Top 10 tips to surveying your clients
Have you struggled to create effective client surveys? Are you left wondering what they really think about what you deliver?
Most businesses struggle to get actionable feedback from clients. And that’s what you need to improve service and make internal changes.
Here are our top 10 tips for effective surveys, but first, a warning: Don’t do client insight properly, unless you are truly prepared to change:
Seeing the unvarnished truth can be dangerous.
1. Have a pure intent – don’t use a survey as pretence to try & sell clients something…
2. Email surveys work for private client feedback in professional services firms – email surveys are a cost effective, but blunt tool for a mass audience – but they don’t get a good enough response rate from commercial clients. So only use these for consumer focused feedback, not B2B.
3. Email will never give you the ‘why’ behind the reply - high value, trusted advice & guidance, or complex matter – understanding the why is all that really matters. That’s why speaking on the phone is the best for unpicking the detail.
4. Think about how you can use the insight - Could you use the insight and client scores as part of your quality management processes? Remunerate staff differently? A marketing tool? Decide this before you start – it can effect how and what you ask.
5. Why should clients reply? – Be brief, be focused and commit to putting service at the heart of the business and they will help you. Show you heard them - take prompt action on the feedback. Making a donation to charity for every completed survey doesn’t hurt either.
6. Don’t look for a pat on the back – Ask for the unvarnished truth, look to improve – you’ll get the motivating positive feedback on the way.
7. Clients like you, so unless you dig, they are unlikely to tell you the truth.
8. Be ruthless, how many questions would you personally bother answering? – 30+ questions? Really? Think four or five – but get in depth answers.
9. Just to be clear - a survey that doesn’t drive business change is a waste of time. Be objective, and make sure you can, and do, take action on the results.
10. Set a clear business context for the survey – Is it about service? About brand? It makes designing the questions much easier.