Updated: Dec 8, 2022
So things are going along great – you’re all over each other’s social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter - you even exchange the occasional call or email, and you’re seeing each other regularly. Parties and concerts in the city with big groups of friends, date nights at dinner or the theater: you’re the first person they ask when they have a special event, and you’ve certainly helped out with your fair share of rides to the airport. You don’t even think about it anymore – you just know they’re …there. Part of your life.
And then suddenly you start to wonder. Did they answer your last message? When was the last time you actually saw each other? Hey, did you not get an invite to their annual St. Patrick’s Day party? You feel a little left out when you see vacation photos on Facebook – did you even know they were out of town?!
So you send a note – hey, what’s up, how’ve you been? Want to grab coffee?
You check your social media – well, let’s be honest, you do a little light stalking. The last time they liked your FB post? Four months ago. Ok, maybe that’s not so bad. Wait… what’s this on Instagram?! Is that a bachelorette party?!
You try again, real casual – it’s been a while – let’s catch up! Miss you!
And that’s when it hits you. They’re gone. You’ve been . . . ghosted.
If we’re still talking about your personal life, well, maybe you’re reading the wrong blog. But if this sounds like any client relationships you’ve had, stay with me for a minute.
The surest way to keep in tune with your clients and know if they are satisfied and loyal? Ask. Want to hear about their issues BEFORE they leave you? Ask. Need to know if their most recent experience knocked their socks off? Ask. Every time you do business: Ask.
If you wait until you’ve noticed they’ve quietly disappeared, it’s too late to ask. If you assume “no news is good news,” it’s already too late. If you think you’re set because they gave you a rave review six months ago, it’s too late.
The time to ask is now. Every time you do business. Immediately--and briefly. Some of the best companies, the ones who “have it all together” stay that way in part because they continually ask their clients the questions that keep them on top of their customer game.
I’m not suggesting that if you implement customer satisfaction surveys you’ll never lose a client again. But I AM suggesting your odds of repairing a small tear before it becomes a gaping hole will improve immensely. And you won’t be left with nearly as many nagging questions. Did their needs change, or did they find someone else? Was it money, service, mistakes, lack of attention? Most importantly, could this relationship have been saved?
But Amy, you’re thinking, those surveys are so impersonal. I offer exceptional, high-touch, customer-focused service. I make my clients feel special. I don’t want to lose that. I’d rather call, send personal notes, and meet up with my clients face to face. Yes! I absolutely agree – 100%!! Surveys will never replace those things, and they aren’t intended to.
It turns out the value of the survey is in its simplicity, convenience, and impersonality. Jane Client may not have the time or the inclination to contact you about a minor service failure, or even a major one. Maybe she doesn’t like to complain. Or she has more important and urgent matters to attend to, as people do. Maybe Jane is your primary contact, but she didn’t experience your service directly. Customer satisfaction surveys give the immediate client a chance to respond to your service while it’s fresh on their mind.
And for you, the survey provides not only individual feedback, but also a big picture overview. Patterns and trends in your surveys can provide valuable insight for many business decisions – from employee recognition to training needs to infrastructure updates and service changes. And I think you just might be surprised by what you learn.
Ask the questions even if you’re not sure you’ll like the answers. Those answers may sketch out a road map for your path forward. And you just might spot a client trail before the vanishing act is complete.
I’m out of time—but here’s what our clients are saying about customer service surveys:
“The implementation of the Customer Satisfaction Surveys was eye-opening in so many ways! Through these weekly results LMC is able to help us pinpoint any areas for improvement while we keep watch on any patterns found in the results.”
“It has become a friendly competition among the staff to see what area of the company receives highest marks, and our Chauffeur group usually pulls ahead of Office and Fleet by just a hair, but we’ve all been very pleased to see our great ‘scores!’”
“The section of the survey where we invite clients to request follow up from a manager has been very helpful. Typically, when we have to follow up, it is because a client can’t say enough great things about a chauffeur’s service, but on occasion this is also a good opportunity to hear any concerns that our clients may have. We have been very pleased with the self-awareness that these surveys have brought to our company!”
If you'd like to learn more about how to keep your clients close through Client Satisfaction Surveys, email firstname.lastname@example.org.