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The Benefit of Client Surveys

Conducting Client Surveys brings a number of significant benefits to an advisory business, not least of which is some tremendous insights to help you shape and refine your client proposition. Done well, they can be a great reminder of what you do and what clients value as well as increasing their awareness of the specific services you offer. They will also provide some valuable, revealing and potentially surprising insights into

  • Levels of satisfaction
  • Level of expectation (and whether these are being met)
  • Preferences in terms of frequency of contact and the type and nature of communications preferred
  • Specific interests (for example in terms of education and information)
  • Propensity to refer
Client surveys can be conducted formally by post or telephone or even online, through client forums where a number of clients are invited to participate in an interactive discussion around some key questions or just informally as part of your regular client reviews.
Hints and tips
Whatever approach you take, there are a few “rules” that will help you get meaningful information and feedback that you can use to improve what you do.
  1. Focus on service satisfaction, both specifically and generally
  2. Probe your clients expectations regarding contact. This is where the value is and you may surprise yourself about how often they might like to sit meet with you.
  3. Gauge their interest in education/learning. It may give you some helpful topics for future client events/seminars, which can be great opportunities for referrals if clients can “bring a friend”.
  4. Determine their preferences re frequency and format of communications. Are your newsletters engaging and relevant for example.
  5. Ask for profile information to fill the gaps in your database
  6. Follow up to communicate the positives and negatives and tell them what changes you intend to make as a result
  7. Summarise the highlights for your introducers and other “Centres of Influence”
Many advisers seem reluctant to carry out regular client surveys, possibly because PI insurers get twitchy about unearthing possible complaints. However, for me it’s a choice between knowing what it is that your clients need, want and value and using that information to improve what you do or keeping your head down and hoping that inertia or ignorance will be enough to keep them loyal. Good luck with the latter!

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