Seven ways to get the most out of a client satisfaction survey

Nov 13, 2017

"Client satisfaction surveys" or "client perception studies" in the architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental consulting industry are about a lot more than putting a quick happiness rating on a client. When conducted correctly, these surveys can be powerful tools to inform your firm's strategic or marketing plan. Here are seven things you can do to get the most out of your firm's client satisfaction survey:
  1. Start with the end in mind. Brainstorm some high level questions you need answered about your firm and your firm's future, then write them down. This can be things such as: what markets would be best to enter in the future, what trends are happening in your industry, what areas of your firm you need to invest in, or who needs to be promoted. If you ask the right questions of your clients, the themes identified in their answers can help inform you on your course of action.
  2. Don't waste your client's time. Don't ask questions that won't be used as insights into the questions you need answered. If a respondent's job title won't be useful information, don't ask for it. By keeping focus on your high
  3. Use survey best-practices. A few examples of questions that violate best practices are things such as leading questions "Do you agree that," using different numeric rating scales, or asking more than one thing in a question.
  4. Make sure your results are going to be clear and measurable. In addition to #1, make sure that the output of your survey will be readable. Instead of asking a long complex questions that will elicit paragraphs of response, ask a few shorter questions. A mix of multiple choice, numeric rating, and open response can also be helpful.
  5. Question order and logical flow is important. Help your clients "warm up" to the big heavy-hitting questions. Start with a few easy questions and logically lead into questions that will require more insight.
  6. Target the right people with the right survey. While you don't need to send every person you've ever worked with on any kind of job a client perception survey, you may need to send more than one person in an organization a survey in order to get their differing perspectives. Depending on your organization, you may need different surveys for different business segments or for clients involved in active vs past projects.
  7. Think about your vehicle. How are you going to conduct your survey? You can get a higher volume of surveys out faster and possibly more response with an electronic survey, but you will get much more detailed insights from a phone interview. Your clients may also be more likely to be honest with a person outside of your firm, or someone who wasn't working on their job.
This month is a great time to get client feedback and start formulating your plans for next year. So don't delay! If constructing and conducting a client feedback survey doesn't fit in your busy schedule, let Zweig Group handle it! Contact: Christina Zweig, Marketing Director Direct: 479.856.6112 Mobile: 479.445.7564

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.