Posted on February 24th, 2010 View Comments
…if I ask for too much feedback?
This question is, almost without exception, the first one asked when we talk to firms about client feedback. The short answer is NO! Not if you ask for feedback when they want to give you feedback.
We are so conditioned to the idea of “feedback” as being a long survey sent to hundreds or thousands of people. These surveys are generic, and don’t offer anything to the person responding. They also usually come after the product or service has been offered, when it’s too late to do anything about it. They are separated from the project, and don’t seem relevant at the time they are sent.
But you already ask for feedback all the time! When you deliver something to a client, don’t you ask “is this what you were looking for?” When you wrap up a meeting, don’t you ask if everything was covered? That’s asking for feedback! It’s not very structured, and it doesn’t always get asked, but no client will ever be bothered if you check with them to make sure you covered your (and their) bases.
Our Client Feedback Tool blends the best from both approaches. While we use email and the internet to deliver surveys, they are not typically designed to be sent broadly (though, they can be). Instead, we’ve built hundreds of templates and supporting processes to send surveys, systematically, in a much more focused manner.
When should you ask for feedback (i.e., send a survey)? Send one every time your client may want to give you feedback. No client waits around to answer a mass survey. If you send that out monthly, it’s too much. On the other hand, if you give your client a key deliverable every week, don’t you want to make sure, each time, that you’ve given him what he needed/expected? You could call or email asking “did you get what you need?” Or, you could send a short feedback request that digs a little deeper and gives you more data, while not really taking any more time.
Odds are, you’ll only annoy your clients if you ask them for feedback two months AFTER a project is over as part of a quarterly survey. It’s too late to fix, so why ask now?
Instead, show clients you care. Ask for feedback when it makes sense. Deliver something? Ask for feedback. That easy. Since asking via The Client Feedback Tool is a simple email, clients can always ignore/delete it. Even that gives you feedback! NOT responding, in essence, let’s you know that things are most likely going well enough they don’t feel a need to correct anything. However, for every few times they ignore your request because things are going okay, there will be one time when they have feedback, and will be glad you asked. And they’ll respond. Until you ask, you don’t know. So, you have to ask. And ask again.
If you’re still concerned, ask your clients! Find out from them when they’d like to be asked for feedback. Odds are, it’s more often than you think.
Posted on February 15th, 2010 View Comments
DesignFacilitator is excited to announce the release of version 3.5 of our Client Feedback Tool, the only feedback solution designed specifically for architects, engineers, and professional service providers.
If you already subscribe to the Client Feedback Tool, you don’t need to do anything to obtain the great new features. Simply log in, and see what’s new.
Version 3.5 includes:
- Completely updated process for sending a survey. The steps are the same, but performance is increased 25-570%
- Added ability to include individual survey responses (answers reports) in batch and scheduled reports.
- Enhanced reporting filters to make viewing/customizing reports more flexible
- Sending survey reminders made easier and faster
- Over 100 additional enhancements and improvements to make the feedback experience smoother and more intuitive than before
If you have any questions or desire any update training, please contact email@example.com to sign up for our New Features webinar scheduled for Thursday, February 18th, at 2:00pm EST.
Posted on February 11th, 2010 View Comments
I had a date night with my two daughters (ages 6 and 4) last night. Upon request, I took them to their favorite restaurant. After dinner, my eldest asked me if she could fill out a comment card.
About six month prior, I had taken her out to the same place, and received unusually exceptional service. As a feedback guru, I took the time to find the comment card box and leave some detailed praise of who did what, and why it was so great. My daughter asked what I was doing, so I explained a basic theory of feedback and why it’s important.
Six months later, at the tender of age of six, she remembered the lesson. After another good night of service, she wanted to leave a note of appreciation that was specifically about what she liked. She gets it.
Firm leaders have a similar opportunity. Most firms employ at least some very young, very fresh professionals. For many, you are their first “real job” out of school. And just like my six year old, they are looking to you and your firm leaders for the behaviors that create an effective and successful professional career.
If you are fortunate enough to employ these eager and easily influenced minds, what behaviors and patterns are you teaching them about client relationships? Interns are often quickly trained up on technical skills and rushed into a production role. But these are the same people that will grow up and begin taking care of your clients. Introduce them right away to effective client management skills. Give them feedback regularly. Give clients feedback in front of them. More importantly, ask for feedback in front of them. Let them see you engaging clients to better understand their preferences. Let them see the results that open feedback brings.
As they grow professionally, give your young professionals opportunities to interact with clients, and solicit feedback about those interactions. Empower them with the tools they need to manage clients and respond to their expectations.
The results? Clients that are more engaged and loyal. Beyond that, you have technicians learning to become business people. You have interns focused on the client’s problem, rather than production. Their awareness of what they are working on and why will increase, leading to better product going out the door. You will also end up with young professionals who feel a part of the system, building their sense of self worth and increasing their job satisfaction.
You will also be raising the next generation of experts to help your firm continue and thrive for years to come.