How to Effectively Use Client Surveys to Boost Your Business
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As an organizational consultant, you need to know how you’re doing in the eyes of your clients. However, you can’t assume they’ll openly tell you their feedback to your face. They might if they’re extraordinarily pleased, but if there’s room for improvement, they’ll probably balk. That’s why client surveys are so useful.
What Is a Client Survey?
Client surveys are the means that allow people to provide their thoughts about your business in a structured manner. You can format them in a variety of ways, depending on your needs. For example, you might have people rate factors of your business using a numerical scale and writing open-ended comments if they wish.
Or, you could write a statement such as, “I feel my sessions provide me with valuable tips I can apply to my life and work,” then ask people to say how much they agree with it.
You also have the option of allowing people to submit surveys anonymously or provide their names if desired. Taking that approach works well if you’re afraid respondents may not be entirely honest if they have to identify themselves.
Examples of When to Use Client Surveys
There are various occasions when it’s appropriate to tell your clients you’d appreciate it if they’d fill out surveys. If your business is relatively new, and you’re still figuring out its scope and specific client services, you could ask, “How could I serve you better?” as one of the questions.
Or, if you recently hosted a gathering for clients, questions on a post-event survey could pinpoint the things people liked best, versus the aspects they didn’t think were as valuable.
When you’re considering rebranding your business, the insights from client surveys could help you steer the company in a direction that makes sense for your clients and your future goals. Consider asking your employees or subcontractors, if you have any, to complete the survey first. You might even let them fill out the content on tablets, especially since research shows tablets boost productivity at workplaces.
1. How to Find Survey Resources
Although there are plenty of premium survey creators and sites, you don’t have to set aside a significant budget to use client surveys at your organizational consultancy business. You can set up polls online and find numerous free or low-cost resources with a few straightforward search engine queries.
SurveyMonkey is an example of a survey-creating site with a free plan, as well as several paid tiers.
Surveyplanet allows you to use your free account to create an unlimited amount of survey questions, too. Consider doing that if you want to experiment with different words and phrases when making your questions.
2. Let Surveys Support Business Growth
It’s natural to hope all the feedback from your client surveys will come back glowingly positive. But, the reality is people will likely weigh in on things they’d like you to change. If you list your company on customer review sites, some of the comments provided could have spurred you to undergo a business shift. Surveys work similarly.
Or, you might realize, based on the collective feedback, that people repeatedly brought up feedback that doesn’t directly suggest a change, but highlights something you hadn’t understood before.
They also facilitate “testing the waters” before you offer a new service, introduce new business hours, start accepting a new type of payment or something else that could help your organization thrive. Instead of just assuming your clients will appreciate the change, build a survey first to verify that’s true. You may end up realizing it’s better to grow your business differently, depending on what your clients think.
By positioning surveys so people feel like they directly impact your company, they should feel excited about taking them and get the impression that you care about their opinions.
Surveys Could Help You Make Strides Instead of Becoming Stagnant
Your business will almost certainly enjoy success if you actively keep it progressing forward, instead of being content with how things are now. Surveys could provide the information you need to continue simultaneously pleasing clients and profiting.
Photo © iStock.com / ilkercelik
Kayla Matthews is the owner and editor of the self-improvement and efficiency blog, ProductivityTheory.com. Her work has appeared on Inc.com, Fast Company, Tiny Buddha and FinerMinds. To read more posts from Kayla, follow her on Facebook and Twitter.