Client Perception

Qualitative research is all about people's perceptions. What do you see in this photo?

You might think that this silky shark is about to eat this fish, and that the fish is feeling more than a little apprehensive (as well he might).

But you would be wrong, because this pilot fish lives in a symbiotic relationship with the shark, and has little to fear.

As businesses, how often do we wonder how our own clients see us? 

But it's hard to access their true perceptions, and true feelings about us, by ourselves.

The nature of the business / client relationship sometimes means that it may be in either party's best interests to withold information from each other, for fear of damaging the relationship or fear of losing out on service levels.

It is vitally important to understand how our clients perceive us, our products and service:

  • How do we know what they're happy with, and less happy with?
  • How do they view our competitors?
  • What are our great strengths, and weak spots - as they perceive them?
  • What do they value most highly?
  • Are they thinking of choosing an alternative supplier? If so, why?
  • And what, if anything, can be done about it before it's too late?

This is not just about competitor intelligence, although part of it is.

It's about understanding why your clients choose you and your organisation to do business with, how they are feeling in their own roles as clients (so that you can appreciate their needs and pressures in greater depth and with greater understanding), as well as how they are feeling about you, and finding out how you are doing.

An independent market research consultancy is ideal in this situation. Using someone who the clients know won't be hurt, upset or defensive if they want to make criticisms. Someone who won't make assumptions, and who wants to hear the good bits and the not so good bits too.

Ferrier Pearce Creative Group first commissioned us to undertake a Client Perception Study for them in 2008, and it has proved so successful that it has become an annual event.

Not only do they use it as part of their accreditation and to help them with their own client handling and approach, they also use it as part of their marketing.

For more information, please refer to their case history.


If you'd like to know more, or are interested in commissioning a Client Perception Survey of your own, please contact Corky: