What happens when you ask for feedback…
It’s very easy to get so close to your business that you can be in danger of assuming you know:
- how your brand is perceived
- what your clients value
- what they would prefer you did differently
- what to do to bring in new clients
It’s easily done, all businesses whatever their size need to occasionally stop, take a breath and take a look at themselves. Bit like popping a drone up to get a good view of what’s going on.
At Vervate, we have grown considerably over the last 18 months, and are offering new services that we felt would really work for current and new clients. None of it was made up lightly or quickly, and all as a result of our experiences. The time was right to stop, and ask those we work with the most – marketing, communications and business development experts – what they really think and check we are at least on track.
To do that, we asked market research company Aviatrix to organise a focus group with such experts. Helen Bailey (right) is the MD of Aviatrix, and has an experienced way of being inciteful, prompting discussion, and making things fun at the same time. One of the experts that attended actually contacted me after the group and said, “I sat down and thought ‘Oh no this is going to be really boring!’ – but we actually over-ran, it was really interesting.” Now that is a compliment Helen!
So what happened?
Well the principle thing I learned after meeting the Aviatrix team for a plenary session, was that we are really well thought of. I was to be honest really overwhelmed by the positive feedback. You know what, despite good testimonials and a general feel that you are on the right track, having experts like these guys describe your company in such a positive light is very empowering.
I write this on the day that Britain decided to leave the EU. There is a huge amount of confusion, anger, worry and concern – not least for businesses as the pound is all over the place. I am glad I know at least that we are doing something right that businesses need, and to keep focusing on that in the months ahead.
The participants at the focus group also had some amazing ideas. Completely brilliant – some just tweaks, some bigger ideas. We at Vervate are already looking at how we can implement nearly all of them, and it will be apparent over the next few months what some of those ideas were!
In the meantime, I absolutely encourage you to ask an expert like Helen to run something like this for your own business or department. It is an incredibly empowering and fascinating exercise. The important thing is to be honest, open and ready to take on whatever the feedback is. After all, there’s no point in continuously going down a wrong path – and you may get lucky like me and get some fantastic ideas about strategic ways forward. Win:Win.