InterNACHI's Client Satisfaction Survey hits seven birds with one stone.
1. It reduces your liability. Often, a dissatisfied client will describe your services to his/her agent -- or, worse, to a judge -- much differently than the truth. Procuring and maintaining a copy of this survey will bring them back to earth, so to speak. It is a handy document to have to present to a complaining agent and can often end a legal action all by itself. It is the next best thing to a deposition taken at the peak of their satisfaction with you.
2. It alerts you to weaknesses in your service. Often, a client is too shy to complain to you in person about your service -- or, worse, complains only to the agent who referred you. Providing this survey offers your client a way to express his/her dissatisfaction while you are still on the inspection site and can do something about it. Client feedback is very useful to improving your service.
3. It reminds your client that you don't have X-ray vision. It is important to explain to your client that a home inspection can't reveal every defect that exists, or will ever exist, in their new home. This Survey works in conjunction with InterNACHI's Agreement (between you and your client) in that it again reminds them of this fact.
4. It suggests that your client may wish to order ancillary inspections. Some InterNACHI members offer additional inspections, such as WDO, radon, water quality, and mold testing -- for additional fees, of course. This Survey reminds your client to ask about other services you might offer.
5. It grants you written permission to discuss the report with others. And even more importantly, you can point to this document when a seller's agent demands a copy of the inspection report by saying: "I'm sorry, but my client has given me written orders not to share the results of his/her report with anyone."
6. It lets your client know that you care about his/her opinion. Everyone likes being asked.
7. It helps you get more work. By sending a copy of the flattering Survey back to the agent who referred you, you remind that agent to refer you again.
And, if you provide your client with a copy of a book (such as the ones below), you drastically reduce your liability.
Directions: Print off copies of this blank survey. Fill out the top portion. Near the end of the inspection, ask your client to fill out the rest of the survey and sign it. Send a copy to the agent who referred you. SAVE THE ORIGINAL FOREVER!
All downloads are in PDF format.
A message from our attorney, Joe Ferry:
Client Satisfaction Surveys have been shown to have manifest business development advantages for the business that conducts them. Satisfaction surveys appeal to a client’s desire to be coddled, and reinforce feelings that they may already have about the business conducting the survey, and make them more likely to purchase its products or services.
Surveys can also increase people’s awareness of a business’s products and services and thereby encourage future purchases.
There is also an effect that is quite below-the-radar. The very act of asking clients about their opinions can induce them to form judgments that otherwise might not occur to them, that, for example, they really do like your inspection services and ancillary services, and would not hesitate to recommend them to others.
In addition, the InterNACHI Client Satisfaction Survey also provides a factual record of the client’s version of events surrounding the inspection in the relevant time frame, thus inhibiting the client’s ability to change his story to fit the circumstances of a later claim.