Many of you, like me are listening intently to where you want to take your companies into 2016. For me, I am trying to wrap my hands around a few items regarding clients. It is critical to get feedback from clients and continue to keep in touch with their needs, pains and support opportunities. Our clients need to experience success in 2016 and it is up to us to insure we are helping to do our part.
- What type of problems are clients trying to solve in 2016?
- Are clients looking at implementing some major projects in 2016 and what are they?
- What are clients saying/not saying about our services?
There are many other areas I am looking at with respect to clients, but these items are quickly becoming my priority.
What type of problems are clients trying to solve in 2016?
About this time of year, many companies identify their direction they plan on taking with respect to their companies. Many companies are looking at acquisitions. Acquisitions affect everyone. It is critical to find out about this type of information if possible. Many times, companies go into reaction mode once the announcement of a major acquisition has been announced. I am seeing these types of acquisition deals being implemented much faster. Being connected to the right people is the key. A company could lose a client overnight if a decision is made to no longer use your company in favor of one of another company.
Are clients looking at implementing some major projects in 2016 and what are they?
Again, if you can find out this type of information, it will help you better understand the clients’ future direction. In addition, there may be a way that you can be a part of a new project initiative. In addition, you need to be aware of these type of projects because they could impact your company. This type of information will also help you understand the clients’ industry a bit better and you can get a sense for where the industry is headed.
What are clients saying/not saying about our services?
This item is critical. If you are not capturing client feedback, you really need to start today. Also, consider sending out a survey to your current clients asking for their feedback. This information has been very valuable to our company and we have implemented many projects based on input from seeking client responses. The “not saying” part is also critical. Make sure to look at your current clients’ performance. Are any companies doing significantly more or less business in 2015 than in previous years? Look for trends. You will easily see these trends when you look at total dollars received. Also, check your contact with clients. Many times when communication drops, it could signal a sign that the company has decided to pull its business from your company.
Every day, we should be collecting client data in some way through our client service and sales team, but at some point in the year this information needs to be gathered, collected and analyzed in order to make decisions going forward. Listening to clients always pays off. ALWAYS! It may not always be the news we want to hear, but it is better to be connected to clients to cut down on the need to be reactive. Take some proactive steps today to listen to clients and use this information for your future 2016 strategic plans.
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