The Importance of Asking for Client Feedback and How to Use It to Inform Change
Every PR and marketing firm says they want to exceed client expectations. Surprisingly, though, very few agencies have standardized processes in place for pursuing and quantifying feedback about their teams and the work they do. Is it possible to obtain this kind of information? Could it help an agency pivot when needed to maintain high standards?
At Greenough, we believe the answer to both of those questions is an emphatic “yes,” and that’s why for the past two decades we have actively sought candid feedback via our annual client satisfaction survey. The data we collect provides us with valuable insights about how our agency is being perceived and what, if anything, we could be doing to improve. In addition, the process of conducting and tabulating the survey has taught us many lessons over the past 22 years. Here are five of the most important:
Enhanced Communication Builds Trust
Amidst all that is continually evolving in PR and marketing, there has been one constant: clients want, and need, communication. Strategies and tactics can change on a dime, so keeping everyone—clients, teams, media—informed and on the same page is critical. But communication isn’t only the foundation of effective campaigns; it also builds the trust necessary for honest dialogue. Over the years, we have found that most clients are happy to respond to our survey request based on the open lines of communication we have established.
Measure What Matters
There is no need to ask clients to answer 20 pages of questions that, ultimately, won’t provide any relative metrics. Get straight to the point to discover how clients assess performance, client relations, and results. At Greenough, we ask every client to rate us on a variety of factors, including: how well we’ve delivered on their business goals, how much passion we’ve demonstrated for their business, how well we understand what they do, if they view us as an extension of their team, if they would recommend us as their agency of record, and the value they feel we’ve provided for their budget.
Make the Survey Easy to Complete
As much as we would love to hear from our clients in their own words through open-ended responses, we have learned that it is not realistic to expect clients to take the time to provide that level of detail. We ask our clients to rate each question on a 1-10 scale and give one overall summary comment with specific feedback. We have found this format results in a higher response rate.
Use the Results to Inform Change
Why bother conducting a survey if you do not act on the feedback? We take our satisfaction survey seriously and have a genuine desire to do better for each and every client. In fact, we consider it one of the key reasons Greenough has a reputation for such high standards and willingness to serve. We go so far as to incorporate areas for improvement into client objectives and define specific actions to address each point. For example, based on feedback we received, we’ve continued to:
- Build out our integrated marketing offerings, which now include account-based marketing, digital strategy, and campaign optimization and support
- Expand our team of media, content and marketing professionals
- Reimagine our website and recently relaunched to improve access for current and prospective clients and employees
In today’s competitive marketplace, it makes no sense to guess what is and isn’t working with your clients. We say “ask.” By utilizing a client satisfaction survey and applying the results, we have maintained an impressive retention rate while forging a path as an industry leader in integrated marketing, content development, and brand strategy. Our client satisfaction scores are the ultimate validation of our efforts, but perhaps our proudest takeaway from our survey is that every single one of our clients said they would recommend Greenough – and that’s information we are very pleased to know and share.
What our clients say
Public Relations Manager, Sodexo
Greenough is absolutely an extension of our PR team and they’ve had no challenges in navigating the complexities of a highly matrixed organization like Sodexo. They’ve been instrumental in telling our story in the New England market and beyond and as a result, our partnership continues to evolve and expand.
Digital Communications and PR lead for Weavr Health
The Greenough team has been instrumental in helping us with our Marketing and PR projects. They truly care about our business and we see them as part of our team. Their expertise and background has helped us flesh out many ideas to avoid missteps before they happen. Not only are they intelligent and nimble, but they are a pleasure to work with.
CEO, Arbella Insurance
Our Greenough team has excelled in learning our business and our challenges and has been extremely effective in developing and executing a PR strategy that helps drive our success.
Global Marketing Communications & Public Relations, Wolters Kluwer
Our Greenough team has been a strategic asset in sustaining targeted growth in our PR and external communications. The team really operates like an extension of our internal team, aligned and effective. They've deftly balanced the needs of multiple sub-groups' objectives and needs, getting great results in the publications our customers read.
Director of Marketing, Anika
Christine, Ben, Angela and the remainder of the Greenough team are amazing and continuously exceed expectations. They are a true and trusted partners of our organization and consistently go above and beyond. We are grateful to have the team at Greenough as one of our valued partners and look forward to working with them for years to come.
Chief Communications Officer at GlobalFoundries
It is hard to believe that we have been working together for less than a year. Our Greenough team joined us at the most exciting time for our company and they have been invaluable. Greenough has built a strong relationship with our CEO and others throughout our organization. They are my trusted advisors, and I am looking forward to all that we will accomplish together.