Five Essentials for Effective Client Surveys

Want to get higher response rates for your client surveys? Use cleaning business software and these tips from industry experts.

If inspections are the lifeblood and work orders are the beating heart of a cleaning business, what does that make client surveys?

Two answers: the eyes and the ears.

Why both? Because survey responses enable BSCs to hear what their clients think about their services and see what organizational changes they need to make.

Caden Hutchens, vice president of CleanTelligent Software, talked about the importance of client surveys in Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine:

With client surveys, BSCs no longer need to wonder what their customers are thinking and saying. Initiating these surveys and analyzing the results will help cleaning businesses determine the voice of their customers, continuously improve services, and stay competitive in the industry.

Here are five ways to improve client surveys so that BSCs can get higher response rates and know what their clients expect of them.

  1. Group of people sitting at a table

    Keep surveys short and simple

    You might have the temptation to ask your clients all of the questions you want answered. But don’t stuff 50 questions into a single survey so you can get all the information at once.

    It’s a better idea to sit down with the management team, look at the list of questions everyone wants answered, and then determine which ones are the most critical. Go with those for now and save the rest for a future survey.

    When you write the survey, consider using one to three yes/no or number rating questions, with an extra text box below for comments. The less your clients have to do on the survey, the more likely they will fill it out.

  2. Use cleaning business software

    Hutchens also touched on software and technology for client surveys:

    Online client surveys provide cleaning businesses a unique competitive advantage when it comes to understanding their target audience. BSCs can more quickly define demographics and even pinpoint how their marketing messages should change. There can be less guessing about what works best.

    Mobile device surveys provide a convenient way to collect more honest voices from a wider audience — such as building visitors — because they can be filled out anonymously.

    Some BSCs place cards with QR codes in locations such as restrooms or hallways. If there is a spill or leak, someone can scan the code with their smartphone and fill out a short survey that goes straight to the BSC’s email. Facility managers can then dispatch appropriate staff to the scene.

  3. Don’t just email blast it to everyone

    It’s a bad idea to forgo research before you send out your client survey. If you think you should just email it to every customer on your list, think again!

    Evan Hamilton from UserVoice explained that too many companies ask for feedback in a spammy, annoying way. He gives these helpful suggestions:

    Don’t survey everyone every time. Seriously. Survey enough people that you get statistical significance, but don’t harass everyone on your list just because you can. And if you just surveyed someone, make sure you don’t survey them again for a while, to avoid burning them out…

    Make it easy for customers to give feedback when THEY would like to. Stop putting things in their busy inbox. Instead, have a feedback link…always available on your site.

    If you do it this way, you can collect more survey results without aggravating your entire customer base at once.

  4. Make it mobile-friendly

    This might sound like an odd suggestion for some BSCs, but many do not pay attention to mobile friendliness. If a survey is not optimized for a mobile device, many people will quickly exit it.

    According to a recent Pew Research finding, 34 percent of respondents for one survey used either a smartphone or tablet to submit their answers. This shows a growing shift in how people prefer to give feedback to companies.

  5. Have a plan of action

    Before a client survey is sent out, decide on what will merit a change that needs to be implemented in your cleaning business – the KPIs you want to focus on that will make a difference. Then lay out a plan of what will happen after a certain amount of time after the survey has been submitted.

    Don’t waste time performing research, creating a survey, sending it out, gathering results and then dragging your feet when it comes to applying that feedback into your operations.

    The true power of surveys comes from applying what you receive.

Don’t ignore the eyes and ears of your cleaning business or you’ll grow to be blind and deaf to client needs.

CleanTelligent Software offers many different services to help cleaning businesses be more professional, such as client surveys. Learn more today on our solutions page!


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