When it comes to designing a great client feedback survey, it can be quite subjective in what is considered great. In this post, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on what has worked well and the thoughts behind its structure and line of questions.
There have been times where I have personally completed a survey and have ended up questioning the questions and the value the answers would provide. There might be solid marketing theory behind them but it felt like they were more concerned about my impression of them rather than caring about my experience.
How do I approach creating client feedback surveys?
Setup & Positioning
The first step to consider is how you to want to setup and position the survey with your clients. For me it is simple wording that you care about your client, their experience and the best way to help us is to complete the survey.
Using an email to invite your client to complete the online survey is a great option.
There are many differing opinions on when it should be sent, however I believe as soon as possible at the end of the experience you want to know about is best. People are busy living their daily lives and how they feel and recalling details about an experience can quickly be forgotten. Get the feedback while it is fresh!
Concisely recap the purpose of the survey first, after all we’re talking about a few clicks since we’ve told them the first time which is a long time in e-mail and internet time.
Next many would naturally assume to make it mandatory for them to enter their name and contact details but here is where I think differently, I prefer to make it optional.
As a business, you are far better off getting positive and negative feedback from someone who is anonymous and being honest than someone who is feeling compelled to provide positive feedback. Explain how you would love to know who they are so you could respond if needed but it’s fine if they don’t.
It is by selecting the right questions that will really help you gauge your clients experience and identify issues that really impacted their thoughts and feelings.
As an example here are some of my favourite types of questions (in my preferred order) for seeking feedback from a prospective client who has gone on the journey of becoming a new client:
- Expectations (The most important question) – Overall were your expectations met?
By sheer definition this is measuring whether your client’s belief that something will happen did happen. A great rating indicates that the journey went well. A not so great rating will make the next set of questions even more important to determine where the client felt let down.
- Informed and Aware – Did we keep you informed along the journey?
Having regular communication and structured touch points with your clients helps keep them informed and comfortable. If your clients are chasing you for updates or don’t know where things are placed it’ll show up with this question.
- Address Questions & Concerns – From start to finish did we answer all your questions and concerns?
From my experience, some people are reluctant to ask questions even if they feel uncomfortable about something. It can be from a lack of self-confidence, lack of knowledge or for many other reasons. Make it clear at the end of every conversation whether by telephone, email or skype that we’re here if you have any questions, no matter how big or small, it is our job to help you understand and provide comfort. Having this question helps reassure your team they are on the right track with providing the comfort your clients need.
- Efficiency and Reliability – Were we consistently good & reliable? Did we do what we said we would?
This is where your business processes and service delivery gets measured. Not getting a good rating? You need to review what went wrong and your processes immediately. Avoid the same issues from re-occurring.
- Referable – Based on your experience would you be comfortable recommending us to a friend or colleague?
A mid to high (positive) rating can simply suggest that it’s too early despite a wonderful experience to recommend someone. A low rating is a clear sign that something went wrong. The start of a new client relationship should be wonderful, smooth and stress free.
- Additional Feedback & Suggestions – What can we do better? Do you have any other feedback or suggestions?
Give your clients the opportunity to provide more information that they want to share. A simple multiline text field works a treat. You will find some clients use it to express a nice message, some will leave it blank and others will use it for the opportunity to share a real personal pain point or annoyance.
The Importance of Sharing
Making sure you share the results with your team is as important as breaking it down from a business perspective. If there is a great comment about a team member praise them, if there is a negative one, handle it discretely. Your team will love knowing what is working, what isn’t and what can be improved.
A great client feedback survey should always be about your client and their experience. Don’t fall into the trap of asking questions that experts say you should ask.