Getting quality feedback – some of which will turn into top testimonials – can be hard, as some clients can be just as shy giving criticism or praise. But getting them to open up is always worth it.
Build a relationship
Over the course of a project, you often have valuable time to get to know your client. Even if you only see each other for a few minutes at the beginning or end of the day, discuss the work, offer advice and listen to their observations. If your client is not on site, keep them updated on your progress with pictures sent via email or text to help build that trust. People are much more open with those they know and trust than someone they see as a stranger.
A client is much more likely to give honest feedback if they think you would do the same for them. During the project, be prepared to offer your own advice and fairly assess your work as you go along.
Don’t rush in
When the project is complete, don’t be too quick to ask for feedback and, when you do, give a client time to respond. Make a point of explaining how valuable their assessment is to you, and ask them to respond in their own time.
Sometimes, a leading question helps to get a client talking, such as “What do you think of the finish on the skirting boards?” or “Now you can see the room with your furniture in it, are you happy with how the colour turned out?”
Give them some space
While it’s always good to ask for a testimonial in person, you have a better chance of getting constructive criticism if it isn’t face-to-face. Consider sending follow-up questions via email, so your client doesn’t feel awkward about pointing out areas they were less happy with. Some of these may be unfair, and you can politely correct misunderstandings, but don’t get into a debate, and always tell them you are grateful for the feedback. Sometimes, you’ll get a response that can genuinely help you improve your client relationships.