What is your most effective way of measuring client satisfaction?

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When a client leaves, I try to contact them and do several things. First, I want to thank them for allowing us to serve them. Second, I want to assure them that I do not take it personally, that I understand that it is business. Third, I assure them that if their new accountant has any questions or needs any information I will be happy to assist in any way possible. Fourth, I tell them that the door is always open if they decide that they want to give us another chance. Finally, I ask them to share with me what we did or didn't do that led them to the decision to change accountants. Robert W. Carmines, CPA, PFS, CFP

Carmines, Robbins & Co.

Newport News, Va.

Partner Insights

Informal phone calls after project completion, formal questionnaires after classroom courses.

Paul Caron BBA, CMA

Caron Business Solutions

Burnaby, B.C.

Tracking the referral source is about all you can to do to track client satisfaction in this profession (business valuation). If you do an engagement for an attorney; they call you back when they need a similar expert on another case. I also track peers who refer business to me either because of conflicts or for areas of expertise.

Lari B. Masten, MSA, CPA/ABV, CVA

Masten Valuation

Denver

Each year, we survey a certain segment of our customer base using the services of a company called InfoQuest. Our response rate is well above 80 percent. We also survey those who attend our seminars and workshops using Zoomerang (and) ask for feedback on our Web site. We have concluded that our clients are looking for three specifics things I turned into an acronym of CPA: Communication, Proactive solutions, Accurate, no surprise billing.

Diane L. Roundy, MBA

Schenck Business Solutions

Appleton, Wis.

Our case management system automatically emails our client, with an opt out provision, a satisfaction survey that links them directly to a page on our Web site. We ask to be rated on five criteria as well as offering an area to enter free form comments about their experience. Any rating lower than very satisfied is followed up with a phone call from one of our mangers to discuss the experience one on one with our client. We don't accept satisfied customers; we want them to be thrilled.

Bart Nachimow

Mibar

New York

We have a dedicated account manager team that proactively calls each client once per quarter to discuss overall satisfaction. We also send surveys at the end of each project and after each support call, and send an annual survey to clients. As an incentive for the clients to complete the survey, we offer a $5 gift card to all those who complete it and also enter them in an annual prize drawing as well. Part of the quarterly director's meeting is to review information gathered from these sources and plan appropriate actions.

Lissa Johnsen, CMC, CITP, CPA

Business Technology Solutions

Raleigh, N.C.

Surveys are sent out to evaluate all personnel who interact in any way with customers, based upon internal criteria for type/amount of work done. The questions for our surveys were developed with the assistance of our customer advisory board, and evaluate the individual contributor, as well as organizational questions. The survey is 13 questions in total. The customer is incented with the selection of a gift card.

J.J. Hanson

Rose Business Solutions

San Diego

Our clients are primarily law firms. We look to repeat business as a measure of client satisfaction. We track the number of cases each firm sends us on an annual basis.

Frank A. Wisehart CPA ABV, CVA, CFE

Wisehart & Wisehart

Dublin, Ohio

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