An easy client survey and a few inexpensive gift cards can lead to business improvements and referrals. Here’s how that works for one MDRT member.
“Client feedback for me is critical. If we don’t continuously ask our clients how we’re doing, how will we ever get better?” said 15-year MDRT member Juli McNeely, CLU, CFP, of Spencer, Wisconsin. For the last 10 years, she’s sent out an annual client survey at the end of the year with her company’s wall calendar. “If we ever stop doing our wall calendars, I think our clients would be very upset with us!”
NcNeely’s survey asks a few simple questions such as the following:
- Are your phone calls to our office answered/returned promptly and courteously?
- During in-person meetings, is the information we share informative and easy to understand?
- Our goal is to provide you with the best financial services experience. How would you rate the overall level of service received from your McNeely Financial team?
The questions are answered by rating them on a scale of 1 to 10.
Asking for referrals
A section on the survey also asks if there’s anyone they know McNeely can help. Each year, she receives a handful of referrals from this. “I tell my clients all the time, I love to serve the people you love. So if you can give me their names, I would love to connect with them,” McNeely said. “It’s just one more place to ask.”
Rate of return
The last element is the incentive for clients to return the survey and to supply their own postage — a raffle for four $20-$25 gas station gift cards. “We’ve had tremendous success in getting these surveys back because everybody wants a gas card,” McNeely said.
McNeely’s rate of return on the survey is between 10% and 20%. When the survey comes back to her office, “We have a little bit of a competition because we like to know who got the best survey results of all the advisors in the office,” she said. The responses typically aren’t negative. When they are, though, McNeely picks up the phone for follow-up and more information. “I would say, ‘I’m so sorry that we did not meet your expectations. Can you tell me a little bit more about what happened and how we can improve?’”
Some of the feedback has provided McNeely with insight on minor, easy-to-fix bumps in her processes. For example, a client responded they would like a notification when McNeely’s office received documents the client sent via mail. This would give them peace of mind the documents arrived safely. “We added that to our processes. It’s an easy thing to do to give the client peace of mind,” she said.
While McNeely finds the feedback helpful, her compliance department was less in favor of it. “Anything that comes back on that survey can be seen as a customer complaint. It’s worth the risk though, because if we don’t know how our clients feel about how we’re doing, then we can never get better as a firm,” she said.
See more from Juli McNeely in the video “A simple way to explain term vs. permanent life insurance.”
For more client engagement ideas
- Read “Transforming your practice”
- Watch “Easy ideas for keeping clients happy”
- Watch “The 5 pillars of first-class client experiences”