Client Insight: How a Client Health Assessment Helped Harvest PR & Marketing Achieve 40% Growth in One Year
Jan Johnson, Chief Product Liberator, Landmark Performance Group & Millennium Research Inc.: What caused you to consider a client health assessment?
Heidi Nielson, Principal & Founder, Harvest PR & Marketing, Inc: Major milestones are a catalyst for reflection. It was no different for Harvest when we reached our 10-year anniversary. As we contemplated shaping the future of the company – how to grow sustainably and profitably – we knew we needed to obtain honest, critical feedback from our current and past clients.
How did your results differ from what you previously thought?
The results reinforced hunches we had about where the business needed bolstering. The difference was having actionable data to justify change. Since completing the client health assessment, we’ve invested primarily in two areas: process and people.
What have you changed since the client health assessment? What did that do for your business?
For starters, we rolled out a new project management and accounting software, FunctionPoint, to streamline our process, thereby helping ensure a consistent, quality client experience as we scale. And, we have augmented our investment in attracting – and keeping – the best people, including adding paid maternity leave, an annual $750 health & wellness budget per employee and, more recently, a “5 for 5” retention program that rewards employees who meet their 5-year anniversary with a $5,000 check or equivalent paid vacation. For me, as a business owner, the client health assessment provided an important benchmark on our performance during a period of growth, and peace of mind of knowing where we stand. In the year following the assessment, Harvest grew nearly 40%. We look forward to measuring client health again to ensure we are maintaining our high client satisfaction marks while improving in areas that needed attention.
What would you say to anyone considering a client health assessment?
It’s transformative. Take a good, honest look at your business with the client health assessment – and then do something with the feedback you receive. Your business will not regret it.