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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Questions for client satisfaction surveys

A reader sent this question yesterday:

Hello Mark. I discovered your name while googling the topic of Client Satisfaction Surveys. I am wondering if you happen to know of any simple 3-5 questions that businesses have asked in person to clients while discussing a current or just completed project? Thank you Mark in advance for any assistance you can provide. Dave
The response here is worthy of deeper research than this brief blog posting indicates. The right answer gets into the (controversial) territory of Fred Reichheld's Net Promoter Score -- and the concept that "satisfaction" is not enough: You want your clients so enthusiastic that they will eagerly recommend your business to their friends, and even complete strangers.

The key question, according to Reichheld, is: "How likely are you to recommend our company to friends of colleagues?"

What about the other questions? Our general business consultant, Bill Caswell, recommends you keep your surveys to no more than three questions, as you will capture 80 per cent of the key information in these responses -- and results are lost in longer surveys, either because people won't complete them, or our minds are lost in the chaos of too many questions.

So, what about the other two questions? I'll leave it to you, but think they should relate to what you think is a key operational sensitivity; something you sense may need improving. Remember, while you are hoping for good news in the survey, what you really want to discover is if things need to be fixed, so if the question(s) are troubling you, they probably are right to ask.

I invite readers here to share their thoughts on this issue, as well.

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