Client Feedback Initiatives Open Doors for Referrals, New Business

Developed by Fred Reichheld (2003 Harvard Business Review), the Net Promoter Score is a customer loyalty metric that is established based on client response to one direct question: “How likely are you to recommend our company to your friends and colleagues?”

While this type of client feedback survey can typically contain a series of quick follow-up questions, the main objective is to measure client satisfaction while gaining valuable perspective on areas for improvement, as well as earn an opportunity to grow your relationship and perhaps also a referral.

The electronic survey is preferred by many over more traditional in-person and/or telephone interviews because it is less intrusive, cost effective and requires little time for respondents to complete.

In addition, as the initial question suggests, this specific type of survey provides insight not only on ways you can improve your existing client relationships but also opens the door for the client to serve as an advocate for your firm.

As it relates specifically to Reichheld’s Net Promoter Score, responses are provided on a scale of one to 10, which allows surveyors to segment responses into three categories:

  • Promoters (9 to 10) – These clients are most likely to enthusiastically encourage others to use your firm. If a client falls in this category, you might consider a conversation about whether they know good fits for your firm.
  • Passives (7 to 8) – Individuals who are satisfied with your service but fall short of loyal. You should develop ways to continue dialogue with these clients so that you can convert them to promoters.
  • Detractors (0 to 6) – Clients who are unhappy with your product to the point that they may actually speak badly about your firm. The firm’s leadership should immediately and thoughtfully root out problems that exist with this relationship beginning with an assessment of work product, project management and processes, and key relationships.

As one might guess, the information gathered from a client feedback survey can be extremely valuable to improving communications and relationships with existing clients, but in order to realize the full benefit both in terms of existing clients relationships as well as the potential for additional referrals, your company should consider action plans that extend beyond the mere collection of responses.

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