Customer Satisfaction Survey Cover Letter Template

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Year End Client Satisfaction SurveysOut-Think and Out-Service Your Competitors

 

by John W. Olmstead, Jr., MBA

Copyright 1996-97 by Olmstead & Associates. All Rights Reserved.

The 90’s are being called the decade of the client. Clients are demanding and getting – both world class service – and top quality products. Most firms have spent too much money developing new clients and not enough retaining old ones. For most law firms, obtaining new work from existing clients is the most productive type of marketing.

Therefore, more firms are developing and using client surveys to obtain feedback about their clientís satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the attorneys and staff who served them, the timeliness, responsiveness, and value of work performed, the need for additional services, the need for greater lawyer specialization and whether they would use the firm again and refer the firm to friends and associates.

Information obtained from client surveys may be the most important marketing activity a law firm can undertake. Most firms indicate client surveys have found their clients to be impressed that the firm cares about their opinions. It is good business to listen to your clients. Understanding what bugs people about your offerings and those of your competition can be the most valuable input to strategy development you can get your hands on. Find out what bugs your clients and you will learn to out-think and out-service your competitors.

One good method for listening to your clients is the client satisfaction survey conducted via a mailed questionnaire. Many firms find that such a survey conducted at the end of year to be an excellent vehicle for collecting client feedback.

Client Selection

While one option would be to survey all of your clients, many firms choose to pull a list of files closed during the year and survey only those clients. This keeps the size of the survey manageable.

Questionnaire Design – Sample Questionnaire

A sample questionnaire that can be used is attached to this writing. In general the design should be simple in layout, easy to read, and no longer than one page – front and back. You may want to color code the questionnaires for various areas of law categories and client types. Questions should be easy to answer and structured. Yes/No, true/false, and multiple choice answers work best. Some fill in the blank type questions will be needed. As you formulate your questions try to think from the clientís perspective. To learn what clients want, you must ask specific questions. A good questionnaire should seek the answers to two key concerns:

  1. How are we doing?
  2. How can we get better?

Sample Cover Letter (ON FIRM LETTERHEAD)

 

 

 Dear (NAME OF CLIENT)

We would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity of working with you during the past year. We would also like to wish you and your family a happy holiday season.

At (LAW FIRM), we realize we must be sensitive to the needs of our clients and our ability to satisfy those needs. With your help, we would like to undertake a systematic effort to evaluate the services which we provide to you on your legal matters.

Enclosed you will find a brief survey which asks you to rate the quality of our services. We plan to send a similar survey whenever certain randomly-selected files are closed.

By completing and returning this questionnaire, you will assist us in improving our services to you. Enclosed you will also find a postage-paid envelope for your convenience.

Thank you in advance for your time and cooperation in completing this survey. If you have any questions or concerns, please call me directly.

Sincerely,

Managing Partner

Law Firm

P.S. Please return the completed survey to our office no later than February 1, 1995.

 

Mailing Procedure

The questionnaire should be mailed with a good cover letter and a stamped return envelope. We suggest that it be sent first class and in plenty of time to arrive ahead of the Xmas rush. While labels can be used we suggest that the envelope be typed instead. This presents a more professional appearance and is more likely to be opened and responded to by the client.

Compilation

Once the surveys are returned to the firm a return rate (Percentage) should be calculated.Then the surveys should be summarized in some form and expressed in a summary document so that key points can be spotted. Often mathematical summaries such as averages, percentages, totals, etc. are used. Summary documents may also include graphs, charts, etc.

Action Items

The information you get from these surveys can be used in a variety of ways. You can use it, for example, to correct specific performance deficiencies, to increase client satisfaction, to help avoid potential malpractice claims and to stop a client passing on a poor-service complaint to other potential clients. The important thing here is to extract strategic action items and develop specific action items upon which the firm will commit time and resources.

Follow-up

A client satisfaction survey program will not succeed unless a follow-up plan is formulated. Specific task assignments must be developed for all action items and completion dates assigned. Completion dates should be placed on the firm calendar. A follow-up item should be on every firm meeting agenda, and a post client survey review should be conducted six months after the close of the client satisfaction survey to make sure that strategic action items have been implemented.

John W. Olmstead, Jr., MBA, CPCM is a legal management consultant and president of Olmstead & Associates, a legal management consulting firm based in St. Louis, Missouri with offices also in Lexington, Kentucky and Des Moines, Iowa. The firm provides management advise and assistance as well as computer system implementation assistance and training to law firms and corporate and governmental law departments and is presently serving clients across the United States.

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You already have a great survey invite subject line and now you need to follow that up with an email body that drives people to start the survey.

I’ve pulled all the best practices in this post into the perfect customer feedback survey invitation template you can simply copy and paste. Download template

The invite doesn’t have to be long and complex, in fact it should be short and to the point but to be most effective it must include some key information.

At all times remember the goal of the invite: to persuade the respondent to provide their feedback on your organisation. That’s it. Nothing more. Don’t add words into the invite that do not directly help you achieve that goal.

Simple Salutation Personalisation

A simple name personalisation starts the message off on the right foot. You should make sure that it’s in line with your business’ general brand.

“Dear Mr. Smith,”

“Hi John,”

“Hey John,”

Why are They Receiving the Invite?

Give the respondent some context for the invite; tell them who is being asked to respond or why they have been selected. This answers a common concern of email recipients: why am I getting this request?

Examples are:

“You are receiving this invite because you recently shopped at our site.”

“We are inviting you because you are a valuable client.”

Don’t Tell Them How Great You Are

Some companies add a line near the start of an invite that goes something like this:

We are the market leader and provide a great service. So we can do even better…

Resist the urge to do the same. It doesn’t increase the chance that the invitee will respond and biases the start of the responses you will receive.

Try to keep your introduction as neutral as possible.

What is the Purpose of the Survey

Next, let them know how the information will be used. Remember that they care much less about how you will benefit from the time they are investing in the survey and much more about how they will benefit.

So, ensure that you put the purpose and value of the survey in the respondent’s terms.

For instance:

So we can provide you an even better experience we are collecting feedback on how we performed in our last engagement.

We actively use feedback to constantly improve our delivery and provide you with the best possible service.

Give a Realistic Estimate of the Time it Will Take

Shorter is always better in customer feedback survey terms but regardless of how long the survey is you should give a specific estimate of the time taken. Resist the urge to deliberately under-estimate this time.

Respondents still ploughing through questions at minute 20 when they have been told it will take 10 minutes will be unhappy with your brand. This is exactly the reverse of the outcome you want.

Also make the time specific not general. Say 10 minutes not “a short time”.

So try:

“Based on past experience this survey will take 5 minutes.”

“Typically it takes 3 minute to complete.”

Give Them a Place to Ask Questions

Ensure that you put some simple contact details in the message. A very few people will use them (some will) to ask questions. Many more will be reassured that they could have contacted you if they wanted to. This lends credibility to the invite.

This can be as simple as:

If you have any questions please contact John Smith on (555) 5555 5555 or at john.smith@ourcompany.com

Show Them the Link

It is obvious but make sure you include a clear link to the survey and call to action.

Some organisations use an image for the survey link but remember that a large number of email clients hide images by default. If the image is blocked it will be hard for respondents to see. So if you are going to use this approach make sure you provide a simple text link as well as the image.

Also, make sure that the link has a good amount of clear space around it so it does not get lost in the message. You can also underline and even bold the link to make it stand out.

Try:

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Click here to start the survey.

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Thank You

The respondent is doing you a favour by spending time to help you improve your business so you should thank them for that effort. It can be a simple but sincere thank you.

Thank you for providing your feedback. We appreciate the time you have taken and will actively use it to improve our services to you.

Signature Block

If you have followed our best practices on survey subject lines this invite will be coming from a real person so make sure that you include a real person’s signature block.

If it is going to a large number of respondents you may like to remove some elements such as the cell/mobile phone number. Other than that it should be similar or the same as your standard email signature.

This will also ensure that it is “on brand” with your organisation.

Comply with Local Email Sending Legislation

Different countries have different email sending legislation and you should be aware of any local considerations with which you need to comply.

In general* as this is a customer feedback survey you will have an existing commercial relationship with the respondent. That reduces many of the anti-SPAM issues that marketing emails come up against.

However, it is still good practice to comply with any marketing email requirements your country enforces as email recipients have come to expect these elements in commercial email.

Postal Address

You should include clear text explaining where you are located and a valid postal address.

Unsubscribe Requests

It is also good practice to include an unsubscribe mechanism to allow respondents to remove themselves from the invite list.

So that’s all you need. Your customer feedback survey invite is not rocket science but you do need to include everything but no more in your invitation email.

I’ve pulled all the best practices in this post into the perfect customer feedback survey invitation template you can simply copy and paste. Download template

* Disclaimer: This information is not legal advice. We’re not lawyers and while we have been in the customer feedback business for a while you should contact your legal group to get their final take on the legislation.

Filed Under: Best Practices, Customer Feedback, Customer Feedback Process, Customer Feedback Surveys

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