As a service industry Market research is the key mechanism to understanding the consumer.
Many large Market Research companies have their own in-house Fieldwork departments but small companies rely on independent dedicated Fieldwork companies.
Under the Market Research Society Code of Conduct, Market Research companies have a responsibility to ensure fieldwork is carried out according to strict guidelines relating to data protection and reliability. Therefore, Market Research companies which outsource their fieldwork must have absolute faith in the Fieldwork Company they are working with.
Building a successful business is based on gaining respect with your clients, which in turn leads to trust and ultimately loyalty to you as a service provider.
Respect comes from being honest and transparent with your clients – never promise to do things that you can’t deliver! You can seriously damage your reputation as a company by stretching the truth about your services. Clients will appreciate your honesty and it will help you to develop a trusting relationship.
Your knowledge and expertise will earn you respect among your clients and peers, but so will being easy to communicate with and always acting in a fair and honest manner.
Always completing a project efficiently and successfully will encourage clients to trust you and your ability as an agency, which will bring them back to you over and over again with repeat business.
So how do these Fieldwork agencies give more and what are the benefits to them and their clients?
Extra value is not just about value for money but also attention to detail, clients need to feel they are important to you. As Sam Walton Founder of Walmart once said
“The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but LEGENDARY.”
The best way to add value and to stand out from the crowd is to have excellent client relationships. To do this you must: –
- Be honest, credible and keep your integrity (if you say something, make sure you do it, on time)
- Have compassion in your deals with clients (we are all human)
- Learn about your client and look for ways you can help each other.
- Pass on additional pieces of information that may be beneficial to your client
This will show clients you have a holistic approach to your business. When there is a problem with a project don’t just inform the client ‘the project was impossible’ think through the problem and suggest a solution for your client. For example, if there are difficulties recruiting a particular project identify the barrier and inform the client with a suggestion of maybe moving the focus groups to a different time of day or different location more suited to the audience. This will earn you more respect – and gratitude!
Communication is a two-way process, so listen to your clients. If there is a problem deal with it as quickly as possible and learn from your mistakes. Ask for feedback and try to use criticism in a positive way. Clients who feel that they are ‘heard’ will instantly have a rapport with you and your company.
We all thrive on attention and our clients are no different. In the fast-paced world of digital technology, face to face communication is probably still the most effective way of building an excellent relationship with your clients. We can all pick up the phone and have a chat, even when we are very busy, it is essential to find time to talk with our clients. Keeping them up to date with how their current project is going, feeding-back on any issues, and following up after a project has been completed, to make sure the analysis of the results are clear, will reinforce their relationship with you and loyalty to your company. Even when you are not carrying out work for a client keep in touch using a variety of methods- emails, blogs, newsletters, phone calls and face to face meetings, to reinforce that your client is important to you.
A personal connection between you and your client can lead to: –
- positive word-of-mouth,
- increased sales,
- additional contacts,
- job security and satisfaction.
Investing time in your clients will ultimately help you build a strong connection with them, which in turn will help you build a strong business.
For more information on building client relationships, the following articles may be of interest