Client surveys are a critical component of your overall business plan and should be incorporated into your marketing plan as well. Your surveys measure satisfaction or dissatisfaction with services you offer your clients.
Client surveys should be designed to determine your clients’ vital needs as well as building and deepening your personal relationships. The results of your survey can aide your firm in building invaluable loyalty and prompt existing clients to provide qualified referrals.
Firms that incorporate client surveys within their overall business and marketing plan position themselves ahead of their competitors. However, it doesn’t stop there – you must be prepared to process the information you receive from your surveys and take action in order to have an impact on your overall strategy and incorporate excitement among your clients.
Benefits of Client Surveys
- Client Retention: A well planned client survey allows your firm to gather client feedback which can greatly improve client retention rates.
- Performance Opinions: Clients are your best judge of your products, services, and performance. Utilize your client survey to determine where areas of improvement are needed.
- New Trends/Innovative Ideas: Gain knowledge through your client survey by taking advantage of suggestions to improve products or introduce a new one.
6 Must Dos With a Client Survey
1) Increase Your Bottom Line: The sale doesn’t stop when your client signs the paperwork. Unfortunately, many firms don’t have a solid client communication process in place. Part of your system should include a survey once a prospect becomes a client. Demonstrate the importance of your survey to your clients by communicating how the survey enables you to better serve them. Incorporate surveys into your new client process to aide in your client retention strategy.
2) Replicate the Process: Create the stage and allow your clients to tell a story. A survey with number rankings will not produce the information you need to toot your horn or make changes. When clients can illustrate what you and your team did well, you will want to replicate the process to be certain it becomes routine.
3) Develop Meaningful Questions: Craft your survey to encourage open-ended feedback by incorporating open-ended questions. Yes and no answers will not provide you with the comprehensive information you need or desire. Dig diligently to find the questions you want answered and integrate ways for clients to refer to specific examples.
4) Be Ready For Change: Avoid taking the time and effort of creating and distributing client surveys without the intention of making changes or improvements. Assimilate surveys into your marketing plan to leverage opportunities to stand ahead of your competition. If clients are asking for more information regarding certain topics or say they never read your newsletter, be certain to take the suggestions to heart. Assign someone in your office or a team of people dedicated to collaborate and brainstorm for ways to implement survey responses. Announce changes through email blasts, social media, and newsletters. This will create excitement among your clients, especially the ones that made the suggestion.
5) Test Different Survey Methods: Most clients will complete a survey as long as they know it is confidential; they don’t want you to know who is making comments. Avoid putting your clients in an awkward position by offering different survey methods that are easily accessible. Some options include using a third party, email surveys, website feedback, or a free survey site such as SurveyMonkey. Many firms have reported significantly better results through a simple phone conversation with clients. Test the water to find what fits best for your clients and provides you with valuable information.
6) WOW Your Client: If you use a survey method where you can identify the client, create added value by sending a handwritten thank you note or calling them to say thanks. How many times have you been thanked for completing a survey? Thanking your clients will show you genuinely care about their input and build stronger relationships. This will earn you a WOW factor!
Consider client surveys an empowering and enlightening tool essential to your business and marketing plan and incorporate comments into your strategic SWOT analysis. Keep surveys brief, if they are too long, no one will return them.
In addition to offering your survey at the beginning of your relationship with a new client, implement a recurring survey strategy to capitalize on new market trends and opportunities. You may want to take a leap and survey prospects as well. A well-managed survey process will reveal a client-focused culture.
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