In 2008 we made a great business decision, when we decided to partner with Guild Quality, a company that does third party surveying in our industry. After we finished a project our client would get a survey asking them how we did. These surveys did a lot for us. One thing they did was boost our confidence. But, even more importantly, they helped us pin point where we needed to focus our attention to improve our customers’ experience. It was also nice to be the winner of their Guild Master award for their top preforming companies several years in a row. Then, in 2013, I was fortunate enough to hear Geoff Graham, the founder and owner of Guild Quality, speak at a conference. His speech was informative, compelling and inspiring. So I did the only logical thing. I immediately ended our contract with Guild Quality.
If that seems a little counter intuitive, let me explain why we did it. Geoff recommended the book The Ultimate Question 2.0 by Fred Reicheld and Rob Markey of Bain and Company. This book details the importance and power of a good survey system. After reading this, I understood that this stuff is too important to outsource without better internalizing the process. That is why we brought surveying in-house. We started surveying more often through the design and remodeling process.
This was a smart move because it has significantly improved the ways that we listen to our clients and how we operationalize what they tell us.
Though we have not now, nor will we ever, stop learning about this process. We have come to a point where surveying is a more integral part of our remodeling process. Our survey system drives a quality customer experience. We have recently gone back to using Guild Quality for our primary survey after a project has finished. We do this because they are very good at what they do. For one thing they get a higher response rate than we do. Clients are more candid with a third party survey than an in-house survey. But most importantly, it frees us up to make better use of this valuable information. We will continue to do our own surveying during projects as well as calling clients six months and every year after a project finishes.
The one thing that I would love for Guild Quality to change is their scale. It is 0-4. We much prefer a 0-10 scale because it provides a much more granular measure satisfaction. Take a look at the great results we have been able to get though this important partner.