long-term health of your business, but how do you go about getting it? Is it as simple as just asking each client or should you use other methods?
Ideally you want as wide a sample as possible. As stated before, some clients may not be very receptive to freely giving out their opinions. Their ideas are still valid, though, so you need to provide an avenue for these people as well.
One idea is to make an anonymous survey on Facebook or a service like SurveyMonkey. This way all clients can provide their opinions without fear of backlash from you. Not that you would yell at them, but some may have trouble getting over their hesitation. Of course you can always email clients individually. In the email you can provide a link to the survey or they can just reply to your message.
One helpful tip is to have specific questions in mind. If you have concerns about your timeliness, for example, ask questions about this. Focusing your efforts can yield better results as it concentrates clientsÂ energy on that issue rather than fumbling around trying to figure out what might be wrong with your business.
Also remember: not every piece of advice you get is going to make perfect sense. In fact, you may receive flat out terrible advice from clients. DonÂt immediately discount it, though. Try to figure out what theyÂre really saying and get to the root of the problem. It may end up helping you in the long run.
Have you ever received negative feedback from clients? Were you surprised? How did you rectify the situation?