As the founder and CEO of a marketing agency, I’m fanatic about client feedback, customer service data, and benchmarks. I want to know where we are doing well, and where we need to improve.
We recently surveyed our clients, and, in the spirit of full transparency, I’m sharing the report—the good, the bad, and the ugly. For each question below, I spoke with the ignite: action team about lessons learned and how we can continue to improve as a company.
We were pleased that more than 80 percent of our clients responded to the survey, so our numbers should be robust.
Q1) How likely is it that you would recommend our agency to a friend or colleague?
First, I was pleased to learn that according to Net Promoter Score, anything over a 50 is considered “excellent.” Phew. However, we certainly want more clients to enthusiastically recommend us. It’s important that our clients not only love the work we do, but are eager to share the love.
Q2) Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with our agency?
Over 90 percent “very satisfied” is the kind of result that one wishes for. Nonetheless, contacting the clients who felt there was some room for improvement may be a good idea. They may have insight into what it is like to interact with our agency that we could use. Also, a client that we contact for more information will know that we are listening and we strive for excellence.
Q3) Which of the following words would you use to describe our work? Select all that apply.
We are glad that our clients think of us as reliable, high quality, and creative. We may need to work on differentiating ourselves from other agencies so that we can score higher on the measure of uniqueness.
As well, more clearly demonstrating the ROI of the work that we do with our clients may be helpful. In many organizations, funding for communications and marketing is hard to come by, so demonstrating ROI is important to continued investment within the organization.
I do worry a little about the “overpriced” response because it can be viewed as a negative sentiment. If people think our pricing is too high, is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. We have highly skilled professionals with vast experience and our pricing model reflects that. We work mostly on retainers and that allows us to fully immerse ourselves with our clients and their key marketing challenges.
Q4) How well do our services meet your needs?
It looks like we are a pretty good fit with the needs of the organizations we work with. That means that our clients have a strategic understanding of their own needs, which is integral to a strong client and agency relationship. We work hard to keep our services adaptable and top-of-class in a rapidly changing world.
Q5) How would you rate the quality of our work?
To move the needle from “high” to “very high” requires effort and strategic thinking. Indeed, more work is needed to go from good to great than from average to good.
Jim Collins, a leadership expert and author, says that to go from good to great, a leader must “combine extreme personal humility with intense professional will.” We’re starting here with humility by sharing our survey results.
Another insight from Collins is that companies typically put their best talent on their most difficult situations. They try to fix problems. Sometimes this works. But then, who do you put on your biggest opportunities? Great outcomes come from putting your resources toward opportunities and not just problems.
Q6) How would you rate the value for money of the services we provide?
Again, the results to this question shows that our agency is a good fit with the organizations we serve. As well, there is demonstrated financial value to the work we do together. I’m hoping we can improve even more in 2019 and increase the level of the “excellent” bar.
Q7) How responsive have we been to any of your questions or concerns during a project or engagement with us?
This is another question where the investment of effort to move from good to great comes up.
Jim Collins writes that leaders must have the humility to admit that they may not already know all of the answers; instead, they must first ask questions to see where improvement might be needed. We’re glad to be going through the process.
I am pleased to see where we are with responsiveness. Client concerns must be handled swiftly and appropriately, and with a focus on finding a solution.
Q8) How long have you been a client of our agency?
This question’s results reveals our business mix. About 50 percent of our clients have been with us long-term. And almost 25 percent of our clients are new. A healthy company builds lasting relationships, while also growing.
Q9) How likely are you to engage our agency for future work?
The results of this question might require some greater context that we will seek out by asking follow up questions. Are the needs of our clients changing? Could we change with them? Investing in current client satisfaction is smarter than going out to look for new clients.
I like ending the survey by looking toward the future. Feedback should always be forward-looking and used to create an even better tomorrow. This is how we roll.