A friend tells a story about a cable TV technician who came to his home to hook up his TVs. The tech seemed like he’d rather be anywhere else, barely spoke, and performed the task so poorly that my friend called the cable company to request that a different tech return to finish the job.

A few years later, my friend moved. The same tech came to his new house. But this time the tech wanted to know exactly what was needed and made sure everything worked before he left the house. As he was leaving, he mentioned that the company would be sending out a survey about the service call.

What a difference a survey makes! No doubt you’ve filled out surveys yourself — especially if you’ve bought or rented a car. Our company relies on surveys (conducted by GuildQuality) to provide information about:

Customer satisfaction rate: Ours is 91%; our goal is 100%. The most important question: “How likely are you to recommend us to someone else?” We want every client to feel confident to recommend us.

"Customer surveys help you stop guessing and start understanding your clients' experiences with greater precision."

Unspoken complaints: We receive survey results quickly, so we can resolve issues early — far better than a homeowner bad-mouthing us to potential clients or writing a negative online review.

Trends: If several clients mention dirty footprints, for instance, I will start asking crews to cover work boots with fabric booties.

Crew behavior: Customers aren’t shy about reporting both good and bad behavior. Use the information to teach, discipline, praise, or promote.

Praise: Surveys are also a forum for client compliments, which we share as testimonials on our website.

If you’d like to see our client survey sheets, email us at marketing@jeb.net. —Jeb Breithaupt is a third-generation designer, remodeler, and builder, and is the owner of Jeb Design/Build, in Shreveport, La.