Client Feedback Tool
  • Version 6.9 Released May 14, 2013

    Posted on May 17th, 2013 Matt No comments

    Release 6.9 of the Client Feedback Tool includes dozens of enhancements and improvements. I will summarize some of the most significant and readily apparent changes below. Many other improvements were added that fixed or modified issues ranging from a misspelling to browser display issues and will not be discussed in-depth.

    1. New reminders to follow up low scores

    Follow-up reminders are now available to remind you to follow up on any low scores you may have forgotten to address. Go to PREFERENCES> Set Preferences. Click on Alerts in the Feedback Settings tab. Check the box labeled ‘Remind of  follow-up to low scoring feedback.’ If you receive a survey response below your low-score threshold, and no follow-up is documented, a week later we will send you a reminder. Project and firm managers can also set reminders regarding follow-up to project and firm surveys, as applicable.

    2. Protect against duplicate take-survey reminders

    For your convenience, the Tool now has additional functionality to help prevent your recipients from receiving confusing multiple survey reminders. On the ‘Modify a survey sent’ screen, if you attempt to send a survey reminder to a recipient who was already scheduled to receive an automatic reminder, the Tool will tell you that an automatic reminder is scheduled. You can then choose to send both reminders, cancel the automatic one, or cancel (close) the manual one.

    Note: Typically you decide whether to send automatic reminders when you send a survey.

    3. New quick-link to Ultimate Question information

    You will find a new link on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) report (REVIEW FEEDBACK > Net Promoter Score). This link, ‘More Information about NPS,’ is just below the graph. Click the link to open a new window to our blog site and learn more about the Ultimate Question and your Net Promoter Score.

    4. Convenient links to additional data in basic reports

    On many reports, you will see more new underlined links that provide additional details regarding projects, recipients, and senders. One example: On your REVIEW FEEDBACK > Surveys sent screen, notice how the project names in the first column are underlined. If you click on a project name, a new modal opens to display additional information regarding that project, such as Question Category Average Scores in the Last 90 days and 360 days. You can also see how many survey Invitations and Replies have occurred in the Past 90/360 days.

    5. New ‘Survey’ report filter

    You can now filter your reports by Survey Template/ID in addition to the numerous other filters already offered. You can find this multiple-select basic filter on many REVIEW FEEDBACK reports, on the left side of the ribbon.

    6. DesignFacilitator is becoming the Client Feedback Tool

    DesignFacilitator’s Client Feedback Tool was originally conceived as a powerful tool for the exclusive use of design professionals – architects, engineers, interior designers, etc. However, over the years we found that many non-design service professionals— government, legal, construction— appreciate the simplicity and power of the Tool and value its reports. Consequently, we are transitioning our branding to simply the Client Feedback Tool. This transition requires no changes or action on your part. Both www.clientfeedbacktool.com and www.designfacilitator.com take you to the site.

    7. Firm Administrators (FA): Present tense answer scale added

    Previously, the Client Feedback Tool presented survey questions only in the past tense (Met Expectations, not Meets Expectations). Many of you have requested an occasional present tense survey question. The Client Feedback Tool sliding answer scale now supports this. The survey recipient will see the present tense answer choices when he/she is taking the survey. However, your report scales will continue to display in the past tense since the overwhelming majority of questions are worded as such.

    8. Firm Administrators can edit all member preferences

    An FA can provide enhanced service to all firm members. In MY FIRM > Users/Security > (member) Edit, you can edit management permissions, on-behalf-of permissions, and modify members’ preferences. Now an FA can even edit Firm Event alerts and permissions for a Firm Manager. This can be especially useful when adding new members— because sometimes with new experiences “It’s just faster to do it than to explain it.”

    9. Improved adding/importing

    We have improved the functionality when adding/importing contact or project data. Where appropriate, you can now merge new and existing company types and update project information while you are adding/importing the data.

  • Koontz-Bryant, PC – Client Feedback Journal, Part 2

    Posted on June 23rd, 2011 Matt No comments

    Join us as we follow Koontz-Bryant, P.C. as they begin using client feedback to improve their business, culture, and overall prosperity.  In the second installment, Martha Shotwell, Controller, describes developing their feedback plan, training their staff and how they got started collecting client feedback.  Read Part 1.

    KB Logo Koontz Bryant, PC   Client Feedback Journal, Part 1

    Part 2

    When Koontz-Bryant, P.C. decided to embark upon a program to collect regular client feedback, we had some questions about getting started.  We knew that with the Client Feedback Tool we could jump in with already-written surveys, and that compilation of results was part of the program. But how would we get buy-in from staff? What was the best way to train? How would we introduce the surveys to our clients? As Mary Poppins tells her young charges, “Well begun is half done.” We felt that our success with the feedback program depended on a good roll-out.

    One of the things we liked about the Client Feedback Tool was the implementation assistance that came along with it. As a starting point, DesignFacilitator presented an outline of implementation steps that included consultation, software setup, training, and review. A pre-consultation questionnaire got us thinking about details such as our goals for feedback collection; who would be in charge of implementation; who would request feedback, and how often; who would review results and how results would be used.  With Ryan, our DesignFacilitator consultant, we scheduled some webinar meeting dates and got to work.

    Two of us at Koontz-Bryant were charged with implementation. Our Controller would be the Firm Administrator and responsible for setup, and our COO would determine when surveys should go out, encourage staff participation, and assure appropriate follow-up. In our initial online consultation, Ryan talked with us about our company and staff structure, and our thoughts based on the pre-consultation questions. He helped us think through the feedback work flow, and shared some examples of what had worked with other firms. Ryan gave us a bit of homework and challenged us to come up with an assignment for the staff who would be using the Client Feedback Tool.

    A week later, the real fun began. Our account went live and through an online meeting Ryan stepped us through the setup. He had already inserted our logo, and we selected colors for our firm branding settings. He showed us how to set up firm members and teams. Preference settings allowed us to determine default settings for notifications (what range of low/high scores should trigger an email alert?) and message defaults (messages sent to clients with the surveys). We learned how to use filters to narrow down the 96 pre-defined survey templates, and how to set up clients and projects. Over the next week, we completed setup of firm members and deactivated some of the survey templates.

    Our next step was to train the staff. We scheduled a two-hour lunch and learn webinar for all office personnel. Koontz-Bryant management had been impressed with DesignFacilitator’s “Power of Feedback” presentation, so we asked Ryan to present a fair amount of that background material. He then walked staff through the program, guiding them through the steps of requesting feedback, reviewing results, and managing their personal preferences. An open discussion at the end allowed staff to ask questions. At the end of the session, we asked staff to send a survey to someone – client or internal. A few of the staff jumped right in and sent surveys to their coworkers, and a couple of people sent them to clients. However, some employees did not respond. 

    A few days after the training, we sent a survey to everyone who attended the lunch and learn, using a training template that was already pre-established in the Client Feedback Tool. Everyone had an opportunity to see the process from the client’s perspective. More important, we gathered valuable feedback about our training process. We learned that overall our training met or exceeded expectations, the food was great, and our consultant got high marks for responsiveness and quality of presentation. We also learned that:

    • the staff was less interested in the “why” of collecting feedback than in the “how”;
    • two hours was a bit too long, even though the first half-hour was lunch; by the time we got to the “how” people were mentally tired;
    • most people could not see the details of the software projected on the screen.

    For anyone going through the process, our recommendation is to focus more on the “how”, and to find a way to set people up at multiple computers so they can see the screens.

    The Client Feedback Tool has a section for tracking followup. We followed up with each person who rated an area low, and recorded this activity in the software.

    A few weeks after the training meeting, our president, Greg, met with project managers to establish specific points in a project’s life cycle at which a survey should be sent. To increase our momentum, he also sent initial surveys to a batch of top clients.  Results are starting to come in.

    In our next update, we look forward to sharing results with you.

  • Scheduling Surveys – Understanding the Options

    Posted on April 25th, 2011 No comments

    Client Feedback Tool 4.0 offers the ability to schedule surveys for later delivery.  The scheduling tool is simple to use, but offers many options to enhance flexibility.  Here, we will detail some of the ways you can leverage scheduling to your benefit.

    First, a few notes on why you might schedule a survey.  Surveys have a 20% higher response rate when sent mid-week in the mornings.  As such, you may want to schedule surveys for a Tuesday – Thursday.  Our scheduler automatically delivers surveys around 9am eastern time (-0500 GMT).  You may also desire to set up a series of surveys when planning your project phases.  Firms that choose to deploy surveys automatically (via integration with Deltek Vision or some other third party project management tool) may desire the human review step, and scheduling provides this as well.

    When scheduling surveys, you may specify the following:

    • Delivery Date – this is the date on which the survey will be sent, about 9am Eastern Time.
    • Reminder Date – this is a reminder to the sender that the survey is about to be sent.  If you have scheduled the survey to be sent on behalf of someone else, that person will receive the reminder.  A reminder provides a link back to the Client Feedback Tool to review and/or modify a survey before it is sent.  You can enable or disable reminders.
    • Send Notifications – this notifies the sender when the survey has been sent.  You can use this in addition to or as an alternative to the pre-survey reminder.
    • Survey Disposition – what happens on the scheduled date?  By default, the survey will send on the scheduled send date.  However, if you prefer the survey to expire unsent when the date arrives, you can set it to do so.  You can use this as an approval step when sending on behalf of someone else.

    Putting this altogether, consider a possible use case:

    You schedule a survey to be sent on behalf of a project manager.  You want that project manager to verify the information before the survey is sent, and don’t want the survey to be delivered unless he does.  Schedule the survey to be sent in 7 days, and remind the project manager 6 days in advance.  Tomorrow, the PM will receive an email inviting him to review the survey.  The PM can then click the email link, review and edit the survey, then send it on.  If he disapproves of the survey he may delete it, and if he takes no action the survey will expire automatically.

    The survey queue manager provides a list of all scheduled surveys you have access to manage, so you can quickly see a list of pending surveys, send or cancel groups of them, and otherwise manage your scheduled events.

  • Client Feedback Tool – New Release and New Features!

    Posted on May 25th, 2010 No comments

    The Client Feedback Tool will be updated later this week to enhance features, performance, and security.  All users will see the improvements automatically.   New features included in this release:

    1. Performance enhancements on reports, up to 200% increase in speed
    2. Create distribution groups when sending surveys
    3. New on-page “Alerts” let you know when new/unread results have come in, and when low scores need attention
    4. Track when results have been viewed
    5. CC a co-worker that a survey has been sent, and/or when results are collected
    6. Create a username, allowing for faster login
    7. Alert new survey recipients automatically via Outlook, to minimize surveys going to junk folder
    8. Upload project information from an external source
    9. New report – “Last Survey Sent” – View the most recent survey sent to a recipient, client, project, or by sender
    10. Over 50 other tweaks, improvements, and fixes

    For training on these new features, contact support@designfacilitator.com.

  • Feedback Quadrant – The Missing Axis of Information

    Posted on April 9th, 2010 Ryan Suydam No comments
    Feedback Quadrant - The Missing Axis of Information

    If you manage a professional services firm, or any projects for a firm, you have most likely seen numerous reports, charts, and other data measuring the financial performance of your project, team, client, or firm.  You have surely seen metrics of profitability, revenue, aged accounts, and more, usually mapped across an axis of time (monthly revenue, for example).

    However, none of these reports show the critical element of the client’s perception of a project’s success.  What may be highly successful for you (in terms of profits, etc) may have been a disaster for the client.  Without metrics showing the clients’ measure of project success, you have little ability to identify the truly successful projects, those that are “half way”, and those that are complete failures (or, at the very least, quite challenged).

    The missing axis of data is feedback.  Feedback provides metrics, from your clients’ perspective, about the success of a project.

    If we map feedback performance on a vertical axis, and financial performance on a horizontal axis, four quadrants of information are created.

    Tracking Project Results

    In the upper-right quadrant, the data points indicate a win-win scenario.  The outcomes of these projects indicate success for both you (high profit) and the client (high feedback).  You can profitably produce a project that meets and exceeds the expectations of the person paying for that project.  Clients in this quadrant should be nurtured and efforts invested to keep this healthy exchange going forward.

    In the upper-left quadrant, the data points still indicate success for the client (high feedback), but the process used to deliver the service hasn’t adequately obtained financial success for you or the firm.  Inefficiency, under-billing, or other business problems may exist.  Most likely, these clients whose expectations were exceeded are very interested in keeping you as a vendor, and will likely be open to future projects being priced and/or scoped more beneficially for you.  Test this carefully, but with confidence.

    The lower-right quadrant provides a bigger challenge.  Here, you have succeeded (high profits), but your client indicates a less successful outcome for them (low feedback).  These clients and projects are critical to keep (they’re very profitable!) but need attention invested into the client relationship.  You may use additional feedback collection (either via the Client Feedback Tool or personal interactions) to uncover underlying problems and negotiate winning solutions.  Increase service consistency and quality, and you can more easily maintain these enjoyable profits.

    Finally, the lower-left quadrant leaves a group of mis-fits.  Here, neither you (low profits) nor the client (poor feedback) won.  You have a lot of options, from firing the client, to strategically working on these clients to first increase their feedback scores.  Only after first building client loyalty and improving service can you then recoup that investment by increasing fees and profitability.  The “keepers” in this quadrant should be diligently moved “up” before moving them to the “right.”

    The Client Feedback Tool offers a unique feature enabling you to map your client feedback against your financial metrics.  Navigate to “Review Feedback > Advanced Reporting Tools” then click on the “View” tab.  Finally, click the “Quadrants” icon on the View ribbon.  You will be able to download a smart, macro-enabled Excel worksheet containing your selected feedback data (select this in the Filters and Options tabs).  Provided in the workbook is a place you copy/paste or manually key-in your financial data (profitability, revenue, etc).  From here, the workbook will generate tables for each quadrant as well as a graphic display of the results to see where your projects, clients, etc are clustered.

  • A Letter to Your Firm

    Posted on December 17th, 2009 1 comment
    A Letter to Your Firm

    Introducing the Client Feedback Tool to your firm is an important part of beginning your feedback collection process.  Your firm members will be looking for leadership to endorse the feedback collection process, and they also will want to know what it is, how it works, and what will be expected of them.  Below is one method you might try, delivered via email:

    Dear Firm Member,

    As you know, we value our client relationships very highly.  The root of our firm’s prosperity comes from clients who trust us to do their work.  It is important to continuously improve our ability to meet their specific needs.

    Every client is different, so we need to identify what processes work best for each of them.  While our firm standards create a good baseline for successful project delivery, we may need to adjust on a case by case basis for each client, and often for each unique project.

    Shortly, you will receive an email invitation from The Client Feedback Tool, to join our firm as a participant in this online feedback management system.  We will also soon be scheduling training to teach you how to use this simple system to collect feedback quickly, easily, and consistently from your clients and others.  The Client Feedback Tool is easy to use, and takes only two minutes to solicit feedback using the built-in templates.

    We are excited at this opportunity for each of us to grow personally;  and as a firm, corporately improve our client relationships to create real, lasting value.

    Thank you in advance for your participation.

    You may also be interested in introducing your clients to The Client Feedback Tool.  Please see this post for suggestions.

  • A Letter to Your Clients

    Posted on December 17th, 2009 1 comment
    A Letter to Your Clients

    One of our most common questions when first beginning to use our Client Feedback Tool is “How do we let our clients know what we’re doing?” followed by “Do you have an email I can use to send to them?”

    After being asked this several times, we are pleased to offer you this template email.  Use this (or something similar) to let your clients know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how.  You can send this email immediately before sending a client a survey for the first time.

    For additional suggestions on improving your response rate, check out our previous posts.

    Dear Client,

    Thank you for trusting us with your business.  It is a pleasure and privilege to help you with your [service type] needs.

    You hire us to perform this work for you, expecting us to provide great service.  That is our goal,  but we know we can always do better.  We will begin seeking your feedback more often, in a more systematic manner.

    We would like to collect feedback from you in very short, 1-2 minute doses.  If it’s okay with you, we would like to do so on a more regular basis.  Please look for an email or emails coming from us soon.  Each will come from the person you have been working with directly, and will identify which project, phase, and service is being evaluated.  Should you click on the link to respond, you will be brought to a survey that typically has fewer than 10 questions, and usually takes only a few minutes to complete.

    Each time you respond, the appropriate people in our company will be notified, so we can immediately attend to your comments.  This is not a once-yearly marketing survey – but rather a personal request for feedback so we can customize our approach specifically for you.  Your participation is critical for our improvement to occur.
    Thank you for your consideration, and we are eager to become your expert at [service type].

    You may also want to introduce The Client Feedback Tool to members of your firm.  If so, please see this post.

  • Can I send a feedback survey on behalf of someone else?

    Posted on September 26th, 2009 Matt 1 comment

    Introduction

    In our travels and workshops, we have seen that many professions share common difficulties. One widespread limitation many firms experience is that their members simply do not request feedback frequently enough. When we ask the firm members why they don’t send more surveys, the responses range from “I forget to send them.” to “I don’t have time— can’t my administrative assistant or accounting people do this for me, perhaps when they send invoices?”

    The Client Feedback Tool Solution

    Fortunately, DesignFacilitator’s Client Feedback Tool solves these problems with its ‘Send-on-behalf-of’ feature.  With this feature, a firm manager can designate one or more firm members to send surveys on behalf of other firm members. For example, let’s say your firm manager has designated Al, an administrative assistant, to send surveys for you and other firm members. Acting as a proxy sender, Al creates a survey invitation in your name. All emails, responses and reports associated with this survey invitation will identify you as the sender. In fact, once Al sends the survey invitation, he cannot even see the answer report or modify the survey– but you can.

    How it works

    To begin, the firm manager designates proxy sender(s):

    1. Log in to www.DesignFacilitator.com
    2. Click My Firm in the left navigation pane, and then click Manage Firm Members in the right pane.
    3. In the 4th column, “Send On Behalf”, select the firm member(s) who will send surveys on behalf of other firm members.

    In order to send a feedback request, a proxy sender must know which survey template to send, when to send it, to whom, what project it regards, and so on. The Client Feedback Tool provides a convenient PDF form for this purpose. In the example above, you would probably fill in the form and give it to Al, because Al is sending the survey on your behalf . To obtain the form, log in to www.DesignFacilitator.com, click Other Resources in the left navigation pane, and then click Feedback Collection Information Request Form. Simply print the form and write in the data.

    Proxy senders follow the normal procedure for requesting feedback:

    1. Log in to www.DesignFacilitator.com
    2. Click My Feedback in the left navigation pane, then click ASK on the cycle graphic. Select Send a feedback survey
    3. Proxy senders (only) see a Send Survey on Behalf of: selection box at the top of the screen. There, they select which firm member to designate as the sender; that is, whose name will show in the invitation emails, the survey, the reports, and so on.

    Note:    The Client Feedback Tool identifies the proxy sender in only two places: the Answer Report and the Modify Survey Edit screen.

    You probably want to know if someone sends a survey using your name. So if your firm will designate proxy senders, we recommend that you visit your Set Preferences page in www.DesignFacilitator.com and make sure the first checkbox, “Survey sent on my behalf” is selected.

    With the Client Feedback Tool’s ‘Send-on-behalf-of’ feature, even the busiest professional in your organization can enjoy the many benefits of client feedback by delegating the survey-send task to an administrative or accounting assistant.