April 21, 2016
How Satisfied Are Our Clients? Very.
On the occasion of our five year anniversary, among our many reflections we took the opportunity to look back on the results from the client satisfaction survey we send at the end of every engagement. The results from 44 clients over the past 3 years and 9 months were quite interesting. Some were consistent with many of the insights from this post two years ago of the earlier results, but in other areas we’ve improved our performance beyond what was already good to start with. Given that 48% of our projects are for repeat clients, and 57% of our new clients come by referral, this is not surprising, but it is gratifying and useful to see where there are areas for improvement.
Overall, a bright picture: The results overall paint a really positive picture of our clients’ satisfaction: 92% are “very satisfied” and 8% are “satisfied” (none are dissatisfied). With 90% promoters, 8% passives, and 2% detractors, we also have a Net Promoter Score of 87.5% which puts us in lofty territory with the likes of USAA.
Satisfaction by Category Progress since 2014: When you look at the results by category: our people receive the highest scores – no surprise since brightspotters are awesome – followed by our project management, our communication throughout the process and our expertise. We received very positive scores but still have room for improvement in how the engagement process is facilitated and its outcomes.
In 2014, these areas were ranked (also in declining order): people, expertise, communications, process, management, and outcomes. The upward movement of management and outcomes is satisfying for us as it reflects intentional efforts on our part at improving how we manage projects (for instance involving clients at key decision points and effectively dealing with problems that may arise). It also reflects our focus on making our recommendations implementable – striking the right balance between innovation and achievability (what Raymond Loewy called: “MAYA” most advanced yet acceptable).
Getting into the Details: The detailed dimensions of each of these categories provide useful data on where we can focus in the coming years – what clients value today that we need to sustain tomorrow as well as areas for focused improvement. Our highest performing areas are involving clients at critical decision points, the respectful and courteous approach that brightspotters take, our consistent delivery on our commitments, how we bring new knowledge and insights to projects, and how we deal with problems quickly and openly. Our lowest performing areas (which are all 80+% positive and are somewhat a function of our position as front-end strategists) are our use of jargon, diagnosing causes of problem areas, enabling organizational change, and creating implementable recommendations.
Our client survey is an integral part of our feedback culture; we use it as part of a debrief after every project and it complements the 360s and performance check-ins we do internally every quarter. The survey may evolve as we have a recently created an insights group within brightspot, but we will continue to seek feedback from our clients – formally and informally, early and often – so that we can continue to serve them well and grow as a company and as individuals.