Client Perception Studies
Client feedback is a gift. Knowing what your clients and prospects really think about you is the most valuable intelligence your business will ever receive. A properly planned and executed client perception study will have an indelible impact on everything you do in your business–your priorities, direction, service delivery, pricing, hiring and how you market. Posing the right questions to your clients will open a treasure trove of critical strategic and tactical information that will bring clarity to your business plans. For these reasons, client perception studies are a must pre-requisite before the start of any strategic planning initiative.
Client Feedback at Two Levels–Corporate and Project Specific
The approach to the corporate study is different from that obtained for specific projects. Both provide impacting information and insight for managing your business and are utilized in tandem to provide the most complete picture of performance.
At the Corporate Level
Approximately every two years it’s a good idea to take a pulse reading on how you are perceived in the marketplace. The best way to do that is to ask your clients–directly. As an independent 3rd party we set up phone interviews with a select list of clients. The number of clients can range from a minimum of 30 to 100 or more. Once all interviews are completed, we prepare a report that includes an executive summary of findings, strategic recommendations and the most salient comments from your clients for each major question. Our service also includes a 3-4 hour debrief to report the findings and discuss recommendations. Our clients often use this initiative as a major element of the strategic planning process.
At the Project Level
Project feedback sessions are conducted by the project manager. They are performed in person either at the client’s office or other appropriate setting. Depending on the size of the project, feedback sessions occur at regularly scheduled intervals–at major milestones for larger projects–or quarterly for continuous services for the same client. We recommend inclusion of this task as part of the QA/QC initiatives within the project management plan, and as a line item in your contracts. As the results of these sessions are collected over time among various projects and clients, you can use these results to identify performance trends and establish further refinements to your QA/QC program. The major features of this program include a standard questionnaire template, a measuring and reporting system that tracks important performance trends, and a recognition and reward system for outstanding client service. Training for conducting feedback at the project level is included in our business development training program for project managers.
Your client perception study has helped us clarify how we’re doing as well as what we should be doing in the future. I don’t think I could have kept so many people answering questions for so long as your firm did. Your recent facilitation of our retreat kept us focused. We needed that too!
Mike Sizemore, FAIA
Sizemore Floyd Architects
Tuminello Consulting has provided excellent value as a strategic advisor, facilitator and analyst. Among several varied assignments, they successfully completed a client perception study to gather important feedback from our clients. The insights we gained have proven invaluable in our commitment to maintain the highest quality standards. It is my pleasure to recommend them as key strategic partners.
Ryc Loope, President and CEO
Tuminello Consulting has been an invaluable asset to our firm. They recommended and conducted a client survey that uncovered valuable insights for improving our services and bottom line. Their strategies and advice were right on target with our needs.
Alan Turley, CEO
Turley Beck, Architects