Most professional services firms gather client insight or feedback. Some firms have a well-structured and resourced process for doing so – but the reality is that some firms still don't have a centralised and structured client listening programme.
In our experience, many firms are undertaking some great in-person interviewing with VIPs, key accounts and important clients. These interviews are usually undertaken by an independent partner, or a member of the Business Development team with a relatively small number of clients. As an outcome, a meeting note is often typed up and kept on file somewhere within the firm.
These interviews, and in turn the meeting notes, are usually a fantastic source of really useful insights and client opinions, and often help firms to:
Strengthen their existing relationships
Improve client experiences
Spot opportunities and mitigate risks
Understand what customers think of its brand
Understand how to articulate a firm’s value in the client’s eyes.
On the flipside, these can be quite substantial documents with a lot of content.
When speaking to firms, we often hear that to begin with, it is quite simple to manage these outputs. There are a relatively small number of documents, so if a member of the Business Development team can store them in one place, then they can typically remember what is in each document and, when asked, can easily find the information.
When a few more interviews are undertaken, the person managing the insight might put the records into an Excel sheet or into a document system in order to keep track of the multiple meeting notes. At this point, they need to start making notes to summarise the feedback, or to create some kind of categorisation to help them easily mine the meeting notes. This becomes harder and more complex as more interviews are undertaken, or as more time passes. It becomes harder still when more teams within the firm become aware of how useful the client insight is and when to use parts of it in their work – for example, if the bid team wish to use the insight to inform their work.
How would a market researcher manage the data?
If you asked a market researcher how they would manage this, they would immediately start to categorise each open-ended qualitative question into themes and pull together a simple chart that summarises the feedback for that particular question. They would then repeat this for every question asked. This instantly makes it easy to summarise what is being said. On the flipside, that is a time-consuming process to set up, and equally time-consuming to maintain. It can also be hard to evolve the categorisation themes to match the constantly evolving stories in the feedback, and it doesn’t solve the challenge of being able to find that killer quote you remember reading that would be perfect for today’s pitch.
To resolve this, many firms are realising the benefit of using analytical databases to collate their client feedback so that they are able to analyse ongoing client feedback across their entire office network.
How can we help?
At Acuigen, we use a really great interview tagging feature in our CustomServe platform. This lets the person reading the interview highlight particular parts of a comment made by a client, assign a tag to it, and use the analytical features to easily find it later. Our clients love this, as it not only helps them to keep track of themes in their feedback, but further assists them to easily find the comments and elements they need when they are using the feedback outputs in their working with service teams, bid teams and partners.
Most importantly, this tagging system is dynamic, evolving with the feedback, and the tagging is done by those with the deepest understanding of the client, and with the commercial insight to understand how to apply the information – so instead of spending time searching, doing admin, theming and generally getting frustrated, you can use that time to work with the business on the implications of the feedback, and how it can be used to drive client service and profitability.
Continue the discussion
Want to learn more or continue the conversation? Get in touch with our team or call us on +44 1234 759800 with our service delivery team and we’ll be entirely happy to help.