Originally published on Forbes.com November 4, 2020.
At Insigniam, we believe in breakthroughs.
As a management consultancy, we help our clients move past “business as usual” by leveraging organizational transformation to create breakthrough performance. Even our name is inspired by our belief in the extraordinary: Insigniam is derived from Latin to express, “We shall act to make remarkable.” And we’ve partnered with thousands of executives in the world’s largest companies to do just that.
But a key part of helping our clients realize this success is evaluating our work from their perspective. A few years ago, we decided to revamp the way we gather client feedback, or our client value system.
In the past, we would ask clients to fill out evaluation forms at the end of each consulting work session to rate their experience. Our support staff would then manually enter the information from the paper forms into our system — a process we found took the amount of time equivalent to that of hiring another person on our support team. We soon realized we were losing a lot of time, and we weren’t seeing the level of participation that we needed to truly break through.
That’s when we turned to Qualtrics’ experience management software.
Why we digitized client feedback
The first step in revitalizing our client value system was to digitize the entire process, and Qualtrics made that part easy. Since then, it’s been a complete evolution.
We began by creating custom links for each client and client engagement so they had a unique opportunity to evaluate us after every consulting work session. This new process allowed us to track the value we provided to the client, track consultant performance, and identify trends in the conversations most prevalent in our clients’ organizations.
Instead of relying on our support staff to spend full work days manually entering all evaluation forms for each consulting work session, we are now able to generate these full client evaluation reports instantly. And when we get detractor responses to our Net Promoter Score® (NPS) question, we can immediately reach out to the dissatisfied clients and work with them to better their experience with us.
With the feedback we receive, we can calculate our NPS in real time and use a data visualization tool to create what has ultimately become our NPS “cover photo.” With an accurate and easy-to-understand visual, we are able to provide Insigniam employees with transparency around our firm’s performance and quality of our clients’ experiences. And the results have been immediate. Our NPS scores during the years of 2018 and 2019 were above industry standard.
During our evaluations, we also ask clients what level of value Insigniam provides compared to other consulting firms they’ve worked with. Out of all the clients we worked with in 2018 and 2019, over 80% reported that Insigniam provided greater value than other consulting firms with which they have worked.
Now, in the era of COVID-19, we’re especially grateful to have a quick loop of feedback from clients as we transition from in-person consulting work sessions to virtual ones. Client feedback has become an invaluable tool in making sure we’re addressing needs as they arise so we can provide them with the same value we always have — even when we can’t be together.
How we help clients listen to their own organizations
After moving our client feedback program over to Qualtrics, our client research processes quickly followed suit. We now also use data analysis tools to help our clients do research on trends and background conversations in their own organizations, including comprehensive organization and culture assessments.
A few years ago, we conducted a listening tour on behalf of then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development. We asked more than 35,000 employees things like, “What six words would you use to describe the current mission of the Department of State?” or “Is the work we do today consistent with the stated mission of our agency?”
We eventually submitted a 110-page listening report to the department that details ways to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, performance, and accountability of the two organizations.
A ‘personal touch’
Because Qualtrics facilitated exhaustive research for our clients, we also began using the software to do some of our own market research.
We recently asked clients what makes Insigniam unique. With text analysis, we were able to highlight stand-out words that people used frequently when describing the firm and craft a marketing campaign around those descriptions.
One phrase that emerged more often than others was “personal touch.” When you call Insigniam, you’re always talking to a familiar face. When a client begins work with us, everyone at Insigniam is aware of that client and the needs of their organization. The consulting team that begins work with the client doesn’t just see the contract to its termination — they work tirelessly until the desired outcome is met. The person you meet when you begin your journey with Insigniam will be with you the whole way through.
Thanks to Qualtrics, we know that people love our people. And in the end, that’s the breakthrough we’re looking for.