With the demand for software development services increasing and as competition gets stiffer, providing quality service holds a higher weight on the success of your customer relationships.
Did you deliver the service on time? Did you provide the right solution? Did you make sure the client understood your solution? etc. Tick all the boxes, and you’ve got yourself a happy, long-term relationship, positive reviews and more clients brought in solely by word of mouth.
But can client satisfaction be measured? If so, how do you measure it? And perhaps the more important question should be, why should you measure it?
What Is the Client Delight Index?
Client Delight Index (CDI) or Client Happiness Index (CHI) measures how satisfied the client is with the product or service you have provided. Organisations that depend on maintaining and improving relationships with clients use this index to measure how well they have satisfied customer needs and contributed to business growth.
What Goes into the Equation?
CDI is usually measured using surveys or interviews that can be customised to your organisations preferences. When deciding on a method and scope of client satisfaction research, it is recommended to include all factors that play a role in the quality of collaboration. Parameters such as timeliness of the delivery, quality of the product, communication with employees and even friendliness of staff members may be offered for scoring. It is recommended to conduct research to determine your CDI upon completion of every project or, in specific cases, a project phase.
Why CDI Matter?
Because your client is probably not tech-savvy; when dealing with someone who does not have an in-depth understanding of the technologies or processes you are using, you are almost certain to run into unrealistic expectations. Measuring CDI can help you pinpoint the areas your client struggles to understand and allow you to manage their expectations.
Because you want to show that you care; how many websites have asked you to rate their articles, answers, products and services so far? “We care about what you think” – they always say, don’t they. The mere idea that your thoughts matter and, that they will shape the future of anything is quite gratifying. It makes you feel that the brand is there for you, and your attachment to it grows. Similarly, asking them to review your performance tells your client that you are truly playing on the same team and committed to achieving the same goal.
Because it is all about personalisation; every organisation is different: from protocols to company culture, they all have unique manners in which they operate. By identifying your client’s specific expectations, client satisfaction research can help you tailor your approach.
Because DATA is a superpower; gone are the days when gut feelings dictated your decisions, so why should they conduct the way you manage your operations? Client satisfaction research can give you valuable data to drive your management strategies and let their feedback guide you.
Because performing OK no longer cuts it; look around you, competition is everywhere. High supply means that the mediocre can barely survive, while only the excellent can thrive. Client satisfaction research can help you understand your client’s perception of your collaboration as well as their expectations, and it can help you find ways to meet them, or preferably exceed them.
Because the client opens up; This is perhaps the most important reason CDI should be measured. During the client satisfaction research, clients tend to open up and provide you with invaluable insight on what they think you have done right or wrong. You will be surprised to know the level of detail clients would go to describe just one thing they think you did wrong or that really helped them out. The important aspect is that they open up to things that sometimes barely register on your radar. For example, they might talk about a temporary resource who did a good job or complain that the documents were written in an unfriendly format.
Final words of wisdom
While getting client feedback is important, you should do so with a grain of salt. An unhappy client might not always be truthful with their feedback. And it is not uncommon to derail out of point and dive into the unnecessary. So it is up to you to set up processes and ensure you get the correct data out of your clients. For example, when you ask your clients to list down things that went wrong in the project, make sure to list the reasons on why they think it went wrong along with evidence to support their claims.
But once you get the right data you can use it to improve your existing client relationships and make sure you don't repeat your mistakes with future clients.