If you saw the movie American Pie 2, you may recall that one of the main characters, Jim, was going to be visited over his first summer of college by his old foreign exchange friend Nadia. Certain that he was going to have sex, Jim got really excited about it and then got scared when he wondered, “Am I any good?” (I apologize if I have disturbed you with my recall of this movie, I may have seen it one too many times.)
Ever had that happen to you in business? Not the sex but the doubt if you were really as good as you thought you were.
This is where testimonials/client feedback can be useful. In many cases, we are scared to ask for feedback on how we are doing as we are afraid of the answer. As if the client not telling us personally somehow means that it's not real.
Client feedback/testimonials are great for a couple of reasons.
The first is obviously that you gain insight into how you are doing from a service standpoint. Do you suck at getting back to people? You're clients will tell you? Do your clients feel like you don't listen to them? They will tell you that to. (This time you need to make sure you listen.)
The second reason is that getting client feedback gives you the opportunity to see why your clients chose your product/service. The best part about this is that a lot of times it's not for the reasons that you think it is. As a creator of products/services, it's virtually impossible to look at your work from the end user perspective. I don't care how intuitive you are. Client feedback/testimonials allow you to see from the client's perspective which in turn allows you to speak their language when communicating with them.
At the end of American Pie 2, Jim realizes that through feedback from past relationships (the girl from band camp), what he actually wants wasn't the foreign exchange student after all. He wouldn't have seen that had he not asked for the feedback and for better or for worse, there would have been no American Wedding.
What next steps are you missing from your business because you aren't talking with your clients? What breakthroughs have you had as a result of talking with your clients?