Over the last week I’ve been talking to Client Heartbeat customers with the goal of finding out what the best companies are doing to get the highest response rates, and what the other companies are doing to get below-average response rates. From all the talks with so many customers, I’ve come up with a proven strategy that I wanted to formalize into a resource to help everyone who is experiencing low response rates improve them to above 65%.
“How?” you ask?
You must integrate Client Heartbeat into your business; make it a part of your business operations.
To give you some perspective, on average, Client Heartbeat customers receive survey response rates of 65%. That’s pretty good compared to other online survey tools that average 10-15%. The reason we can achieve such high survey response rates is because we keep the surveys super simple (six questions), make them really personalized, and automate the follow-up process.
Now, although our response rates are pretty high on average, some of our customers are receiving response rates below 65%. If you fit into that category, I strongly recommend taking a read of this resource I’ve recently put together.
In a world where it’s often your unhappy customers who don’t respond to your surveys, you need to do whatever you can to try to boost survey response rates so you can get customer feedback from all your customers. The last thing any of us want is to lose a customer, knowing that we could have done something about it.
Take a read of this: Six Common Reasons Why Customer Survey Response Rates are Low
You’ll notice one recommendation I make in the above resource is to integrate Client Heartbeat into your business. That point is what this resource is going to focus on.
In this resource, I’m going to take you through a real case example of how one of our customers, Mimi Tan of R&G Technologies, integrates Client Heartbeat into her company, and as a result… accurately monitors customer satisfaction and gets a high survey response rate of 72%.
Now it wasn’t always the case. Using other online survey tools, Mimi used to average survey response rates of around 10-15%. There came a point when she had had enough. These traditional tools were not doing a good enough job at accurately measuring customer satisfaction, so she took things into her own hands.
R&G Technologies started using Client Heartbeat, and they integrated it into their entire business. Client Heartbeat was up on the screens inside the company’s NOC (network operations center), was included in the company’s monthly meetings, used as part of the sales process, addressed during their clients’ quarterly meetings, and used as KPIs to track employee performance.
This resource will show you how they did it.
Integrating Client Heartbeat into the sales process
One of the easiest ways to get a 100% survey response rate is to make it compulsory. This was one idea Mimi tossed up when integrating Client Heartbeat.
If we tell customers about Client Heartbeat right at the start, during the sales process, and tell them that it’s compulsory, we can make sure we get feedback from absolutely everyone. We’d never have to be afraid of missing important customer feedback.
That was the theory, and now R&G Technologies makes Client Heartbeat an important part of their sales process. It’s brought up at the initial sales meeting, used as a point of difference, and Tony Nissen, the company’s National Solutions Manager, points out the value of the tool from a client’s perspective.
“It shows our customers that we really care about them. We make Client Heartbeat compulsory because we want to ensure our customers are heard. Yes, it seemed a bit extreme at the start, but all our new customers don’t have a problem once we tell them why.”
This move has definitely helped the company improve its survey response rates. They still do have some of their existing customers who don’t fill out the quarterly survey, but by ensuring all new customers are aware of the tool, and why they need to fill it out, their survey response rates will continue to rise.
The benefit of using this approach is that your customer is fully aware of what Client Heartbeat is. From speaking to other Client Heartbeat customers who are experiencing low response rates, there was a common trend. Their customers didn’t know what Client Heartbeat was.
It’s so important to make sure your customers know what Client Heartbeat is before sending out the survey. This way, there are no big surprises and they’ll know what to do.
Integrating Client Heartbeat into monthly company meetings
I was lucky enough to be invited into R&G’s monthly company meeting last week to get an inside look at how they are using Client Heartbeat within the business.
It was a surprising experience to see Mimi Tan bring up Client Heartbeat on the big screen. She then proceeded to go through all the customers who were identified as “at risk.”
Addressing each customer on an individual level, she then opened up the discussion to all the employees to try and dig a little deeper into why each customer had given sub-par ratings.
From the open discussion, Mimi had quickly been able to identify some possible reasons for the low rating scores. One particular example that stood out to me was a customer had experienced some problems with getting their Cloud up and running. Mimi asked the account manager and he explained that their internet speed was too slow to handle the software – they were only on ADSL. The account manager went on to explain they had suggested upgrading to Fiber and it was going to be installed next week.
This is a great example of quickly being able to identify why at-risk customers could be giving R&G low satisfaction scores. In this case, it looks like just a temporary problem that will be fixed by the next customer satisfaction survey period.
But for all other at-risk customers, Mimi was able to walk away with actionable feedback as to what the possible problems were. She can use this feedback to propose possible solutions and implement a customer retention program, or what I call a “customer win-back program.”
Integrating Client Heartbeat into the client’s quarterly business reviews
Mimi tells me that R&G holds quarterly business reviews with each and every one of their clients. Firstly, I want to say that’s a good idea in itself and something I strongly recommend, particularly for IT Companies and businesses in the Professional Services space.
What delighted me next was when she told me that she brings a printed copy of the client’s customer satisfaction scores with her to each meeting. She prints out the Client Heartbeat Dashboard page for each individual customer and attaches it to their file.
When Mimi enters the quarterly business review, along with all the other things she addresses, she pulls out the Client Heartbeat paper and goes through each score the customer gave.
Using Client Heartbeat, Mimi is able to ask more questions to dig deeper and find any further problems that might be causing the customer to give their specific scores.
Remember, she does this for the unhappy customers and the happy customers. Because when she talks to the happy customers, she’s able to find out what they really appreciate. This is great insight she can use to help ensure every customer feels that same way about R&G.
Additionally, for customers who have indicated they “love” R&G, Mimi can ask them for any business referrals. Oftentimes, it’s your happiest customers who become your advocates. By knowing who your advocates are, you can leverage them to spread positive word of mouth and refer new business to you.
Integrating Client Heartbeat into employee KPIs to track performance
One thing that I always love recommending to Client Heartbeat customers is to use the tool as a KPI to measure employee performance. And that’s just what Mimi tells me they do at R&G Technologies.
Since Client Heartbeat lets Mimi group her clients by specific account managers, she has a quick and concise view at her clients’ satisfaction levels, segmented by each account manager.
She’s able to print out staff reports and use them in her employee reviews.
The reports can provide some great feedback; let’s take a look at a particular example (not an R&G example, just another undisclosed customer).
I was speaking to another customer, and they were telling me that Client Heartbeat actually helped them identify some employees who weren’t meeting the company’s level of customer care and service. This particular account manager had four of his 10 customers considered “at risk.” This rang alarm bells and through further investigation, the employee was taking shortcuts and was not servicing his clients at the high levels that were expected by the customer.
Since the service levels were not meeting customer expectations, the clients were nearly halfway out the door. Luckily, the operations manager was able to step in and reassign the clients to other account managers. They also could implement a customer retention program and win back the clients’ trust.
Integrating Client Heartbeat inside the office
The final thought in this resource comes from something I just caught out of the corner of my eye when visiting the R&G offices.
Inside the company’s NOC (network operations center), they had a TV screen dedicated to the Client Heartbeat dashboard. This let each of the technicians see all the customer feedback scores and benchmarking data.
I thought this was marvelous and really sums up how R&G have integrated Client Heartbeat into their business, right from the initial sales call, through to being a constant reminder for the IT technicians
Increase survey response rates by 300%
By integrating Client Heartbeat into R&G’s business processes, Mimi has been able to increase their customer survey response rates by over 300%.
"Client Heartbeat has helped us improve our survey response rate, which means we now have the majority of our customers giving us actionable feedback. As operations manager, I want to make sure I’m doing all I can to ensure our customers are happy all the time, and Client Heartbeat helps me do that.”Mimi Tan - Operations Manager
R&G’s response rates from using traditional survey tools were only 10-15%. Now they are kicking butt with survey response rates of 72%.
This is a significant improvement and something that will help R&G better monitor their customer satisfaction levels. With 72% of their customers now filling out their customer feedback surveys, Mimi knows that she is getting actionable feedback from the majority of her customers and doing all she can to ensure her unhappy customers are identified early and quickly, so she can step in and make sure they don’t leave or cancel.