It’s our hope that by now, you are wholeheartedly convinced of the value an interview program can provide. If anyone is still on the fence, here is a previously unmentioned bonus value that might just seal the deal: client interviews are one of the best ways to identify and track trends and themes, not only within your firm, but also externally, in the business world.
Once several interviews have been conducted, we recommend preparing a report that identifies prominent trends and themes. A trend analysis considers information across all interviews, and typically reveals common themes such as a firm’s image and reputation, competition, specific strengths and weaknesses, price issues, technology use, knowledge of firm capabilities, and more. We recommend sharing the trends and themes at an all-firm meeting.
Several firms that have conducted interviews use the trends/themes as the starting point for developing a firm-wide business plan focused on client service—a plan with specific action steps for retaining and getting additional work from all clients.
Interviews also provide a perfect opportunity to learn what your clients are seeing and hearing about the future of their industries. Perhaps you interview three financial clients, and all three point out the same up and coming technology advancement that will change their business in 2015. Take note of this! It’s likely that a change in their business will impact how you work with them, and enable you to provide better service to all your financial clients.
It may be helpful to align your trend analysis with the pre-interview research that was conducted.