Asking your clients for feedback about the services that you provide enables you to find out how you are perceived by your clients and allows you to improve your offerings. It is also a fantastic way to show your clients that you value their opinion – especially if you make changes as a direct result of their feedback.
1. Decide on a Platform
What platform are you going to use to conduct your survey? Are your clients more likely to fill out a hard copy survey form, participate in a telephone survey, or complete a survey conducted online? There are many free online survey tools available, including my personal favourite Survey Monkey.
2. Decide on a Frequency
Are you going to send out your survey on an annual basis – either at the end of the calendar year or financial year? Quarterly? There is no right or wrong answer here, but you want to be doing it frequently enough that you can pick up on deficiencies and rectify them before they become an issue, but not so often that your clients become fed up with surveys and send them straight to the bin!
3. Who are you going to send it to?
Decide which of your clients you are going to survey – the casual clients, the regular clients, the one-off clients, the new clients etc … You need to decide what clients you want to hear from and what you want to know. You need to consider your client’s ability to answer the questions – will the answer be based on considered opinion or be an instantaneous response because they have been put on the spot? Their answers will be based on their experiences which could be quite limited in the case of a new client, and many clients may only have used certain services and not your services as a whole.
4. Decide on a format
Will it be numerical (giving a rating on a scale of 1 to 10), non-numerical (low-medium-high) or open response questions (How can we improve our service?) Which of these formats is more likely to give you the answers and information that you want from your survey?
5. Ask the right questions
You need to make sure that you ask the right questions. What is it that you want to know? The golden rule is to keep it simple!
- How happy are you with the standard of customer service?
- How happy are you with the delivery time of our services?
- What extra services would you like to see us offer?
- Are you happy with the quality of services provided?
- How can we improve our service?
- Do you find our staff knowledgeable and professional?
- How likely are you to recommend us to your friends and colleagues?
Now this is by no means a comprehensive list – there are many different questions that you could ask your clients, depending on the industry that you are in and the feedback that you are looking for.
6. Consider offering incentives
Offering incentives for a survey respondent’s time is a great way to increase your survey response rates. You could consider offering a small cash payment, a discount on their next invoice or purchase a small prize and offer entry into a draw to win that prize.