Why do we care?
Our primary aim is to let the clients know that we care about what they think and how they perceive our service to be. There’s a saying that someone’s perception becomes their reality and we want to manage that.
Part of ISO 9001:2008 is customer feedback. We want to poll the clients regularly and get their feedback while a job is still fresh in their memory. How do they feel about the service we provided them?
In the company I work for, we call this a “Service Feedback Request”.
How do we do it?
Whenever we complete a job, an email is sent automatically to the contact person at the client. Just one thing, though: there is a delay of 2 days in sending the email to allow the client’s own internal processes to complete first. Some of our clients have a centralized reporting office (normally IT) through which they contact us. We have to allow for the time it takes for the client’s IT department to get back to their own clients.
We ask our clients the following questions:
- Was the task delivered within the promised time frame?
- If not, were you informed timely of any changes in delivery time?
- Were your needs in this particular case met?
- Were you advised regarding any system impact; or made aware of alternative or better ways of meeting your stated need?
- Was the work done in a professional manner?
For each of these questions (except Comments) the client may answer “Exceeded expectations”, “Met expectations”, “Did not meet expectations” or “Not applicable”. A value is assigned to each answer from 3 (Exceeded) to 0 (Not applicable). Answers are sent via return email.
What do we get back?
We normally get back about 5% of the questionnaires sent. This 5% does help us a lot in streamlining any processes and communicating with our clients. We have some clients that always try to answer, others we never hear from. But the important part is that we give our clients an opportunity to talk to us.
If there are any very positive comments I might send the client a thank-you email. For negative comments and questions the client rated us as “Did not meet expectations” I generally follow up with both the client and the line manager. A discussion with the client follows and we sort things out. What we don’t want is for a client to brood on a negative perception – rather talk to us.
How do we measure the scores?
The score for each reply is stored in our database. We have a company dashboard that shows our scores relating to service feedbacks. We use that to gauge how our clients feel about us.
How do you do it?
I’d love to hear how you measure your clients’ perceptions of the work you do. What do you think about ours?