It is an important question that never seems to get a clear answer when asked to most VARs, MSPs and ITSPs. The typical answer we get is that our clients love us because they are still doing business with us.
What about clients who no longer does business with your company? Do you conduct an exit survey? Clients are usually eager to tell you why they no longer do business with you. The business intelligence that you get can truly help you to prevent customer leakage in the future and may even help you to win-back some lost clients.
What does your clients like and dislike about your company? If you do not know what your clients think of you, then you really cannot plan to improve.
A survey is probably the fastest way to find out. There are several web-based survey tools that you can easily customize and send to your clients. Consider offering an incentive to win something of value for their effort in responding to your survey. A gift certificate to a favorite coffee shop always works.
Always tell your clients upfront that you would like to know what they think of your business so you can serve them better. While the online survey is the most efficient, always offer your clients to conduct the survey over the phone or ask them in person.
Compile the results and see where you stand. It is so easy to do and every VAR should do it at least once every year. Run follow up surveys like “Did we improve in serving your needs better this year?”
Your best clients will most likely tell you what you are doing right and how you can improve. Your worst clients will see that you are making an effort to improve. Either way, it will not hurt your business.
Think about the things that you would like to know from your clients and formulate into a question. Get your team involved to make it inclusive from different aspects of your business. Prepare them for the results so they take ownership and do what is necessary to improve. Reward your team when positive results come back for a job well done. Use the opportunity wisely as a learning experience to help your staff improve. Do use to chastise your employees.
Here are a few basic questions to consider:
1) Are we responding you your needs fast enough? Rate 1 -5.
2) Do you find that our support and service levels meet your needs and expectations? Rate 1 -5.
3) Is our sales team attentive to your needs? Rate 1 -5.
4) How would you rate your overall experience with our company? Rate 1 -5.
5) What would you like us to improve upon? ___________
6) Is our billing service adequate for your company? Rate 1 -5.
7) Are we keeping you updated adequately about all of the latest technologies that could help your business? Rate 1 -5.
8) Would you like to attend more educational seminars about the latest IT solutions? Yes or No
The more you know about what is on the minds of your clients, the better you can improve your business. We are all in business to serve the needs of our customers. While you are probably in tune with the specific needs of your key clients, you do need to understand the overall impression from a wider range of clients so you can truly gauge the impact to your business.
We recommend that you conduct surveys at least once a year and benchmark the data year over year to measure your improvement. You could hire an outside firm to conduct the survey, but it is not necessary. Almost any survey application provider will help you get the job done.
If you already do surveys to your clients, then you are well on your way to success. If not, please use this reminder to do one as soon as possible. If you need help, ask us.