There is no shortage of ways for professional services firms to solicit and capture client feedback. Some firms structure their initiative as a once-a-year check-in with repeat clients while others hire outside consultants to conduct third-party client satisfaction interviews. In a previous posting, we reviewed why you might want to start a feedback program. Now let’s discuss specific tools that will help with starting one.
The feedback approach we like to use at Full Sail Partners includes:
- Several “milestone events” throughout the course of complex projects
- Billing thresholds for clients using a la carte services
By identifying this schedule of feedback events in advance, our clients know what to expect of the process and can effectively participate. We manage our program with The Client Feedback Tool from Client Savvy (CFT).
Surely our Existing Data is Worth Something
When we first started our program, we strategically knew that:
- We would need to scale the volume of feedback without a proportional increase in the program’s administration time
- In Deltek Vision, we already had a system housing key data needed for the program – contact and company names, email addresses, project records, and various other meta data
- Both Deltek Vision and Client Feedback Tool were designed with available API interfaces
Enter the Blackbox Vision Connector for Client Feedback Tool (VC4CFT) – a pre-built integration between Deltek Vision and CFT. This solution allows us to leverage the existing information in our database, improve consistency across the two platforms and decrease the amount of time needed to manage our routine client feedback program.
How Does it Work?
If you’re familiar with how Vision functions, you already know that all operational activity in the system is oriented around projects. Whether you’re completing a schematic design or purchasing paperclips, your work will eventually hit a project in Vision. Managing feedback is setup the same way and all information needed for the process of requesting client feedback is gathered in a project record. While this is typically a “Regular” project, if we’re seeking general feedback from a cross-section of our client base, we just gather those contacts together in an appropriate general project in Vision, either by creating it for that purpose or using one that already exists.
VC4CFT allows our project managers to send feedback requests in one of two ways:
- Anytime desired directly from the Project record in Vision
- As part of the batching function that seeks out eligible projects based on pre-determined rules
For example, during our implementation projects, we first like asking for feedback after we’re about 30% complete. The Connector’s workflows know to look for projects that have recently crossed that milestone based on financial records. Usually about once per month, we have the Connector lookup all the projects that apply under all the rules we’ve put in place. With quick input from the project managers, we’re able to assemble a list of surveys that can all go out at once, driven from a single point of administration.
As our clients provide feedback (and we thank you for it!), general information about the feedback history is returned to Vision through the Blackbox Connector. Whether looking at aggregate response rates or figuring out why that one person always opens our requests but doesn’t complete the survey (you know who you are), the most important objective is to enhance the client experience. The combination of Deltek Vision, the Client Feedback Tool and the Blackbox Connector allows us to further leverage our core client information, turn feedback strategies into scalable routine processes, and most importantly, improve the experiences our clients have while working with us.