I recently received an e-mail from a client with an automatic signature that read “Only satisfied customers can give people job security”. This quotation by Jack Welch accurately summarizes the key principle that is crucial to any company’s ability to survive. As I reflected on LDG’s continued growth and success through the most significant economic downturn of the past half century, I considered our commitment to constantly improving client satisfaction. We have several procedures in place to help serve our clients.
A few years ago, Larson Design Group implemented a multi-faceted program to track and improve client relations. With the assistance of a third-party group called Customer Follow Up, Inc., selected clients are surveyed about their satisfaction with several aspects of our work; this includes our project managers, capabilities, adherence to project budgets, and a client’s willingness to use us again in the future. Once a survey is completed, LDG receives reports quickly so that we can follow up appropriately. While not all of our clients are selected for Customer Follow Up, every client has the chance to rate our service via a short survey that is submitted after the final invoicing of a project. These surveys are rated on a scale of 1-5 for communication, technical quality, professionalism, timeliness, and project performance. Any ratings of concern are also followed up with quickly.
Recently, a Customer Follow Up report specified that one of our clients felt there were potential issues on a project. An alert was received, and within one day the client was contacted and a plan was mapped out to resolve the client’s concerns. The client was impressed by the swiftness of our response, and by our willingness to accept their feedback. Sometimes, great service simply means listening and being open to criticism, good or bad. Any team can be improved. Not only do customer service programs make for repeat business, they give insights that can enhance project performance and collaboration.
In addition to implementing customer follow-up protocol, LDG has taken the proactive step of creating a firm-wide commitment to customer service. This process culminated with the signing of our Declaration of Client Service at our April 2012 Employee meeting. As employee-owners, our core values of Clients, Respect, Speed, Quality, Learning, Team Work, Innovation, and Stewardship guide our practice and govern the quality of service that will lead to job security for years to come.