Client listening is a powerful and effective tool which can fit into your marketing efforts in a number of ways.
1. To inform your marketing strategy.
Seeking insight from your clients, referrers and other stakeholders can help you to develop marketing messages. This helps you stand out from the crowd because your messages are based on what your clients actually say you deliver and how you add value to their business rather than what you say – third party endorsement is so powerful. I had a conversation with an accountancy firm just this morning about this approach.
You can also discover what your clients priorities are for the coming year and what information will be most helpful to them which should increase the effectiveness of your marketing activities
2. Market research
The textbook definition of marketing is ‘anticipating, identify and satisfying customer needs profitably’. Some businesses waste a huge amount of time and money launching new services or entering into new sectors/geographies without firstly conducting proper research.
Just before Christmas I conducted some market research for a company who wanted to look at the viability of two market opportunities. I spoke to a number of law and accountancy intermediaries in that market to gain an expert view and help my client decide whether to pursue either, neither of both of the opportunities.
3. As part of your client retention strategy. Happy clients buy more, stay with you longer and recommend you to others (free marketing!) so you need to identify your advocates and those clients who might be at risk of looking elsewhere.
I’m just about to start a client listening project with a law firm where I’ll be interviewing their key clients. It shows the clients they really care about the relationship by engaging me to speak to their clients and it means they are better equipped to meet the need of those clients now and in the future (therefore increasing their own revenue).
Gaining regular client insight should be a core part of any businesses marketing strategy (I would say that wouldn’t I!). It needed be an expensive or time consuming exercise, if you’re not collecting satisfaction data from your clients at the moment then I’d advise you start with the ‘Net Promoter Score’ a simple and effective metric for measuring client loyalty.
I’ll stop there as I could talk about this all day! Please do contact me me if you’d like a chat about how client listening can fit into your practice growth plans or check out my client listening guide and worksheet to help you plan out your client listening programme.