Client Feedback Tool
  • Client Feedback Tool Integration with Deltek Vision

    Posted on April 27th, 2011 No comments

    Since many A/E/C firms depend upon Deltek Vision to manage their projects and financial information, the video below demonstrates very briefly how you can leverage your existing project management processes to automatically solicit client feedback.

  • Client Feedback Tool Testimonial – Cara Phillips

    Posted on February 4th, 2011 Matt No comments

    We interviewed Cara Phillips of Phillips Architecture about her use of the Client Feedback Tool.  Cara is Principal and COO, and has been using the Feedback Tool for four years.

  • How to Eliminate 83% of Your Client Problems

    Posted on August 19th, 2010 No comments
    How to Eliminate 83% of Your Client Problems

    How do you measure the results collecting feedback has on your business?  Anecdotally, we have heard from many of our Feedback Tool clients that certain situations were brought to light -avoiding problems before they became big.  Client’s seem happier.   Profits have improved.   Those are all great success stories, and we love hearing them.

    But we wanted to dig deeper, and let the actual clients surveyed tell the story, from their perspective.

    We analyzed all the feedback collected in the last two years. 24% of all replies included a score below “Met Expectations.” We then selected just the cases where someone who gave a low score at least once later responded to another survey from the same person.

    We found 1,121 vendor-client relationships that had feedback collected a second time after a low score was given.

    In these relationships, the occurrence of scores below “Met Expectations” went DOWN by over 83%. In essence, those who collected feedback and got a low score were able to adjust and demonstrably improve their service to those clients.

    Would you like to eliminate 83% of your client problems?

    In addition to an overall lower rate of low scores, the overall average scores went up noticeably as well.  If we draw a line for all feedback collected before the low score occurred, and compare it to all feedback collected after, we see the ratings move from just barely meeting expectations to consistently exceeding expectations.

    When you can exceed your client’s expectations, you will keep them around – building loyalty and maximizing the value of your relationship.

    If you aren’t already asking, don’t assume your clients are telling you everything.  When you ask for feedback, you will discover opportunities to improve.  Even better, once you discover a problem, the data shows you can fix it.

    If you want to find out how we can help you find these opportunities quickly, contact us at:

    answers@designfacilitator.com   or   866-4-DES-FAC

  • Knowing What to Charge by Knowing What (Your Clients Think) You Are Worth

    Posted on December 9th, 2009 4 comments

    After running an architectural firm for 20 years, I have found two consistent challenges to a firm’s prosperity that most design firms share:

    1. We underestimate our value to our clients

    2. We price ourselves according to Problem #1

    If you work at a design firm, and especially if you manage a firm, don’t take offense. I believe that these problems were created over time and have a lot to do with the manner in which building contractors represent our work to owners. Since the perfect set of construction documents has likely never been created, contractors usually have something to complain about.

    But blaming is the sport of children, so let’s find the solution to the problem.

    Remember, the problem is not that clients don’t value our work; it’s that we assume that value is less than it really is. To correct an inaccurate assumption, we need more accurate information concerning our value to clients. We have to ask our clients for this information, something that most design firms avoid like the plague. Why? See Problem #1 above; it’s tough to ask for feedback when you think it’s going to be critical.

    The encouraging component to this entire dilemma is that Problem #1 is stated correctly. We underestimate our value to our clients. Our software company, DesignFacilitator, provides the only Client Feedback Tool customized for architects and engineers. Our tool collects objective data regarding what clients really think. Our research shows that, on average, clients think that their design firm’s deliverables and service “exceeded expectations”. This information is based upon over 30,000 responses from clients concerning their perception of their design firm’s value.

    While asking for feedback from clients must be done very carefully to produce the most accurate and actionable data, our patent-pending system utilizes state-of-the-art perception mapping to identify what clients think, and what a design firm can do to maximize their value to those clients. Client feedback will also show you which approaches create problems for clients and how to avoid them. With this information, a firm will naturally make more effective decisions concerning:

    1. Setting fees relative to a client’s perception of the firm’s value

    2. Addressing ‘scope creep’ more quickly as an additional service

    3. Identifying the most effective assignments for staff

    4. Identifying the most efficient training for staff

    Since a design firm’s profitability helps determine its strength, a firm becomes stronger when it knows what it can charge by understanding what its clients think. Add to the mix the ability to enhance a firm’s worth by proper staff assignments and training– both made easier by utilizing client feedback regarding the results of staff’s efforts– and you have a recipe for sustainable prosperity.

    Best In Class – 2010 Fee and Rate Adjustment Poll
    As the premier feedback surveying group for the professional design industry, we are offering to gather and share anonymous fee and rate setting strategies.  By taking the following poll you will have immediate access to the valuable data gathered from firms across the US to help you in your fee and rate setting for 2010.
    [poll id=5]

    [poll id=6]

    Feedback and strategic reports from 50 clients for $999
    If you would like to enjoy the competitive advantage of Best In Class client awareness for just $999,
    email answers@designfacilitator.com or call us at 866-433-7322
    Client Feedback Tool
  • Client Feedback Tool – Mobile

    Posted on November 20th, 2009 No comments
    Client Feedback Tool - Mobile

    Some Client Feedback Tool clients have asked us over the years about accessing feedback while mobile.  Early in 2009 we did release a version of responding to surveys optimized for mobile devices, as this would be required for anyone checking email on a Blackberry, Windows Phone, or iPhone. We continue to explore options for a customized mobile interface, but at this time do not have an official mobile solution.

    This week, Opera Mobile 10 Beta (an open-source web browser for mobile devices) was released, and in early testing, most of the functionality in the Client Feedback Tool is operational.  Surveys can be sent, reports reviewed, and data managed.  The mobile web is still in its infancy, and mobile platforms are not officially supported at this time.   However, our development team is committed to enhancing the mobile user experience in the future.

    If you love feedback, and want to have it with you on the go, download Opera Mobile 10 Beta (free!) here:

    http://www.opera.com/mobile/

    If Opera is not supported on your device, you may also have some success with Skyfire:

    http://www.skyfire.com/

  • Version 3 Is Here!

    Posted on October 25th, 2009 Matt No comments

    DesignFacilitator has released Version 3 of the Client Feedback Tool. Version 3 was developed in response to your comments– your feedback– to us. You told us you wanted the Client Feedback Tool to be faster, sharper, with more consistent actions and with more flexible, powerful reports. Version 3 provides all this and more. Its enhancements include:

    • Simpler navigation and sharper screen graphics.

    As soon as you log in you will notice how much easier it is to move about the new crisp screens. On the left side of the screen, clicking on a subject heading displays a list of sub-headings so you can quickly select the desired action or report without waiting for the screen to refresh. In the upper-right corner of the screen, we show you where you are on the site currently.

    • A new ribbon-style toolbar with standardized actions. Found at the top of most screens, the toolbar offers

    – A Filters tab where you can identify what you wish to see in the report (who, when, which project, and so on).

    – An Options tab where you can control how to group and sort the information (by sender, project, team, average score, etc).

    – A File tab that allows you to decide what to do with the information. You have the power to download it, print it as a pdf, send it to an email address, save the report settings as a favorite report. You can even schedule it for automatic recurring delivery to your email!

    • Fewer screen post-backs.

    Many subscribers previously expressed concern about the time required to post back the screen every time they changed a filter. Version 3 addresses that concern by incorporating an Update button on the ribbon. This allows you to select and change multiple filter settings without waiting for the screen to repost each time. Once you have made all your filter selections, simply click the Update button– we flash it to remind you– and all your changes are applied at once.

    • Successes and challenges reports

    These reports were designed to help identify areas of strength and those possibly requiring additional attention in your firm. You can tailor this report to show you which clients, projects, phases or firm members have the highest or lowest average scores, extremes, percentage of change, and so on . The Client Feedback Tool even includes several standard templates under the Options tab to help get you started.

    • The Feedback Quotient® report is a Client Feedback Tool exclusive.

    This report applies a proprietary formula to analyze numerous  metrics such as the number of surveys sent and received in a given period, reply rates, scores, score consistency, follow-up actions, and more. The result is a relative ranking of projects, project clients, and survey senders in your firm. You will know where feedback is being effectively used, and by whom.

    Additional new functions of the Client Feedback Tool:

    You can save and recall your favorite report configurations and settings.

    You can create, save and send batch reports to yourself and others.

    You can schedule your favorite reports for recurring delivery to your email… or others’.

    You can send most reports as PDF files via email.

    You can now view feedback on a mobile device.

    Version 3 does not require any software changes on your part, as the Client Feedback Tool is a web-based service. Please let us know if you need help or want to schedule additional training for your team.

    Please contact us if you have questions:
    866-433-7322
    919-573-1730
    (M-F 9am – 6pm EST)
    Or email answers@designfacilitator.com.

  • New Features Coming Soon – Version 3 Rollout

    Posted on October 16th, 2009 Matt No comments

    In our continuing effort to optimize your Client Feedback Tool experience, DesignFacilitator will roll out some exciting new features in late October, 2009. Version 3 enhancements will include:

    • Simpler, more straightforward navigation
    • Updated graphics with brighter, sharper screens
    • A ribbon-style toolbar with standardized menus and operations
    • An exclusive Feedback Quotient® report that ranks the quality and quantity of your feedback
    • New reports that help identify your firm’s strengths and potential areas for improvement

    Version 3 will also allow you to:

    • View feedback on a mobile device
    • Send reports as PDF files via email
    • Build, save and send batch reports
    • Save and recall your favorite reports and settings
    • Schedule reports for recurring delivery to your email– or some else’s!

    This upgrade should be virtually seamless and we will keep you posted as the Version 3 release approaches. The transition will not require any software changes on your part as the Client Feedback Tool is a web-based service. For your convenience, we will provide tips and training here on our blog site, in emails, and via web-based training sessions. Please let us know if you need help or want to schedule additional training for your team.

    Please contact us if you have questions:
    866-433-7322
    919-573-1730
    (M-F 9am – 6pm EST)

    Or email answers@designfacilitator.com.

  • Mike Phillips presenting at Buildex Seattle on Oct.15

    Posted on October 13th, 2009 Matt 1 comment

    logo_bs

    DesignFacilitator’s Mike Phillips will be presenting an educational session on Thursday, October 15 at 1:00pm entitled “Using Client Feedback to Improve Your Firm’s Prosperity,” at Buildex Seattle.  This case study will detail the simple strategies found to improve the understanding between designers and their clients.

    Buildex Seattle, held this year on October 14th & 15th, offers over 30 educational seminars and 150 products and materials exhibits for Interior Design, Property Management and Construction.

  • 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.

  • Best Firm to Work for Summit is next week!

    Posted on September 18th, 2009 Matt No comments

    The Best Firm to Work for Summit is coming up next week (September 22-23) in Chicago.  

    DesignFacilitator is proud to be sponsoring this event and to annouce that Mike Phillips will be presenting  a session on Tuesday at 11:15 am entitled “How to Use a Client Feedback System to Improve Your Firm’s Prosperity.”  He should know, his firm, Phillips Architecture, won several ZweigWhite Best Firm to Work For awards the first year that his office incorporated a client feedback system, and is up for more awards this year.

    Here’s a brief description of the event from the site http://www.bestfirmsummit.com/.

    Presented by CE News, Structural Engineer, The Zweig HR Letter and the Environmental Business Journal, the two-day conference will explore topics such as retaining top talent in tough times, workforce planning in an economic downturn, firm cultures that motivate and inspire commitment, retooling your current workforce, diversification strategies, staffing and cash flow, managing overhead, training and workforce development, benefits integration, legal issues, and best practices, as well as provide unlimited networking opportunities for all involved in the business of architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting.