Step 1 - Ask for it.
Ask for it at the beginning of the sales process and every interaction you have after that. Ask for it via every medium (e.g. phone, in-person, email, fax, etc.). Be consistent.
Step 2 - Act on it.
If you ask for feedback, and you don't act on it, the feedback will stop coming.
do what Oracle does cause it works: give your clients something in return if they give you valuable feedback or serve as references in advertising, marketing, sales situations.
You get feedback from clients in a variety of ways some of which are: Through questionnaires that you administer to them after seeking their consent to participate. Secondly, feedbacks can be obtained informally through discussions with them. I have discovered that people tend to be more sincere when you discuss with them informally and in a rather relaxed manner. Suggestion boxes also tend to be useful.
Hi Dimitris ~
I find a lot of really useful feedback in client emails. If you're looking for information you can use in a testimonial, for example, review your emails from each client and copy + paste positive material onto a separate page. Then streamline it if necessary (for repetition) and send it to your client, thanking them for their kind words and inquiring whether you might include their feedback on your website's testimonial page (or your blog, Facebook page, etc). Offer to link back to their site as well. Most people will be delighted that you're not asking them to craft a testimonial from scratch, and will approve your using it.
Hope this helps!
I send them a card with each order asking for feedback on a secure site in exchange for a branded baseball cap. We ask for a phone number in case there is a problem. If we see a mismatch for their application (we make pumps for liquids) we send them a letter with our observations and ask them to contact us if they experience trouble in the future. We edit out inappropriate remarks, but leave everything else in. See what they say: http://www.goatthroat.com/listofreview.asp
Since I'm a coach, I get feedback from my clients via feedback forms, in the middle of our coaching relationship as well as the end. Even if I wasn't a coach, I think I would still use two other methods: a well crafted 3 question survey and video or written testimonials. These give me a lot of information that I can use in the future, in multiple ways. I also read a great a book called "Measuring the Success of Coaching" published by ASTD on finding the ROI of coaching. I think this would easily reapply to consulting as well.
Once or twice a year, I have a more 'formal' meeting with some customers (face-to-face) during lunch or diner. First you need a relaxed environment where you can talk and than you just ask some feedback over the past x months. Do not hesitate to ask what the possible work areas are !! It does not all have to be possitive
If you have a large or significant client or customer it makes sense to schedule a formal periodic customer review meeting. In this meeting you can review successes and challenges and potential solutions. This keeps the feedback relevant and useful.
It's good to ask when they are very happy and just spoke to you. I often give them a call and follow up with an email with minimum possible questions. In most of the cases, it comes with a positive testimonial and valuable suggestions for service improvement.