Get Better After Every Job!
Ever since seeing my doctor upon returning from a business trip with the flu, I’ve been dogged by a survey company that the healthcare provider hired to rate my experience. The cover letter explains it is part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to improve their service.
The survey itself is a tedious-looking document where my responses to questions are rated on a numeric scale. As I read it I’m thinking, “Was this doctor a 7, 8 or 9—because no one is a 10?” Realizing that my responses will be averaged in with hordes of
others and likely have little impact, I placed the survey in the recycle bin.
The way I see it, the only thing a company can do that is worse than sending you a survey is to beg you in advance to respond kindly to one that is on the way. Car dealers are notorious for this. Doesn’t it make you want to squirm when a service writer or salesperson says, “You’ll be hearing from our company as a follow up on the quality of my service, and I’d sincerely appreciate it if you give me high ratings”? As I drive away, I’m thinking the process that is supposed to rate my satisfaction is the worst part of my experience with the company. There has to be a better way to quantify customer satisfaction.
As a technology integrator, you should communicate with your clients in order to get feedback relative to their experience with your firm, and use that feedback to adjust your methods for enhanced customer satisfaction. But chances are, using numerical surveys like the healthcare providers or the car dealers do will not generate responses applicable to your efforts. The best way to develop actionable feedback about your performance is through client interviews. Unlike surveys, the interview process is an open-ended technique that allows your clients the opportunity to expand on their experience with your company and give you the words and feelings behind their opinions. With these in hand, you can develop the necessary insights and make adjustments to constantly improve your performance.
Give the client interview process a try for yourself and you’ll be amazed at what you learn. When you do, here are a few questions to ask:
Interview Question 1: “Of the many technology integrators in the area to choose from, will you please tell me why you selected (you company’s name) for the job?”
In Question 1, you are looking to understand why you got hired. Is it attributed to a referral from another tradesman or a past customer, a web search for providers, one of your advertising promotions, or a host of other reasons? Noting this response can help guide your customer acquisition efforts going forward.
Interview Question 2: “We’re proud of our sales and installation teams. How do you feel about our sales team? How do you feel about our installation team?”
In Question 2, you are soliciting feedback about functional areas of your company. Feel free to insert other areas like service or project management into the question as it suits the specific job you performed. The important aspect is to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses by functional area of your company.
Interview Question 3: “We are in constantly evolving with the goal of being the highest value to our clients. How could we be of higher value to you? What else could we do to provide value to your (home, office or whatever type of job you did)?”
In Question 3, you are looking to determine what else you could offer this client or clients in the future. Perhaps clients would appreciate your firm offering a new category of solutions or services that you will benefit from. You won’t know unless you ask.
Interview Question 4: “If you were us, how would you attract clients just like you? What would you suggest we do?”
In Question 4, you are looking for leads for new prospects.
In many cases the response to
this question will result in a
referral to some other homeowner or business that your client is
If this all sounds good to you but you are too busy or aren’t sure how to approach your clients, you should consider hiring a professional just like the other industries do. Firms like mine—Mike Detmer Business Solutions—or public relations firms are equipped to conduct client interviews and organize the responses in a way that will give you immediate insights as to how to get better after every job.
Naturally, should you have any
questions or wish to enlist my help, feel
free to contact me through my web site at www.mikedetmer.com.
Good Selling! •