One firm’s quest for client hearts & minds
Part 2 of 3 (Results)
So there I was; proud owner of my first ever client survey results.
My deepest fears populated the response options; it was time to see if they were true.
Question 1 (Multiple Choice)
Scanning the chart below, I was instantly relieved at two findings:
- Only one client had a problem with my rate.
- Most clients were feeling the GFC pinch.
At first blush, this suggested I wasn’t directly responsible for my 20% fall in earnings.
However, as the primitive nature of my main question became evident in these sterile bars, I thanked my wife for suggesting a second, open-ended question.
This was where the real gold lay.
Question 2 (Open Ended)
SurveyBob had a nifty function that let me download the data to a spreadsheet. My clients’ frank, open-ended responses mainlined me right into their brains.
I classified this generous feedback (modified where necessary to protect the innocent) into three categories:
- Your work is great.
- You guys rock!
- Your approach is professional, comprehensive and timely.
- Our business comes in spikes. When we’re back, so are you.
- You’ll certainly hear from us when we have the need again.
- All our clients know who you are, by name.
B. Home Truths / Suggestions
- You have not proposed a model of how you can add value to my business lately.
- A better understanding of who you are would allay concerns of the entity being dealt with.
- Do a special rate for Xmas!
- Try advertising in the technical writing space. People might look under those keywords for your service.
- Alert me to the services you offer, particularly when I am struggling with overload.
- A good idea to generate business for each other would be to introduce us to your client base.
- Please put me on your small business blog.
- You serve crap coffee at Empire House.
C. Things beyond my control
- No new project on the horizon.
- We haven’t had any full-on copywriting jobs of late.
- We need to use internal staff copy writers first.
- Sorry, but our organisation doesn’t see the value of an external provider for such things.
- The potential client was an [EXPLETIVE DELETED].
I’d planned to make the survey attractive by revealing the results to all participants.
I didn’t think this would include their open-ended comments.
Two mortified clients reported this to me. Equally mortified, I killed the survey. My apologies were accepted, but the early halt probably cost me some late responses.
What to do?
Despite this glitch, I had an unprecedented mother lode of intelligence. Never in the history of Empire had so much been drawn from so many by so few!
I had to work out what to do with it all. But before I’d started, two clients signalled their intention to give me more work. Great news!
I’ve since had a good think, consulted my business coach, made some preliminary moves and laid plans.
Read all about these in our thrilling Part 3 conclusion!
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire