When it comes to being a successful business owner, client retention is the name of the game. You may have great marketing, but that doesn't mean much if clients don't stick around because their expectations aren't being met.
A client feedback form is a great tool for gauging customer satisfaction. It allows you to keep track of their experience and tailor your services to meet their needs.
Whilst it might seem obvious that reaching out to clients for constructive criticism is a good idea, many people are still unsure of the most effective way to do it.
In this article, we’ll discuss what a client feedback form is, why it can help your business, the important areas it should cover and how to create your own.
Let's dive in!
Note: Try Bonsai for free today and browse hundreds of customizable templates to build your own branded client intake forms, invoice documents, feedback forms, contracts and more. Claim your 14-Day free trial!
What is a client feedback form?
Put simply, a client feedback form is a document that allows clients to submit feedback about your product or service and rate their level of satisfaction.
The goal of a feedback form is to gather information that gives you a clearer view of your customer experience and identify any aspects of your service that could be improved.
Why is customer feedback important?
Before we dive into the form itself, let's talk about a few reasons why customer feedback is important in the first place:
Make informed business decisions
Businesses can only grow and evolve based on the information that is available to them. Burying your head in the sand and hoping that you are doing the right thing by your clients is a bad strategy and leaves you with a very limited data set on which to make decisions.
If you do not collect feedback on a regular basis, the only indication you receive of an unsatisfied customer is when they leave. Not only does this leave you one step behind when running your business, it could possibly have been avoided altogether had you taken the time to gather feedback at an earlier date.
Increase client retention
Customer loyalty is the backbone of any successful freelancing business. Constructive feedback is a valuable tool that allows you to deal with issues before they become serious and result in the loss of a client.
Asking clients to provide feedback shows them that you value their input and genuinely want to provide them with the best service possible. It creates a sense of goodwill and lays the foundation for a solid relationship moving forward.
Statistically, clients are more likely to take their business elsewhere than bring up complaints. Collecting feedback early and acting accordingly addresses this issue.
A valuable marketing tool
Customers value a business that takes their feedback on board and acts on it. High levels of customer satisfaction not only mean valuable word-of-mouth advertising but also provide a deep well of positive testimonials.
A lot of emphasis is placed on "clever" marketing campaigns when the reality is that happy clients are (and always will be) your most precious marketing asset.
Why use a client feedback form?
By this point, the myriad benefits of getting detailed feedback from clients should be obvious. Now let's talk about why a client feedback form is the most effective way of gathering the information you need.
It makes the client more comfortable
Setting up a meeting or call with a client specifically to ask for feedback can make the client feel uncomfortable. When engaging directly with you, people are often more concerned with preserving feelings or coming across as rude.
By providing them with a simple form you can separate yourself from the process, making it less personal and more likely that your clients will provide you with transparent feedback.
A seamless experience
You could, of course, email your client asking for feedback. While this may be suitable on some occasions, asking someone to write an open-ended email can seem daunting and time-consuming and will drastically lower the response rate.
Good feedback forms streamline the experience by making it easy to rate your business and leave relevant comments where necessary, meaning more detailed answers and a higher response rate.
Feedback form tips
Now that we know why a feedback form is the best method of gathering information from clients, here are some tips to consider when creating your own:
Keep it brief
Your clients don't expect to feel like they're sitting an exam when submitting feedback. Customer feedback forms should be easy to complete and take up as little time as possible.
Your objective is to gather detailed information that gives you a better understanding of their needs, and if it looks too time-consuming they won't fill it out.
Ask relevant, specific questions
Using a rating scale to ascertain general feedback can be very useful, but when it comes to asking questions you need to be more specific.
The goal is to gather more relevant information from fewer questions.
"What do you think of our product/service?" is too vague. "What about our product/service do you feel could be improved to give you a better experience?" narrows things down and gets the customer thinking about specific answers.
Use consistent rating scales
A rating scale can be an effective tool for a customer satisfaction survey, but it is important that the scale is consistent throughout the form.
If you used a scale of 1-5 (very unsatisfied-very satisfied) in one section and 1-10 in another you run the risk of confusing the customer and may not be getting accurate feedback as a result.
It can also be useful to leave a space for additional comments underneath rating scales so clients can elaborate if they wish.
Ease of use across devices
When you send out feedback forms a client may be filling it out on a laptop, tablet or phone. A good feedback form should be as easy to fill out on an iPad as it is on a PC.
If a client finds the experience to be glitchy, there is little chance they will persevere with the form.
What should I include in my feedback form?
There are several key questions to focus on in order to get the most out of your feedback form:
How did you hear about us?
This is crucial to understanding how well your marketing is working. It is a good idea to include a drop-down menu of choices for this. It makes it efficient to answer and easier to collate the data.
What about our product or service do you feel could be improved to give you a better experience?
Using this question in conjunction with a rating scale gives you both a broad idea of how the client rated the service overall and then actionable data about how you can improve moving forward.
Do you feel that our employees were attentive and helpful?
Customer service is integral to any business; this question helps to identify any weak links in this area.
How likely are you to recommend our product or service to friends or family? Why or why not?
We have already mentioned how important word-of-mouth advertising is. Knowing whether or not clients are likely to recommend you and why is hugely valuable feedback.
Is there anything else you would change about your experience?
Adding this at the end of your form gives the client a chance to voice any other concerns or praise that may not have been addressed by the other sections. You might be surprised at the valuable insights you get by allowing your client the opportunity to write freely!
The benefits of using a feedback form template
A client feedback form is an important tool for any service provider. It helps you collect feedback from clients about their experience with your business. It can be used to improve the quality of service or to identify areas where the service could be improved.
By understanding what your clients are looking for, you can tailor your offerings to suit their needs better. If there are issues with your product or service, a client feedback form can help you identify and address these problems. This can prevent negative word-of-mouth and keep your business running smoothly.
Gathering feedback is important, but the good news is it doesn't need to take up too much time.
A template is an easy and efficient way of creating your own feedback form. It saves you the hassle of creating one from scratch and can be edited and customized with your own branding.
Using a customer feedback template means you can automate your feedback collection process, leaving you more time to act on the information you collect and keep your customers satisfied.
With Bonsai you can browse hundreds of fully customizable feedback form templates and send them to clients or embed them on your website.
Running a freelance business is never easy, but the ability to create and send forms, take payment and keep track of taxes and accounting all on one platform with Bonsai can help keep things streamlined and running smoothly.
If you think Bonsai could help your business grow then get started today with our 14-Day free trial where you can create your own customer feedback form and check out a whole host of other features and benefits!