Posted on January 14th, 2013 View Comments
On January 13th, 2013, the latest release of the Client Feedback Tool was made available. Release 6.6 includes several new features to assist with customizing your clients’ survey experience, as well as tools to facilitate data management.
The big story includes a new, more extensively customizable branding capability. Survey invitation emails, reminders, and the survey pages can all now be customized with a more extensive palette of colors, fonts, images and layouts – including embedding images/logos into email messages, and expanded use of foreign languages. Additionally, you can now have multiple branding templates available, and select which brand/style template to use when sending a survey. Custom brand templates require professional assistance to set up – contact your account manager for questions.
Also added are flexible controls to sort, filter and manage contacts and projects in the My Firm section. For example, you can now easily search for, and delete, projects that contain no surveys.
There is also a new “Responses with Follow-up” report (found in the Follow-Up tab). This report allows you to quickly filter survey responses that include follow-up, helpful if you wish to see the entire history with one client.
Additional improvements include a streamlined user registration experience, a list of blog posts on the home screen, enhanced Contact Group importing, and several bug fixes.
Posted on March 7th, 2012 View Comments
Net Promoter – Now Offered in Client Feedback Tool
Based on popular demand, we are pleased to announce that the Client Feedback Tool version 5.3 now includes support for the Net Promoter Score/Ultimate Question survey methodology. Read on to understand what this is, how it complements our current system, and how to start using it.
Net Promoter Score Overview
In recent years, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) customer satisfaction system has become a popular and widely used management metric. Many modern satisfaction and Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs in some way incorporate NPS as a device.
The founding principles of NPS can be found in The Ultimate Question, a book by Fred Reichheld. In short, Reichheld lays out a methodology in which ONE QUESTION (the Ultimate Question) provides data highly predictive of future growth and success.
Based on extensive and sound research, NPS provides a simple, single metric by which to track your outcomes and progress. The basic question asked is:
How likely are you to refer us to a colleague?
The answer scale ranges from 0-10, very unlikely to very likely. The theory of NPS is that anyone answering 0-6 are detractors, people who will ultimately speak poorly of your company and services. Those responding with scores of 7 and 8 are passives, those who will likely neither promote or defame your company. Finally, the promoters are those providing scores of 9 and 10 – they are very likely to promote your organization to others.
Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the difference between promoters and detractors. For example, if you have 52% promoters and 18% detractors, your NPS is 34. Passives in this case don’t count.
The very best corporations in America receive NPS scores consistently in the 75% range (think Apple, USAA, Google). Others, such as Time Warner Cable and many other telecoms actually have negative Net Promoter Scores (more detractors than promoters).
You’ll find extensive research by many pundits showing the correlation between revenue, profit, and market-share growth based on NPS. And while NPS provides a single, simple metric to show where your company currently is, the process of actually improving your NPS is much more nebulous.
Using Feedback to Improve NPS
Wait a minute. I thought NPS was feedback.
Yes, NPS is a form of feedback. But NPS is limited to telling you where you are right now (and where you’ve been, once you have history). It doesn’t provide direct insight in how to actually get better. NPS is like a street sign. The sign indicates where you are – but you need the GPS to help you navigate to where you want to be.
The Ultimate Question typically includes a “part 2″ – which is to ask “Why did you give this score?” By harvesting this data organizations are able to gain insights on what customer perceptions are trending. This may work well for very large data sets – and is well suited to Business to Customer measurements.
Professional services, on the other hand, are much more personal and interactive. You don’t often have massive data sets to work with, and the value of each client tends to be a much larger percentage of your net revenue. It’s therefore relevant to use the Client Feedback Tool’s established methodology tracking client expectations in six to eight key categories (helpfulness, responsiveness, quality, accuracy, schedule, budget, etc).
Measuring these at major milestones during project delivery provides clear, specific, and concise guidance for how to get better for each client. During the project, when you can do something about it. Net Promoter Score becomes an additional question to ask at project completion, to identify how well you executed and created a potential promoter.
In contrast to our self-centering expectations scale, the NPS score is logarithmic. There is a ceiling, and as you improve over time the upward trend in NPS will become smaller and smaller, until you level out somewhere around 80% (the level the very best companies have attained). Once your NPS is higher than anyone else in the market, you have lost your ability to measure further improvement. You can no longer try something new and observe a shift in scores validating the new process actually worked better. So, while NPS is very helpful to track progress over time and understand your market position, it can’t help you identify the value of your continued improvement efforts.
NPS: Part of Your Complete Feedback ProgramThe Client Feedback Tool enables you to track your own performance relative to expectations, and continuously improve (even if you are already the best in the market). Adding the NPS to your approach, you can now see if you are indeed market-leading. The Net Promoter Question can be added to any survey on the fly when sending, enabled to be on by default for selected templates (e.g., a Project Completion survey), or built into the survey template design when our team creates a custom template for you.
For questions or help with NPS, or any broader feedback questions, please contact us at email@example.com and one of our consultants will help you on your feedback journey.
Posted on January 20th, 2012 View Comments
Version 5.0 and 5.1 provide the following new features and enhancements. As always, contact our support team for training or questions on any these.
Major performance enhancements:
- Most report load times improved by 50%
- Large report load times reduced by 90%
Enhanced Alert Management:
- Redesigned page for easier access
- Ability to disable ALL notifications
- New administrative tools to set firm standards
- Admins can force specified alert preferences
- Admins can modify any user’s preferences
All New User Management:
- Admins have much more control over users, permissions, alerts, and settings
- Streamlined administrative tasks
Added unofficial support for Apple iPad devices:
- Survey sending refinements
- Basic Report support
Posted on September 29th, 2011 View Comments
Our research shows fewer than 15% of firms collect feedback regularly. Forrester researchers indicate fewer than 20% of firms take any action on the feedback they collect. These indicators suggest only 3% of firms have an effective process to both collect feedback and turn that feedback into action.
And yet, without action, collecting feedback is really a futile and useless activity. Turning feedback into action requires a framework and a process to support an effective, simple, feedback collection/response mechanism.
Our Client Feedback Tool captures and automates the entire feedback process, and is customized for professional services organizations. The latest release (v4.3) includes new, extended capabilities to confirm your feedback reactions were effective.
Feedback begins with the questions. We’ve designed each to be focused, specific, and concise in order to collect clear metrics. Survey designs must then collect an appropriate number of questions in a relevant manner, so that you only ask the right questions when needed – minimizing wasteful efforts. Your clients don’t have time to waste, so answering questions that provide them no tangible benefit ultimately discourages their participation.
When someone responds to a feedback request, action can only happen if someone is alerted to the results. Particularly for professional services firms, feedback works best in real-time. Immediately after someone responds, our feedback process alerts everyone who needs the alert, based on what kind of scores were provided. Don’t limit feedback to just the president or someone in marketing – action happens best when the people doing the work get the feedback.
Which brings us to the action. The people taking care of the client – those actually doing the work – must know what the feedback is before they can take any action on it. The Client Feedback Tool’s real-time alerts link your firm’s team members to the feedback they are responsible for. Upon reviewing the results, each person can document, within the tool, what their follow-up actions have been or should be. They may even respond to the client directly from the tool, tracking that response as part of the feedback record. By responding to the client (in any manner) and logging the response (using the tool), we have demonstrated an 83% reduction in further client-identified problems.
Now, in the latest version of the Client Feedback Tool, you can take this process one step further, completing the feedback cycle. Beneath each feedback response you can click one button which initiates another follow-up survey in the future. By linking these two surveys, you can track your progress and confirm that the actions taken to respond to a client have indeed been successful at better meeting client expectations.
Demonstrating this simple, systematic feedback process to existing and prospective clients is a great differentiator in the marketplace, and builds trust that you listen, respond, and confirm your processes are the best they can be for each client.
Posted on September 27th, 2011 View Comments
We’re excited to announce the latest release and new features in the Client Feedback Tool version 4.3.
While we have introduced dozens of minor refinements and fixes, we’re most excited about three new features that were our most popular user requests this year:
- Batch Survey Sending: You may now download an Excel template file, copy/paste data from another application accordingly, upload the filled in form, and send dozens or even hundreds of surveys at once. For large annual surveys, centralizing surveying, or even just quickly starting a feedback process for new customers – this simple process makes managing the sending of survey much easier. You’ll find this feature in the “Ask for Feedback” navigation section, labeled “Send Multiple Surveys.”
- Follow-Up Surveys: The most important aspect of any feedback program is what you do with the responses. Particularly important is your reaction to scores below Met Expectations. We have had a “follow-up” tool in place since Version 2.0 of the Client Feedback Tool, but never a clear way to confirm that the follow-up action was effective in producing better results. Now, at the bottom of each reply, you’ll see two follow-up buttons. One allows you to (as before) reply or document a reply to the feedback response. The new button will trigger a follow-up survey. Upon clicking the “Send Follow-up Survey” button, you will be taken to the Survey Assign wizard, with all steps already filled in. Simply confirm the information, and click the “Send” button. If it’s been fewer than 30 days since the reply was logged, the new survey will be scheduled automatically for a later date. When the recipient responds, the two survey replies (the old and new) will be linked together, so you can review the history, and confirm your follow-up actions produced better results.
- Template Search: You can now search for a survey template by Survey ID or key word when sending a survey.
Training for these new features will be provided at an upcoming training event. Current subscribers will be invited to a training event via email shortly.
Posted on August 26th, 2011 View Comments
I stumbled across a fantastic video on the web today, that very creatively presents a new paradigm to motivate and incentivize your team – particularly creative types like those serving the architecture and engineering industry. Here’s the 10-minute video – it’s worth watching to the last second (and very cleverly presented – especially to visually minded people).
For those who don’t take the time to watch it – the presentation shows research focusing in on human behavior, and how incentives work to create better performance. The shocking revelation is that money doesn’t work as a primary motivator for creative professionals. While a fair and compensatory paycheck is required to maintain an employee’s good will, better performance comes not from higher pay, but from three key areas:
This corroborates research by PSMJ that people leave their jobs most often because their:
- Talents are not seen
- Contributions are not appreciated
- Growth is not supported
Feedback is a powerful driver to attack each of these six items head-on, and build tremendous value in the relationships between your firm and your staff.
Client Feedback enables everyone in the organization to collect feedback from the people around them. Clients can be internal or external. They can be the consumer of your service, or a provider of a service to you. Whatever your professional interactions are, maximizing each relationship’s performance promotes a sense of well-being and belonging that an employee will be reluctant to leave.
We’ve found most feedback (about 96%) is positive. This kind of reinforcement feels great! People regularly receiving feedback feel appreciated and valued over and over again. All of a sudden, they know where their talents are, and can proudly share their successes. Additionally, their managers have access to a library of great accolades from which to publicly acknowledge and reward employees. The rewards don’t have to be financial – the recognition and appreciation alone for a job well done creates a sense of purpose and mastery.
Of course, while 96% of feedback is positive, 4% highlights challenges. And here’s where your creative people can really shine. Given tools to uncover where problems lie, and access to the information so your staff can create solutions on their own, grants a great sense of autonomy and self-determination that is very satisfying. Your staff aren’t just great technical minds – they are great people – and they have ideas about how to solve people problems along with the technical issues of the projects they work on.
Given a good set of tools to track “client” perceptions, and to measure how your team performs relative to expectations, you can create an environment that is decidedly flexible, supportive, creative, rewarding, masterful and filled with purpose. Feedback enables your entire staff – from the receptionist to the corner offices – to be a part of something bigger; a contributor to a community in ways that are meaningful, fulfilling, and rewarding.
Incorporating feedback into your organization may prove to be a better incentive than simple dollars and cents. Explore our Client Feedback Tool to learn how we can help.
Posted on August 4th, 2011 View Comments
We are pleased to announce the Client Feedback Tool has been upgraded to version 4.2.
New features include:
- Simplified administration of security, users, groups, and permissions – especially for large organizations
- The term “Teams” has been replaced by the more accurate term “Project Groups.” The functionality of these organizational units remains the same.
- Expanded support for foreign language surveys. We now support all international character sets for all customizable parts of the invitation and survey taking process.
- Simpler registration process for new users
Stay tuned for more. We have an exciting list of great new features coming in Q4, 2012!
Posted on June 13th, 2011 View Comments
We are pleased to announce Client Feedback Tool Version 4.1 has just been released. As the first release following a major version, we have focused on performance and refinement across the board.
- Reporting is 50% – 500% faster
- Schedule recurring surveys (monthly, quarterly, yearly)
- 33 customer-requested enhancements added
- Team creation / management redesigned to be easier
- 17 known defects repaired
We are eager to hear how well the performance enhancements work for you in real-world usage. Please send your comments and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
Posted on April 27th, 2011 View 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.
Posted on April 25th, 2011 View 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.