Filed Under:Your Practice, Sales Marketing

How to create a "thank-you" letter survey

It's likely that you send thank-you notes to your clients at the conclusion of each sale or service. But how often do you ask them to tell you how you did? In other words, how often do you survey your clients?

A well-crafted client survey can provide you with valuable feedback about you and your firm. It can also help you to increase client retention, strengthen relationships, capture testimonials and gain new referrals.

One way that you can routinely survey your clients is to include a brief survey with each thank-you note you send to clients at the conclusion of a sale or a service. It's likely that your clients will be flattered that you value them enough to seek their opinions. Here are some tips to help you create your own "thank-you" letter survey.

Make it personal
Automation has made it easy for companies to send large amounts of mail to large groups of people. Therefore, most people are inundated with "junk mail" that they typically throw into the trash can. So what can you do to help ensure that your thank-you letter and survey will be opened by its recipient?

Personalization is key. In other words, avoid the "automated" letter look by personalizing your letter in every way possible. Start with the envelope. Mail is more likely to be opened if it is personal mail versus bulk mail. To personalize your thank-you letter, it's a good idea to handwrite your envelopes' "to" and "from" lines. It's also a good idea to use a first class stamp on the envelope instead of a stamped indicia. You may even want to experiment with the type of envelope you use. Try different envelope colors and sizes to see which capture the best response rate.

Half the battle is getting your clients to open your envelope. Once the envelope is opened, you have to keep them reading. Again, personalization is important. Consider sending a handwritten thank-you card versus a business letter. If you do choose to send a typed letter, handwrite a personal note on it before it's sent. Then, include a short survey form and a stamped reply envelope.

Keep your message simple
What should your thank-you letter say? When in doubt, keep it simple and focused on three messages:
1. Thank your client for relying on you to help him or her address a need or solve a particular problem.
2. Ask your client to evaluate your services and provide feedback.
3. Remind him or her to call on your for future insurance needs.

Keep your survey questions simple
When writing your survey, it's important to keep the survey questions simple and make it easy for your clients to respond. The number and type of questions you select is up to you. Here is an example of simple survey instructions and rating scale survey questions.

Example:
Thank-you for choosing ABC Insurance Company for your insurance and/or retirement needs. Your feedback is important to us. Will you please take a moment to complete this short survey and return it in the envelope provided to you?

1. How convenient has it been to receive services and/or purchase products from ABC Insurance Company?

5 4 3 2 1
Very Convenient Convenient Not Convenient at All

2. How completely were your questions answered when receiving services and/or products from ABC Insurance Company?

5 4 3 2 1
Completely Answered Somewhat Answered Not Answered At All

There are different types of survey questions. Ratings scale questions are just one type. You may want to stick with one type of survey questions or you may want to use a combination of formats, depending upon the kind of information you want to collect. Open-ended questions, for instance, usually yield detailed input that you may not be able to capture with a ratings scale or other kind of multiple choice question.

Example:

What did you like best about your experience with ABC Company? Please describe.
________________________________________________________________________

Was there a service that you expected but did not receive? Please describe.
________________________________________________________________________

Ask for testimonials and referrals
On your survey form, don't forget to ask for testimonials and referrals.
o Ask your client for a testimonial and written permission to use it. Again, most people will be flattered that you value their input.
o Ask your client if he or she has friends or family member who may like help with their insurance and/or retirement needs.

Example:
Do you have friends or family members who may benefit from our insurance and/or retirement services? Please list their names and telephone numbers, and I will contact them about their options.___________________________________________________________________

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