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May 17 2021

Client Surveys Offer Priceless Perspective

With businesses beginning to gradually reopen, this time of transition offers an opportunity for architecture, engineering, and construction firms to recalibrate. Whether a company is considering a shift in services, markets, or sectors, or just wants to take the pulse of its business partners, it’s important to establish a baseline from which to plan its next move. A client survey can be a great tool to reconnect with customers and gauge their new or evolving needs, while simultaneously gaining insight into how a firm is perceived by them.

Firms can be apprehensive about conducting a client survey for a variety of reasons: Some worry it is an infringement on a client’s time. Others may be concerned that a survey could jeopardize a sound and ongoing relationship.

These reservations are understandable; after all, architects are naturally creative thinkers, and the mantle of corporate leadership can be an uncomfortable fit for some of them. But—much like a design problem is solved—these misgivings can be alleviated by strategically crafting a survey that is focused, logical, and ultimately measurable.

Questions should be well defined, direct, and succinct, targeting the areas of performance that are most relevant to the firm’s future operations. A survey with a mix of subjective answers, multiple choice, and numerical ranking will keep respondents engaged. It’s also worth noting that the format of a survey can impact the quality of results. A scheduled telephone interview with a neutral party documenting responses typically yields more detailed answers than an impersonal e-survey.

Next week, we’ll take a look at some sample questions that can make your client survey a success.