Seasoned Marketer: Maximizing Client Satisfaction: 5 Best Practices for Surveying Your Clients

In the competitive landscape of accounting firms, client satisfaction is crucial. Understanding client needs, preferences and pain points is necessary for maintaining strong relationships and fostering business growth. One effective tool for gathering such insights is client satisfaction surveys. By implementing well-structured surveys and leveraging the data they provide, accounting firms can refine their services and enhance overall client satisfaction. Here are five best practices for surveying accounting clients and effectively utilizing the data:

  1. Clear and Concise Survey Design

The foundation of a successful survey lies in its design. Keep the questionnaire clear, concise and focused on gathering actionable insights. Start with general questions about overall satisfaction levels (Net Promoter® Score (NPS) is a great metric to utilize) then delve into specific aspects such as communication effectiveness, service quality and responsiveness. Utilize a mix of closed-ended (multiple choice, rating scales) and open-ended questions to capture both quantitative data for analysis and qualitative feedback for deeper insights. It is proven that the shorter the survey the better. According to ClearlyRated’s annual NPS Benchmark study, accounting clients are 97% more likely to take a survey if it is 3 questions long, 91% more likely to take it if it is 10 questions long, and 6it drops to 63% more likely to take it if it is 20 questions long. This proves that clients are likely to complete efficiently designed surveys.

  1. Timely and Regular Distribution

Timing is crucial when distributing surveys. Send them shortly after key touchpoints in the client journey, such as the completion of a project, the end of a fiscal year or after significant interactions with your firm. This ensures that clients’ experiences are fresh in their minds, leading to more accurate responses. This also gives timely feedback and allows you to get a pulse on their satisfaction levels. Additionally, consider implementing regular surveys on an annual or semi-annual basis to track changes in client satisfaction over time and identify areas for improvement proactively.

  1. Personalization and Customization

Tailor surveys to each client’s unique needs and experiences whenever possible. Personalization demonstrates attentiveness and reinforces the client’s importance to your firm. Utilize client data to segment your audience and craft targeted surveys based on factors like industry, company size or specific services utilized.

  1. Transparent Communication and Actionable Insights

After collecting survey data, communicate transparently with clients about the results and any actionable steps your firm plans to take based on their feedback. Highlight areas of strength as well as areas for improvement, demonstrating a commitment to continuous enhancement. Invite clients to participate in follow-up discussions or focus groups to delve deeper into specific issues or suggestions. By involving clients in the improvement process, you not only show responsiveness but also strengthen trust and loyalty. You should always respond to both positive and negative responses to show the client you care. Thank them for their feedback, offer solutions for negative feedback and show appreciation for positive feedback.

  1. Data Analysis and Implementation

Effective utilization of survey data requires thorough analysis and strategic implementation. Utilize analytics tools to identify patterns, trends and correlations within the data. Prioritize feedback based on its impact on client satisfaction and business objectives. Develop an action plan outlining concrete steps to address identified weaknesses and capitalize on strengths. Regularly monitor progress and adjust strategies as needed to ensure continuous improvement. Showcase testimonials from surveys in marketing materials and utilize any key metrics as differentiators in proposals. Highlighting the data strategically could be the most powerful aspect of your survey program.

In conclusion, surveying accounting clients is a valuable practice for gathering insights, enhancing client satisfaction and driving business growth. By following best practices such as clear survey design, timely distribution, personalization, transparent communication and strategic data analysis, accounting firms can leverage survey data to refine their services, strengthen client relationships and stay ahead of the competition. Remember, satisfied clients are not only loyal advocates but also key drivers of success in the world of accounting services.

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About Rachel Pompeani

Rachel Pompeani is currently the Growth Marketing Manager at ClearyRated, a satisfaction survey program designed for B2B service firms, and has been in this role since July 2021. She has an array of responsibilities at ClearlyRated, including digital marketing, content management, email communication, graphic creation, and more.

Welcome to CPA Growth Trends — your source for information, insights, tools and best practices to drive growth within an accounting firm.

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