Client Feedback Tool
  • Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

    Posted on June 28th, 2013 Ryan Suydam No comments
    Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!

    I don’t have time for feedback – I’m too busy to deal with more problems!

    First – you’re never too busy to find a problem early and head it off before it becomes a real headache. According to the critically acclaimed book Crucial Conversations (Patterson, Grenny, McMillian, and Switzler), each pro-actively discovered issue that leads to a necessary conversation saves one workday and $1,500. There’s always time to save time and money.

    Rather than being too busy to deal with feedback, most often people are simply concerned about what problems they may find, and uncertainty often leads to anxiety that can discourage asking for the feedback.

    Don’t fret! Good news is found in the results. We have facilitated tens of thousands of client relationship surveys, and discovered there’s really very little reason to worry.

    Let’s assume you send 100 surveys to clients. Overall, we’re seeing a 53% response rate, so you can expect about 53 replies. Of those, only 4% include low scores requiring a crucial conversation. That means of the 100 surveys sent, only two will likely need follow-up requiring more than a few minutes. Half of those conversations are with highly satisfied clients that simply want a small tweak to the process – they’re easy to work with and don’t take much time.

    What you’re left with, then, is one client for every one hundred surveys that may need some hand-holding and process improvement strategies applied. This is the conversation that, if missed, will cost you a day of work and $1,500 of wasted effort. The real problem is that these missed conversations lead to surprise problems that can come at the worst time. Who wouldn’t want to head these off early when you can invest an hour or two of management and avoid the chaos later?

    On the other end of the spectrum, of those 53 replies, 22% include some stellar scores and acknowledgement of what worked especially well. These innovations often highlight efficiencies that will allow you to save time while delivering a higher-value service. That’s a dozen chances to save time, or have short conversations with clients that drive real value.

    To send and manage one hundred surveys will take no more than eight hours of resource time. Each survey takes about two minutes to craft and send. Each reply requires only a few minutes to read and review. A few may require a short follow-up conversation to discuss the successes. One will likely take a ten minute conversation to optimize an otherwise good process. One may take an hour or two of work heading off a developing problem.

    That’s less time that you typically spend in one year walking to the printer and back! Taking care of clients is also a billable activity – this isn’t overhead and won’t hurt your utilization rates. This small investment of (billable!) time produces great results for both you and your clients – on the project right now, and for the relationship’s health years into the future.