Everyone wants to know what the client is thinking before, during, and after the project. Often, post-project responses are slow in coming or, worse, customer satisfaction surveys are never even mailed out. When Allison Quinn started keeping the books for Almar Building & Remodeling, in Hanson, Mass., two years ago, there was no system for getting the word out to clients. “Terry [her father and business owner Terry Quinn] would just hand clients an invoice at the job. Then, when I came on, he was less in the field and doing more estimating,” she says. “I would send out the last invoice, and then down the road I might remember I hadn't ever sent a customer survey.”

Quinn came up with a simple solution: She made it part of her standard operating procedure to put a survey in with the final invoice and a SASE. She now gets back two-thirds of the surveys she sends out. When it's returned, she puts the information into ACT project management software and keeps copies in the customer's file as well as in the job binder.