The survey instrument is one of the best and easiest ways to elicit data from your clients that you can use right away. You can obtain a great deal of objective and quantitative information, and it’s easy for your clients if you create your survey in the right way.

Survey response rates trends below. They hover somewhere around 10% to 20% at most, depending on your current relationship with your audience. This is unfortunate, but you can help to raise response rates by keeping survey instrument short and focused, and by providing incentives. Decide exactly which data is the most important to you and only ask what’s absolutely relevant.

When making your survey instruments, it’s best to have a mix of “big picture” questions and questions that are highly focused. These “big picture” questions tend to boost response rates because they’re easy for survey takers to answer. If there are too many complex questions, this will drive survey takers away. The “big picture” questions also give you a broader sense of who they are and what they believe, while the focused questions elicit more specific information. Try to strike a good balance, but don’t overload your survey with questions or your survey takers won’t finish it.

The survey instrument serves several purposes:

  • Allows you to stay front of mind with your clients
  • Positions your firm as a thought leader
  • Help identify key trends and client problems
  • Differentiates you from the competition

For more information on how to create a productive client survey instrument and use it to the benefit of your professional service company, read the full report titled, Know Your Client