Many account managers and company leaders verbally ask their clients how things are going. And quite often the response they receive is "everything is just fine". However, chances are, not "everything" is fine, which opens the door for account managers to improve service to their clients and build better client relationships.
The Right Survey Tool for the Job
One of the best ways to dig deeper and get past the "everything is just fine" response is to regularly conduct client surveys. A client survey built using online survey software is the ideal way to truly find out what is working, what isn't, and what can be improved upon. Client surveys are a critical resource on a number of fronts: to find out how the product or service is received, to find out how the client relationship is going, to improve products and service offerings, and to propel future growth. They also help to keep loyal clients from quietly exiting to other companies.
A client survey need not be a daunting task, particularly if a relevant survey software is used to build the survey, whether its a generic survey or customized survey. It's also not necessary to cover the entire gamut of issues or survey the entire client base in one single survey. Instead of trying to accomplish everything in one fell swoop, consider breaking up the survey into more manageable chunks. In this way, there's an added benefit of having more time and resources to act upon issues brought up in the survey responses -- because clients will expect you'll address issues that they bring up in your survey.
In today's always connected digital world, sending a client survey designed by an online survey tool through email is particularly beneficial. Clients can then have the convenience and flexibility of completing the survey at a time and place that works best for them.
To increase survey response, it is helpful to provide clients with an advance email message letting them know that the survey is coming. When administering the client survey tool online, include a progress bar that shows percentage of completion, which helps to reduce survey abandonment.
Once results from your client survey are received, don't necessarily focus on what your company is doing wrong in the client's eyes. Strengths can be important too; identify positive trends and see where you can piggyback them into other areas of the company or into other best practices.
Client surveys help firms deliver above and beyond the basic services. Asking your clients what they really think about your products and services can make those clients more engaged. And being more engaged can mean increased client loyalty and company profitability. Asking clients for feedback can build a stronger, deeper relationship with clients.
But there's another valuable and hidden benefit to client surveys. They capture your clients' attention. A skillfully and carefully worded client questionnaire can help broaden a clients' knowledge and appreciation for other services your company offers. It represents a potent cross-selling opportunity and resource, which is a strategy many well-known successful companies have employed.