What Do Your Clients Think of Your Practice?
Do you really know what your clients think of your firm?
If you don't conduct client satisfaction surveys, you don't really know your organization's strengths, weaknesses or opportunities to improve. You're operating in the blind and assuming many things. And we all know what happens when you assume things.
Organizations survey their constituents to maximize the retention of current customers and improve their overall performance. Heck, even politicians understand the importance of surveys.
- Client satisfaction surveys measure satisfaction levels, solicit feedback on how to improve, and help determine loyalty.
- Historical tracking of client satisfaction results are crucial to monitoring overall satisfaction as well as within certain sub-groups within your firm.
- Survey developers should have experience with designing and interpreting the results.
In today's era of higher client service expectations, client satisfaction surveys are essential tools for listening to clients about their satisfaction levels, developing strategies for improvement, and increasing brand loyalty. During the process, it is important to inform clients that their opinions matter, and that their responses will instigate change with your organization.
Reasons to Conduct Satisfaction Surveys
- Demonstrate commitment to listening to clients
- Increase profits
- Improve client retention rates and improve loyalty
- Improve quality of service
- Quantitatively measure firm performance
- Provide a venue for unhappy clients to vent, and then address their concerns
- Re-allocate firm resources towards areas that concern clients
However, satisfied clients are not necessarily loyal clients. I'm sure you have examples of clients that were satisfied but switched to another firm that will apparently exceed their expectations. As a result, your goal is to increase the percentage of loyal clients, not satisfied clients.
If you'd like to conduct client satisfaction surveys for free, try using Survey Monkey (http://www.surveymonkey.com/) and send out your surveys electronically. It's faster than the old paper method and much easier to tabulate your results. And it's free to boot.
To truly improve your firm's loyalty ratings and retain clients longer, client satisfaction surveys should be conducted twice per year. The first survey should be done right after tax season and second should be six months later.
Hugh Duffy is the Chief Marketing Officer of Build Your Firm, a practice development and marketing firm for CPAs. For more information, visit http://www.buildyourfirm.com/. He can be reached at [email protected] or call 888-999-9800 x151.