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March 29, 2016

Not doing Client Satisfaction surveys for yourself? Whuuuuut?!

survey28 Tips for Building Better Services with Surveys

In the perfect personification of ‘the cobbler’s’ children having no shoes,’ I am amazed at how many market research firms – that conduct studies for clients across the U.S. and around the world – don’t conduct any for themselves.

And the oddest one of those is the huge percentage of firms that don’t conduct a client satisfaction survey after each project. Why is that?

At the risk of ‘preaching to the choir,’ here are 8 proven tips for easy and effective Client Satisfaction surveys:

  • Keep it short and simple… your client ought to be able to complete the survey in literally 2-3 minutes.
  • Most questions should be in two parts: 1) A rating part and 2) The why-did-you-give-it-that-rating part. The verbatim comments you’ll get back are critical!
  • Don’t settle for just the high-level ‘how’d we do?’ questions. Instead, be specific. Drill down a few layers. Remember, you’re looking to be able to operationalize the responses, so ask questions that allow you to do that. For example, don’t just ask to ‘Please rate your Project Manager on a scale of 1-5.’ Ask your clients to rate the PM’s professionalism, responsiveness, knowledge, proactivity, etc.
  • At the end, ask the “magic question”… If we could have done just one thing that would have improved your experience with us, what would that be?
  • Be persistent. Send the ‘survey invitation’ to your primary project contact at the close of every project. And if they don’t complete the survey in the first few days, send them an email reminder.
  • Track and trend (and graph) the data over time… you want to see it continually ticking upward.
  • Share the data with your staff… not only does this show your employees that you are keeping an eye on the details, but it allows you to publicly recognize them when their scores improve. [I’ve even used this kind of data in the past to help determine manager bonuses.]
  • Most importantly, operationalize the details. In the Project Manager example above, learning about their knowledge or their responsiveness provides you with fodder for employee reviews and opens the door to training opportunities. If you’re a tech provider – you might learn about glitches in the software or how your support team is really Running a focus groups facility? Maybe it’s time to bring in the ‘good’ coffee. The point is… take what your clients tell you and use it to GET BETTER AT WHAT YOU DO.

Client Satisfaction surveys are an easy and virtually free way to key an eye on client relationships and – more importantly – to help create a pathway toward improving your services and the client experience.

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