Cue that feeling of accomplishment and purpose – because you just booked a new client! Congrats on being awesome at what you do.
First impressions are everything, and since you’ve gotten this far, you’re already off to a good start there. Your most important job now is to make sure your clients go from liking you to loving you. And raving about you to anyone who will listen.
If you’re looking to give your clients the best, most personalized experience they’ve ever had, consider our secret, often underrated, favorite new client tool: a survey!
Why Send A New Client Survey?
Hear us out. Sending a new client survey is the most direct and efficient way to collect important information, and get to know the person you’re about to be working closely with.
Imagine if you were able to get to know everyone you met this way! You’d know people’s preferences right off the bat. The best way to communicate with them, what their favorite things are. And this way, you cut down on discovery time and trial and error that comes along with it.
Build this practice into your workflow by sending out your new client survey as soon as possible after booking. No longer than a week later and preferably within 24 – 48 hours.
New Client Survey Questions
Now we’re into the fun part! Build your new client survey questions intentionally, and personalize them as needed to fit each experience and project.
Your questions should be divided into three sections; one part need-to-know information, one part expectations of your work together, and one part just for the fun of getting to know each other.
We recommend structuring your survey in the order we’ve laid out here. Start with the crucial information you need at the top, and get to the more personal content near the bottom.
It’s also a good idea to make the “just for fun” section optional. Not everyone has time or wants to engage in this part, and that’s okay! If they skip it, that also tells you they are on the busier side and like to get right to the point, and you can reflect that when you’re working with them.
The Necessary, Basic Questions
The goal of these questions is purely to gather the important information on your new client. This is the crucial info that will allow you to communicate with each other, send contracts, etc. Here are five sample questions:
- Please enter your full name, and indicate if you’d prefer me to use a nickname.
- Is there a good alternative email address for me to reach you?
- The best phone number(s) to reach you?
- What is your address?
- Will you be the main point of contact? If no, please provide the name and information of the alternate point of contact.
Partnership Expectation & Preference Questions
The goal of these questions is to make your time working together as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Here, you’ll delve into what people are looking to get out of the experience of working together. Ask their desired outcome, and plant the seed for continued work by asking where they see themselves in the future. Here are five sample questions:
- Do you prefer to communicate through email, text or phone calls?
- What are your expectations for the outcome of [INSERT YOUR PROJECT]?
- Would you prefer to have scheduled updates (weekly, monthly, etc.), or to touch base in the moment when updates arise?
- Do you anticipate working on follow up projects after this one wraps up?
- Does [INSERT YOUR PROJECT] tie in or help you accomplish any larger life /career goals?
Fun Icebreaker Questions
As we mentioned, the purpose of these questions is for you and your client to get to know each other! And if the popularity of Buzzfeed quizzes has taught us anything, it’s that almost everyone loves answering silly questions about themselves. Here are five sample questions:
- When is your birthday?
- What’s your favorite color?
- Sweets or savory?
- Do you have any pets? (If so, what kind?)
- Morning Lark or Night Owl?
Make sure you work people’s answers into your interactions with them. Send a small gift (or at least a nice text) for their birthday that aligns with their sweet vs. savory tastes. Ask how their pet is doing. Tell them your favorite color is also blue, etc.
Prove to clients that the experience you provide is second to none by finding these commonalities, and always going above and beyond!
Setting Up A System
Once you’ve got your perfect set of questions down, this part comes pretty easy! Here are some awesome platforms that can get your new client survey up and running in a flash:
- Typeform – You can easily build a customized, intuitive survey template here that can be personalized for each new client. You can also export the analytics to a spreadsheet for review and storage.
- Google Forms – You can use Google Forms to build out unlimited surveys, as well as add your logo and personal touches to the design. And all features are totally free!
- Survey Monkey – Create a survey quickly and easily that still looks professional, however you cannot export your data with the free version
- Survey Gizmo – With this platform you can choose from expertly designed templates for free and build unlimited surveys, but you can only send this to 50 people before having to upgrade to the paid version.
- Survey Planet – With Survey Planet you get unlimited surveys, questions and responses as well as templates. However, you have to upgrade to the paid version to download your results into a excel document.
Every platform gives different levels of customization, but we suggest adding as much flair as possible. From the obvious things to your logo and brand colors, to the extra touches that make the survey feel like it’s coming from you, a person, and not from an automated machine are always a good idea. Add things like past client photos, testimonials and thank you messages as much as possible.
Distributing Your Survey
It will be important to set the expectation that this survey is coming. Let your clients know upon signing the contract that you will be sending them a survey in the next day or two, and briefly explain the reason and benefits. The last thing you want is for people to receive this without expecting it, or, to not be totally sure why they’ve received it or what they even get out of taking the time to fill it out.
In addition to giving your new clients advance notice that you will be sending this survey, give them incentive to take it! Here are a few examples of different types of incentives to offer:
- Emotional Incentive: provide the value upfront by explaining how much more fun and easy it’ll be to work together when you have this information.
- Physical Incentive: Consider throwing in a free branded tote bag full of goodies if they fill it out completely.
- Monetary Incentive: Get your survey completed + ensure continued work together in one fell swoop by offering them a discounted rate for a future service.
Applying Your Knowledge
One last thing. Don’t just store your results in a database somewhere and forget about them until you need to reference an address or phone number. That defeats the whole purpose of sending out a new client survey. You need to review and retain the information!
Use what you now know about your new client’s preference and personality to give them a heightened experience. If they tell you their preferred method of communication is text, try to honor this as often as possible. If they say they’re a coffee person, surprise them with a cup at your next meeting!
This is how they will go from liking your work to also liking you as a person, and raving about you to everyone who will listen.
Now go turn your new client into a lasting connection!