On December 13, Mike Phillips, AIA, IIDA, President and Founder, Phillips Architecture PA, will present the Webinar "Enhance Your Client Relations: Six A/E/C Myths That Disrupt Marketing and Business Development." SMPS recently interviewed Mike about his interest in this topic, effective ways to collect and utilize client feedback, program takeaways for Webinar participants, and interesting trends. Here's what Mike had to share with us.
SMPS: What unique qualifications do you bring to this program?
Phillips: As the founder and President of Phillips Architecture for over 25 years, I saw the need for a client feedback collection system and the Client Feedback Tool was born out of a joint effort between architects, engineers, and construction professionals. Our system is now in use by more than 1,500 A/E/C professionals across the US and Canada. We have collected and analyzed more than 30,000 packets of feedback from clients revealing some extraordinary myths that have disrupted the prosperity in our industry. As the group most focused on utilizing client feedback for strategic advantage for our industry, we have become the industry expert for understanding not only how to collect the best feedback but how to utilize feedback for optimum advantage to both parties. Since less than 5% of firms have a structured system for collecting and utilizing client feedback, this strategy creates a substantial competitive advantage.
SMPS: In your research and experience with this topic, what is the most effective way you have seen a firm apply the concepts?
Phillips: When a firm only looks at profit, you can be misled as to how you are being perceived by your client. When you add client feedback to your review, you become much more aware of how the process your firm is using is seen by the client, relative to the client’s expectations. This more complete understanding allows the firm to identify, for each client, what processes are working (and can be continued) and what processes can be revised to make the firm more valuable to the client. This data also makes project teams more aware of the differences in various clients in a manner that promotes more flexibility and accountability among the team members.
SMPS: What is the most important takeaway participants will gain from this program?
Phillips: When you utilize a client feedback system to better understand client expectations and perceptions, you can see where you are building value with clients. This info helps identify:
• optimum assignments for each team member
• most effective training
• client loyalty and best referrals
• problems when they are smaller and easier to address
• performance of team members to improve retention
• value created for each client for better pricing and fee setting
SMPS: What is the most interesting trend you are following? How do you think this trend will impact professional services marketing and business development, especially in the design and building industry?
Phillips: Eighty-five percent of the feedback we process from clients says that their professionals are “exceeding their expectations.” Yet we price our services as if they felt just the opposite. When a firm becomes more accurately aware of their value, from each client’s perspective, they tend to do business in a more strategic manner. This process improvement benefits both client and firm but has to be initiated by the firm.
To learn more, register today for “Enhance Your Client Relations: Six A/E/C Myths That Disrupt Marketing and Business Development” on December 13, 2011, at 2:00 pm EDT, 1:00 pm CDT, Noon MDT, 11:00 am PDT. (P.S. Use the code HOLIDAY15 when you check out and you will save 15% on all Webinar purchases through December 31!)