Monday, December 19, 2011

Collecting Effective Client Feedback

Increasing a firm’s value to their clients improves client loyalty, referrals, profitability, marketing, staff performance and retention, and reduces liability. Improving this value involves tracking client preferences and managing the refinement of staff processes accordingly. This is best accomplished by collecting client feedback to produce actionable data. But knowing how and when to collect the most helpful data is a strategy that eludes most firms.

The ultimate challenge of gathering effective feedback is to make the survey comprehensive while also concise. The system we have developed over the last decade distills the basic survey questions to seven. They are divided into two categories: Deliverables (the client’s perceptions on WHAT the design firm produced) and Relationships (feedback on HOW the firm’s process worked).

Increasing your value to your clients involves measuring your value to your clients and using those metrics to manage improvement. If your firm is not using feedback to measure client value you are missing a valuable chance to better communicate and understand your client. XL insurance, a leading provider of professional liability insurance for design firms, has determined that 8 out of 10 lawsuits against designers stem from poor communication and understanding between design firms and their clients.

Need help gathering client feedback? PSMJ can help! PSMJ, in partnership with DesignFacilitator (founded by the author of this article, Mike Phillips, AIA), has developed a cost-effective survey program to measure client perception and satisfaction that yield rich, highly useful information for the success of your firm, the PSMJ Premier Award for Client Satisfaction. The Premier Award is the A/E/C industry's first client-focused accolade and honors firms that consistently provide their clients with top quality communications, impressive performance, and cost-effective solutions.

By entering this award program, you will get independent, confidential feedback from up to 40 of your most important clients. Additionally, if you win, you will have the winning advantage of marketing your firm as award-winning in client satisfaction. And at only $595, it is a great opportunity to jump-start a client feedback initiative and prove the importance this information has for your firm. You will even receive a customized consultation session to review and help interpret your results with a client feedback expert from DesignFacilitator. With a deal like that, how can you pass up this valuable opportunity to gain a significant advantage in today’s highly competitive marketplace!

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