Don’t leave your clients hanging

A common concern we hear from service providers that conduct regular client satisfaction surveys is what to do after surveying their clients.

There is plenty of work to be done while surveys are in the field: reaching out to detractors and moving through issue resolution; celebrating service wins and recognizing internal staff; providing a nudge to those clients who haven’t yet responded to the survey (to name just a few). But when the survey closes, your NPS® has been calculated, and feedback has been consolidated – what action steps remain?

First things first – it’s essential that you review and communicate client feedback and survey results throughout the organization. How else can you expect to improve?

But there’s another question about what to say to your clients after the survey has closed.

 

Basic requirements for client follow up

Think about the last time you responded to a survey. Did you hear anything back after you answered the questions posed to you? Probably not.

Closing the loop is the most often missed part of the survey process.

The team at Inavero has worked with hundreds of business service providers to administer thousands of client satisfaction surveys, and we’ve found that prompt communication to your clients at the close of the survey is essential for building goodwill towards the project.

Alternatively – failing to continue the conversation invites disappointment and may have a negative impact on response rates in the future.

At a minimum, it’s essential that you follow up every single survey initiative with a ‘thank you’ to your clients for their time and input, as their feedback is allowing you to improve the experience you provide.

But in reality, a simple ‘thank you’ is just a baseline requirement for survey follow up. There’s immense value to be gained by taking the next step and actually sharing the results of your survey initiative with clients. This type of openness and transparency invites clients to engage more deeply with the survey process, and demonstrates to them how serious you are about taking action on their feedback.

“But how do we do that?” Great question. The most efficient, and universally impactful, strategy we’ve found is what we call the “2-1-1 follow up methodology” – detailed below.

 

The 2-1-1 formula

2 things you’re doing well:

  • Start by taking the opportunity to “toot your own horn” – share 2 things you learned you’re doing really well. Do a majority of your clients think you’re very responsive? Share it with pride! Satisfaction surveys aren’t (and shouldn’t be) meant to just identify what you’re doing wrong, but also recognize and reinforce areas where your organization and team excel.

 

1 area you learned needs improvement:

  • Next, share 1 area of your service delivery you learned you can improve on. While you will likely receive feedback that identifies opportunities for improvement in various aspects of your service offering, the key is to zero in on your most common service issue that can realistically be improved.

 

1 action you’re taking to improve:

  • Wrap it all up by sharing a brief description of 1 plan of action you’ve implemented to establish change that relates to resolving the service issue identified. Something measurable is best so that your clients can actually read and recognize the improvement as it’s happening and equate it to the feedback they’ve provided.

 

(As a best practice, this information should be distributed to your entire client list that received the survey invite, regardless if they responded or not.)

 

Why this method works

2-1-1 survey follow up provides the best of both worlds – you’re able to show off and credibly identify what you’re already doing well, while also providing transparency into your plan of action for improvement – an area that clients will now feel invested in, and you’ll feel more accountable to make meaningful change!

Above all else, this messaging tells your clients you’ve listened to them – encouraging them to continue to engage with future survey efforts.

It shows you’ve analyzed the input they’ve given you and devised a plan to resolve issues.

And, it shows your dedication to improve the experience clients have working with you.

Ready? Set? Go! Take action on your plan and schedule your next survey to measure the success of your improvements.