Presented by:
Mike Phillips &
Axium
Why Firms Collecting Feedback are
More Profitable and How to Join their
Ranks
About The Presenter
MikePhillips AIA
President
PhillipsArchitecturePA
DesignFacilitatorLLC
Mike Phillips AIA, IIDA, ASID, ...
Agenda
•State of the Design Industry
•FeedbackSystems
•DesignFirmChallenges
•CollectingEffectiveFeedback
•UsingFeedbacktoI...
State of the Design Industry - Challenges
• Recessiontightensourclient’sbudgets
• Tightercreditreducesnumberofprojects
• F...
State of the Design Industry - Future Trends
• Firm’scostscontinuetoclimb(inflationcoming)
• Staffbenefits& trainingbudget...
State of the Design Industry - Current Status
According to a recent survey by Salary.com,
US Professionals listed asthe To...
Doctor $
Teacher $
Firefighter $
Scientist $
Engineer $
Architect $
Professional Avg Salary
State of the Design Industry -...
Source: 2009PSMJ Resources,INC.
State of the Design Industry - Current Status
#1 problem
2008studybythe
ConstructionSpecificationsInstitute
FoundthebiggestproblemthatClientsandBuilders
havewithArchitectsandEngin...
Agenda
•StateoftheDesignIndustry
•Feedback Systems
•DesignFirmChallenges
•CollectingEffectiveFeedback
•UsingFeedbacktoImpr...
Traditional Feedback Methods
Method Process Issues Result
Written Reports Outsider asks client Data is oldand filtered ‘Se...
Method Process Issues Result
Written Reports Outsider asks client Data is old and filtered ‘Senile’ Data
Written Survey Cl...
Method Process Issues Result
Written Reports Outsider asks client Data is old and filtered ‘Senile’ Data
Written Survey Cl...
Method Process Issues Result
Written Reports Outsider asks client Data is old and filtered ‘Senile’ Data
Written Survey Cl...
Method Process Issues Result
Written Reports Outsider asks client Data is old and filtered ‘Senile’
Data
Written Survey Cl...
Agenda
•State of the Design Industry
•FeedbackSystems
•Design Firm Challenges
•Collecting Effective Feedback
•Using Feedba...
Design Firm Challenges
Profitability
Staff
Retention
Staff
Performance Liability
MarketingLeadership
mechanics
Design Firm Challenges
Profitability
Liability
Marketing
Mechanics
human systems
Design Firm Challenges
Profitability
Staff
Retention
Staff
Performance Liability
MarketingLeadership
MechanicsHuman
System...
Design Firm Challenges - Profitability
Minimum profit
for viability:
10%
Design Firms
average:
8%
Source:ZweigWhite
Profit...
liability
Collect Feedback to:
• Measurefirm’svalue from
Client’sperspective
• IDissues toimprovevalue
• Setfees morebyval...
Profitability
Liability Claim:
Every5years
Costs to Firm:
Nearly$1M
Client Problems:
6%Billings
Source: XL InsuranceCompan...
marketing
Identify PatternofProblems:
Improvesfirm’s
immediateandlong-termresponse
Design Firm Challenges - Liability
Profitability
Liability
Effort:
11%ofBudget
Effect:
Lessthan25%Commissioned
Source: ZweigWhite
Marketing
chart
Design Firm...
leadership
Confirm Value
to New Clients:
Independentconfirmation
ofyourfirm’svalue
toprospectiveClients
Become Existing Cl...
Profitability
Liability
Marketing
Create Best Fit:
Matchteam’sabilities
toclient’sneeds
ManageClient Results:
“Youcan’tman...
performance
TrackYourTeam’s Results:
Identifybestassignments
foreachteammember
ImproveYourTeam’s Results:
Identifybesttrai...
Profitability
Liability
MarketingLeadership
Hawthorne Effect
“Whateverismeasured,
improves.”
EltonMayo
Source: HarvardBusi...
retention
UseFeedback Data to:
Improveperformance
andencouragegrowth
UseFeedback Processto:
Enhanceaccountabilityand
impro...
Profitability
Liability
MarketingLeadership
Annual Turnover:
12% ofStaff
Cost of Each Departure:
>$100,000
Source: PSMJRes...
Profitability
Liability
MarketingLeadership
Top 3 Reasons
Why Good Staff Leave:
1.‘TalentsNotSeen’
2.‘ContributionsNot
App...
pie
UseFeedback To:
• Maketalentsvisible
• Knowinstantlywhen
applauseisearned
• Knowspecificallywhere
supportishelpfulto
s...
Profitability
Staff Retention
Staff Performance
Liability
MarketingLeadership
Mechanics
Human
Systems
sim to expectations
...
Components of Client Expectations
Mechanics
Human
Systems
Client Value
Components
RELATIONSHIPS DELIVERABLES
Human
Systems
Mechanics
3 H Sys
Components of Client Expectations
Quality
Responsiveness
HelpfulnessEffort and
Assistance
Quick
Reaction
Do the
Right Thing
RELATIONSHIPS DELIVERABLES
Compo...
Quality
Responsiveness
Helpfulness
Accuracy
Schedule
Budget Help Managing
Costs
Help Managing
Time
Do the
ThingRight
Effor...
Tracking Project Results
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
“Ohno.
Wedidn’tdoitright.”
“GreatJob.
Do...
TrackingProject Results
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
add cfb
Tracking Project Results
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
CLIENT
FEEDBACK
scale
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
Unacceptable - 1
NeededImprovement -2
Acceptable - 3
MetExpectati...
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
Unacceptable - 1
NeededImprovement -2
Acceptable - 3
MetExpectati...
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
Unacceptable - 1
NeededImprovement -2
Acceptable - 3
MetExpectati...
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
Unacceptable - 1
NeededImprovement -2
Acceptable - 3
MetExpectati...
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
Unacceptable - 1
NeededImprovement -2
Acceptable - 3
Met Expectat...
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
Unacceptable - 1
NeededImprovement -2
Acceptable - 3
MetExpectati...
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
Unacceptable - 1
NeededImprovement -2
Acceptable - 3
MetExpectati...
High
Profit
Loss Average
Profit
Break
Even
Target
Profit
Unacceptable - 1
NeededImprovement -2
Acceptable - 3
MetExpectati...
Agenda
•StateoftheDesignIndustry
•FeedbackSystems
•DesignFirmChallenges
•CollectingEffectiveFeedback
•UsingFeedbacktoImpro...
Collecting Feedback - WHEN
$ $ $ProjectStart
LowHigh
ProjectCloseout
FB FBFBFB FBFBFBFBFBFB FB
Meeting
KeyDeliverable
Desi...
Collecting Feedback - HOW
STEP1. GatherFeedbackEffectively
Objective Professional
Systematic Comfortable
Concise Fast & Si...
Collecting Feedback - WHO
Firm Leaders
Team Leaders
TeamMembers
AccountingMarketing
HasClientContact
Face-to-face
Collecting Effective Feedback - Top Ten
Techniques
1. Makecomfortabletouseforallparties
2. Askquestionsthatcreatethebestre...
6. Collectfeedbackthroughoutproject
7. Collectfeedbackintrackableformat
8. Collectfeedbacktoallowinstantalerts
9.Useemailt...
•AutomaticCentering
Starts at “Met Expectations”
•Fast&Easy
Intuitiveto use, 2 seconds to score
•CapturesDetail
60level an...
Viewing Collected Feedback
1 Answer 1 SurveyTrend Line
Sender: Billy Bibbit
Respondent: Nurse Ratched
Category: Responsive...
First YearEffects:PhillipsArchitecture
Profitability
Staff Retention
Staff Performance
Liability
MarketingLeadership
Incre...
•StateoftheDesignIndustry
•FeedbackSystems
•DesignFirmChallenges
•CollectingEffectiveFeedback
•Using Feedback to Improve Y...
Using Client Feedback to Improve Your Firm
Profitability
Staff Retention
Staff Performance
Liability
MarketingLeadership
I...
Questions?
Mike Phillips AIA
President
Phillips Architecture PA
DesignFacilitator LLC
Mike Phillips AIA, IIDA, ASID, is th...
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Increase Firm Profits Through Client Feedback

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Most firms still suffer a chronic inability to convert their client value into financial prosperity. Profitable firms use methods of understanding and tracking their clients in order to maximize their value. Collecting and incorporating client feedback is the simplest and most effective method of achieving this.

This presentation shows AE firm leaders a simple but powerful system to collect and utilize client feedback in order to:

. Increase project profitability
. Reduce mistakes and project liability
. Boost client satisfaction and marketing effectiveness
. Increase staff satisfaction and accountability
. Improve staff training and assignments

Published in: Business, Design
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  • …after running a design firm for more than two decades,
    Its easy to identify the six basic challenges most firms face:
    PROFITABILITY: making a good living from our efforts
    LIABILITY: reducing mistakes, problems and liability claims
    MARKETING: selling our services
    LEADERSHIP: making & implementing decisions that create prosperity for our firms
    STAFF PERFORMANCE: creating teams that produce strong value with our clients
    And STAFF RETENTION: keeping our best people
    Our Client Feedback Tool works on all six of these challenges.

  • The way it works is simple.
    First, look at how these challenges are related.
    The two basic categories are:
    MECHANICS: how we Price and Promote and the Problems we face,
    (next slide)

  • And HUMAN SYSTEMS: how we Lead and Encourage and Bond with our teams.
    As an profession that is hired to design solutions to our client’s problems,
    our challenges involve a very tricky combination of People, Process and Deliverables.
    (next slide)
  • …which is probably why so many firms barely scrape by, especially when the economy slips.
    We are one of the least profitable white-collar professions in the US.
    While a 10% profit is considered minimum for most businesses just to stay viable,
    Design firms average six. Even the top earners fare worse than other professions.


  • …which is probably why so many firms barely scrape by, especially when the economy slips.
    We are one of the least profitable white-collar professions in the US.
    While a 10% profit is considered minimum for most businesses just to stay viable,
    Design firms average six. Even the top earners fare worse than other professions.


  • The “close cousin” to profit is LIABILITY.
    Nothing can devastate a firm’s hard-earned profit like costly problems and claims.
    On average, design firms suffer a liability claim EVERY 5 YEARS.
    And, the average cost to the firm is nearly a MILLION DOLLARS, BEYOND WHAT YOUR INSURANCE COVERS.
    Add to that what your firm pays in liability insurance premiums,
    as well as the cost of smaller problems that, on average, equal another 8% of a firm’s income in lost billings and time.

    If they ask how $1M was computed:
    Average claim takes three years to defend
    Each of the three years the firm commits approx $300k of lost billable time
    3 years x $300k / year = $900k +
    Often its critical senior staff that are pulled away from productive work
  • The “close cousin” to profit is LIABILITY.
    Nothing can devastate a firm’s hard-earned profit like costly problems and claims.
    On average, design firms suffer a liability claim EVERY 5 YEARS.
    And, the average cost to the firm is nearly a MILLION DOLLARS, BEYOND WHAT YOUR INSURANCE COVERS.
    Add to that what your firm pays in liability insurance premiums,
    as well as the cost of smaller problems that, on average, equal another 8% of a firm’s income in lost billings and time.

    If they ask how $1M was computed:
    Average claim takes three years to defend
    Each of the three years the firm commits approx $300k of lost billable time
    3 years x $300k / year = $900k +
    Often its critical senior staff that are pulled away from productive work
  • Clients talk.
    And since those clients are hiring design firms to SOLVE problems,
    then the fewer problems the firm CREATES, the better their reputation.
    And a better reputation improves your firm’s marketing success.
    What is more successful marketing worth to your firm?
    Well, a typical design firm spends 11% of their budget on marketing..
    But, 70% of it does not produce the desired goals.
  • Clients talk.
    And since those clients are hiring design firms to SOLVE problems,
    then the fewer problems the firm CREATES, the better their reputation.
    And a better reputation improves your firm’s marketing success.
    What is more successful marketing worth to your firm?
    Well, a typical design firm spends 11% of their budget on marketing..
    But, 70% of it does not produce the desired goals.
  • Now lets see how client feedback works on the HUMAN SYSTEMS challenges.
    First up, LEADERSHIP.
    If our goal as leaders, is to improve the results that our teams create for our clients,
    then FEEDBACK provides the objective, ongoing DATA to track your team’s abilities to meet client needs.
    It’s this data that lets you measure your real performance with clients.
    And, as leadership guru Peter Drucker pointed out, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
  • Now lets see how client feedback works on the HUMAN SYSTEMS challenges.
    First up, LEADERSHIP.
    If our goal as leaders, is to improve the results that our teams create for our clients,
    then FEEDBACK provides the objective, ongoing DATA to track your team’s abilities to meet client needs.
    It’s this data that lets you measure your real performance with clients.
    And, as leadership guru Peter Drucker pointed out, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
  • While we’re talking about the benefits of measuring performance;
    if we are seeking to enhance STAFF performance,
    we need to look at the Hawthorne Effect, which states; “Whatever is measured, improves.”
    This was proven by Elton Mayo in a series of experiments with work groups that showed,
    if you measure how well your staff creates value with your clients, then that value will improve.
    To produce the maximum benefit for firms,
    our tool has a patent-pending system to simply,
    but thoroughly measure the staff performance that creates value to clients.
  • While we’re talking about the benefits of measuring performance;
    if we are seeking to enhance STAFF performance,
    we need to look at the Hawthorne Effect, which states; “Whatever is measured, improves.”
    This was proven by Elton Mayo in a series of experiments with work groups that showed,
    if you measure how well your staff creates value with your clients, then that value will improve.
    To produce the maximum benefit for firms,
    our tool has a patent-pending system to simply,
    but thoroughly measure the staff performance that creates value to clients.
  • Last, but not least, is Staff Retention.

    While this issue is certainly affected by the economy and a recession usually slows resignations,
    recessions also increase the ease by which a competing firm can “lure away” your best staff.

    PSMJ’s research has determined that the average firm’s annual turnover of staff exceeds ten percent.
    And the average cost of handling the departure and hiring to fill the open position exceeds $100k.
    This is an expensive problem. That doesn’t even count the hurdle of holding onto clients serviced by departing staff.

  • So how can a client feedback tool help?
    Let’s look at the primary reasons for staff deciding to leave:

    First, and foremost, the perceived lack of awareness of their talents.
    Second, the perceived lack of appreciation of their contributions.
    And third, a perceived lack of growth opportunities within the firm.

    Since firms don’t typically have the time to overly dote on staff,
    our feedback tool improves the awareness, appreciation & growth, automatically,
    By collecting and circulating the data leaders need.
  • So how can a client feedback tool help?
    Let’s look at the primary reasons for staff deciding to leave:

    First, and foremost, the perceived lack of awareness of their talents.
    Second, the perceived lack of appreciation of their contributions.
    And third, a perceived lack of growth opportunities within the firm.

    Since firms don’t typically have the time to overly dote on staff,
    our feedback tool improves the awareness, appreciation & growth, automatically,
    By collecting and circulating the data leaders need.
  • So, now you’ve seen how our client feedback tool addresses a firm’s basic challenges.
    Any questions?
    Any challenges that we missed?

    All right, interestingly enough, the challenges in running firms are closely related to the various aspects
    of what makes us valuable to our clients.
    Since increasing value to our clients will improve our prosperity,
    you will want to see how our Client Feedback Tool works to track what is important to clients.
  • The components that are of critical importance to most clients are divided into two main areas.
  • The components that are of critical importance to most clients are divided into two main areas.
  • RELATIONSHIPS breaks down into three main issues:

    HELPFULNESS: how well we help clients solve their problems
    RESPONSIVENESS: how quickly we respond to their needs
    QUALITY: the overall, subjective sense of our skill as applied to the client’s project
  • DELIVERABLES also breaks down into three main issues:

    BUDGET: how well we help clients manage their costs
    SCHEDULE: how well we help them manage their time
    ACCURACY: their overall, objective sense of our work’s exactness, correctness and precision
  • Important to collect feedback on each of these components, not much will be missed
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • This is a quick graph that shows how projects are better understood with feedback.
    First, we check for how profitable the project was.
    Did you make a normal or high profit? If so, full steam ahead. Do the next one the same way.
    Or, did you just break even or lose money. If so, fire the client, fire the staff, or both.
    Now, if you are collecting client feedback, add those scores to the other axis of the graph.
    If profits and feedback was high; then full steam ahead, you are becoming their expert.
    But if the profits were high BUT the feedback scores are low, look out. There’s dissatisfaction, in client, staff or both. Refine or risk burnout.
    Now, If profits and feedback are LOW; you might WANT to fire the client, but check first to see if the low feedback scores are easy to fix.
    Remember, a dissatisfied client will tell 8 others of their experience. Fixing the problem could be the best thing to do.
    If profits were low but feedback high; then either the fee was too low or the scope creeped but your client thought your value exceeded your fee, so raise it.
    So if you have client feedback, you know when to bill like an expert and how to avoid burnout or bad press.
  • When to collect feedback:
    This shows when to send surveys for feedback for the maximum benefit.
    If you wait till the end, it is an autopsy and its too late
    If you collect feedback from the beginning of a project
    You can better stay on track and maximize your value to your client

    AIA did a study that shows a design firm’s value typically erodes during a project with a slight upturn at the end.
    The erosion is steep whenever the project is priced.
    Even the few firms that collect feedback usually collect it at the end, when its too late.
    What we found is that if you collect small packets of feedback thru-out the project, you stay better aligned with the client and the client’s perception of your value tends to improve as opposed to erode.
  • How to collect feedback:
    We learned that collecting usuable feedback face to face was very difficult
    Using an email tool to collect is more effective
    Use face to face to follow up


    What we endorse, is to first gather small packets of feedback
    from clients on an ongoing basis, thruout the projects.
    Then, Use this feedback to understand the expectations and perceptions of your client.
    When a problem is identified, you can better follow up face-to-face to make sure its handled.
  • Who collects feedback
    The goal is to collect feedback on all of a firm’s client interactions
    The surveys can be sent by firm manager, project leaders, marketing or accounting departments


    Goal is to collect a steady stream of feedback from your clients.
    You can gather this feedback in 3 different ways:
    The First way, which is typically the fastest way to build a useable quantity of feedback, is to have one person send surveys to all clients automatically.
    The typical way this would happen is for your accountant to send surveys whenever a client is invoiced for a certain amount of work.
    The second way is to have one person send all surveys as surveyable events occur. This can be handled by an independent person in your firm, such as marketing, where they would follow the project events and send surveys accordingly.
    The third method involves having each person who is most directly dealing with the client be a dedicated surveyor and send their surveys.
    This method is usually slower to get up to speed, but often results in surveys being sent most effectively.
    Your pricing is $300 a month plus $30 for each dedicated surveyor. This includes unlimited surveys and reports as well as free customer service and customized survey production. There is a discount for annual contracts.

  • How to collect feedback:
    We learned that collecting usuable feedback face to face was very difficult
    Using an email tool to collect is more effective
    Use face to face to follow up


    What we endorse, is to first gather small packets of feedback
    from clients on an ongoing basis, thruout the projects.
    Then, Use this feedback to understand the expectations and perceptions of your client.
    When a problem is identified, you can better follow up face-to-face to make sure its handled.
  • How to collect feedback:
    We learned that collecting usuable feedback face to face was very difficult
    Using an email tool to collect is more effective
    Use face to face to follow up


    What we endorse, is to first gather small packets of feedback
    from clients on an ongoing basis, thruout the projects.
    Then, Use this feedback to understand the expectations and perceptions of your client.
    When a problem is identified, you can better follow up face-to-face to make sure its handled.
  • This graphic scale starts at “Met Expectations” and is slid up or down to quickly capture a highly detailed answer.
  • You can activate an automatic trend line to plot the score averages over time.
  • …after running a design firm for more than two decades,
    Its easy to identify the six basic challenges most firms face:
    PROFITABILITY: making a good living from our efforts
    LIABILITY: reducing mistakes, problems and liability claims
    MARKETING: selling our services
    LEADERSHIP: making & implementing decisions that create prosperity for our firms
    STAFF PERFORMANCE: creating teams that produce strong value with our clients
    And STAFF RETENTION: keeping our best people
    Our Client Feedback Tool works on all six of these challenges.

  • …after running a design firm for more than two decades,
    Its easy to identify the six basic challenges most firms face:
    PROFITABILITY: making a good living from our efforts
    LIABILITY: reducing mistakes, problems and liability claims
    MARKETING: selling our services
    LEADERSHIP: making & implementing decisions that create prosperity for our firms
    STAFF PERFORMANCE: creating teams that produce strong value with our clients
    And STAFF RETENTION: keeping our best people
    Our Client Feedback Tool works on all six of these challenges.

  • …after running a design firm for more than two decades,
    Its easy to identify the six basic challenges most firms face:
    PROFITABILITY: making a good living from our efforts
    LIABILITY: reducing mistakes, problems and liability claims
    MARKETING: selling our services
    LEADERSHIP: making & implementing decisions that create prosperity for our firms
    STAFF PERFORMANCE: creating teams that produce strong value with our clients
    And STAFF RETENTION: keeping our best people
    Our Client Feedback Tool works on all six of these challenges.

  • Increase Firm Profits Through Client Feedback

    1. 1. Presented by: Mike Phillips & Axium Why Firms Collecting Feedback are More Profitable and How to Join their Ranks
    2. 2. About The Presenter MikePhillips AIA President PhillipsArchitecturePA DesignFacilitatorLLC Mike Phillips AIA, IIDA, ASID, is the President and Founderof Phillips ArchitecturePA, a 20-yearold multi- disciplinary design firm in Raleigh, NC,nameto the PSMJCircle of Excellence andwinnerof ZweigWhite's Best Firm to Workfor award in2007and 2009. A registered architect and certified interiordesigner, Phillips has incorporated his morethan 25years of commercial interiors and architectural experience into the development of a method of collecting and incorporating feedback to benefit design firms and theirclients.
    3. 3. Agenda •State of the Design Industry •FeedbackSystems •DesignFirmChallenges •CollectingEffectiveFeedback •UsingFeedbacktoImproveYourFirm
    4. 4. State of the Design Industry - Challenges • Recessiontightensourclient’sbudgets • Tightercreditreducesnumberofprojects • Firmscompeteforfewer projects • Competitiondrivesdownfees(37%belowcost!) • Firm’scostsclimb(12%eachyear) trends
    5. 5. State of the Design Industry - Future Trends • Firm’scostscontinuetoclimb(inflationcoming) • Staffbenefits& trainingbudgetsshrink • Reductionindesignschoolgraduates • Growthinrequiredlevelofexpertise • Increasedclientproblems&liabilityclaims respected
    6. 6. State of the Design Industry - Current Status According to a recent survey by Salary.com, US Professionals listed asthe Top 10 Most Respectedin the US include:
    7. 7. Doctor $ Teacher $ Firefighter $ Scientist $ Engineer $ Architect $ Professional Avg Salary State of the Design Industry - Current Status Source: salary.com annual survey 150,000 49,900 44,000 88,000 63,000 43,000 Industry profits
    8. 8. Source: 2009PSMJ Resources,INC. State of the Design Industry - Current Status #1 problem
    9. 9. 2008studybythe ConstructionSpecificationsInstitute FoundthebiggestproblemthatClientsandBuilders havewithArchitectsandEngineersis: WASTE! (wastedtime,effortandexpense) State of the Design Industry - Perception Asking for feedback
    10. 10. Agenda •StateoftheDesignIndustry •Feedback Systems •DesignFirmChallenges •CollectingEffectiveFeedback •UsingFeedbacktoImproveYourFirm
    11. 11. Traditional Feedback Methods Method Process Issues Result Written Reports Outsider asks client Data is oldand filtered ‘Senile’ Data
    12. 12. Method Process Issues Result Written Reports Outsider asks client Data is old and filtered ‘Senile’ Data Written Survey Client writes “story” Difficult, client avoids NoData! Traditional Feedback Methods
    13. 13. Method Process Issues Result Written Reports Outsider asks client Data is old and filtered ‘Senile’ Data Written Survey Client writes “story” Difficult, client avoids No Data Verbal Survey Staff asks client Very difficult, often too subjective ‘Soft’ Data Traditional Feedback Methods
    14. 14. Method Process Issues Result Written Reports Outsider asks client Data is old and filtered ‘Senile’ Data Written Survey Client writes “story” Difficult, client avoids No Data! Verbal Survey Staff asks client Very difficult, often too subjective ‘Soft’ Data Generic Survey Client wrestles with randomness Survey toolong, difficult, client avoids survey Skimpy Data Traditional Feedback Methods
    15. 15. Method Process Issues Result Written Reports Outsider asks client Data is old and filtered ‘Senile’ Data Written Survey Client writes “story” Difficult, client avoids No Data! Verbal Survey Staff asks client Very difficult, often too subjective ‘Soft’ Data Generic Survey Client wrestles with randomness Survey too long, difficult, client avoids survey Skimpy Data Custom Survey Survey customized for design clients Survey short, but concise Data = objective, current Helpful Data agenda Traditional Feedback Methods
    16. 16. Agenda •State of the Design Industry •FeedbackSystems •Design Firm Challenges •Collecting Effective Feedback •Using Feedback to Improve Your Firm
    17. 17. Design Firm Challenges Profitability Staff Retention Staff Performance Liability MarketingLeadership mechanics
    18. 18. Design Firm Challenges Profitability Liability Marketing Mechanics human systems
    19. 19. Design Firm Challenges Profitability Staff Retention Staff Performance Liability MarketingLeadership MechanicsHuman Systems profitability
    20. 20. Design Firm Challenges - Profitability Minimum profit for viability: 10% Design Firms average: 8% Source:ZweigWhite Profitability chart
    21. 21. liability Collect Feedback to: • Measurefirm’svalue from Client’sperspective • IDissues toimprovevalue • Setfees morebyvalue ScoreRange:1 –Unacceptable,4 –MetExpectations,7 -Exceptional ClientName Avg. Score Ranking Gene Laughlin 6.1 Excellent EnergyFarms 5.8 Exceeded Expectations Cinematica 5.4 Exceeded Expectations Tri-CityJewelers 4.5 MetExpectations Issue Avg.Score %Below Acceptable Accuracy 3.2 21% Budget 5.4 2% Helpfulness 5.8 0% Design Firm Challenges - Profitability
    22. 22. Profitability Liability Claim: Every5years Costs to Firm: Nearly$1M Client Problems: 6%Billings Source: XL InsuranceCompany Liability chart Design Firm Challenges - Liability
    23. 23. marketing Identify PatternofProblems: Improvesfirm’s immediateandlong-termresponse Design Firm Challenges - Liability
    24. 24. Profitability Liability Effort: 11%ofBudget Effect: Lessthan25%Commissioned Source: ZweigWhite Marketing chart Design Firm Challenges -Marketing
    25. 25. leadership Confirm Value to New Clients: Independentconfirmation ofyourfirm’svalue toprospectiveClients Become Existing Clients’ Expert: Promotes‘expert’status withyourfirm’s existingClients Project Name Avg.Score Top Category ANCInstitute 6.2 Budget WilsonBuilding 6.0 Helpfulness 1110BensonDr. 5.1 Quality FitnessCenter 4.9 Responsiveness Score Range: 1– Unacceptable, 4 – MetExpectations, 7 - Exceptional Category Avg.Score %AboveExcellent Budget 6.2 30% Helpfulness 5.4 23% Quality 5.2 17% Responsiveness 5.1 6% Design Firm Challenges -Marketing
    26. 26. Profitability Liability Marketing Create Best Fit: Matchteam’sabilities toclient’sneeds ManageClient Results: “Youcan’tmanagewhatyoudon’t measure.” - Peter F. Drucker Source: Drucker Institute Leadership chart Design Firm Challenges – Leadership & Management
    27. 27. performance TrackYourTeam’s Results: Identifybestassignments foreachteammember ImproveYourTeam’s Results: Identifybesttraining foreachteammember ClientName DesignerName Score Gene Laughlin MichaelWalker 6.0 EnergyFarms AmyPace 5.6 Cinematica JoanFranklin 4.7 Tri-CityJewelers MichaelWalker 4.2 Designer Avg.Score Category PamDay 2.4 Budget MichaelWalker 3.0 Budget JoanFranklin 3.8 Quality PamDay 4.3 Responsiveness Design Firm Challenges - Leadership
    28. 28. Profitability Liability MarketingLeadership Hawthorne Effect “Whateverismeasured, improves.” EltonMayo Source: HarvardBusinessReviewON-Spot Staff Performance chart Design Firm Challenges – Staff Performance
    29. 29. retention UseFeedback Data to: Improveperformance andencouragegrowth UseFeedback Processto: Enhanceaccountabilityand improvefocusonclients Designer 12Month AverageScore Current AverageScore PamDay 3.4 4.8 MichaelWalker 3.7 4.2 JoanFranklin 3.9 4.0 OtisDay 4.3 4.9 Designer AverageScore Client NikkiYoung 5.8 AT&T NikkiYoung 5.5 WellsFargo NikkiYoung 5.2 Silverton NikkiYoung 4.8 SpiritGroup Design Firm Challenges – Staff Performance
    30. 30. Profitability Liability MarketingLeadership Annual Turnover: 12% ofStaff Cost of Each Departure: >$100,000 Source: PSMJResources Staff Performance Staff Retention 3 reasons Design Firm Challenges – Staff Retention
    31. 31. Profitability Liability MarketingLeadership Top 3 Reasons Why Good Staff Leave: 1.‘TalentsNotSeen’ 2.‘ContributionsNot Appreciated’ 3.‘GrowthNotSupported’ Source:PSMJResources Staff Retention Staff Performance charts Design Firm Challenges – Staff Performance
    32. 32. pie UseFeedback To: • Maketalentsvisible • Knowinstantlywhen applauseisearned • Knowspecificallywhere supportishelpfulto staffmember’sgrowth Designer Avg.Score Category JoanFranklin 2.7 Schedule MichaelWalker 2.8 Helpfulness JoanFranklin 2.9 Responsiveness MatthewArnold 3.1 Accuracy Design Firm Challenges – Staff Performance
    33. 33. Profitability Staff Retention Staff Performance Liability MarketingLeadership Mechanics Human Systems sim to expectations Design Firm Challenges
    34. 34. Components of Client Expectations Mechanics Human Systems
    35. 35. Client Value Components RELATIONSHIPS DELIVERABLES Human Systems Mechanics 3 H Sys Components of Client Expectations
    36. 36. Quality Responsiveness HelpfulnessEffort and Assistance Quick Reaction Do the Right Thing RELATIONSHIPS DELIVERABLES Components of Client Expectations
    37. 37. Quality Responsiveness Helpfulness Accuracy Schedule Budget Help Managing Costs Help Managing Time Do the ThingRight Effort and Assistance Quick Reaction Do the Right Thing RELATIONSHIPS DELIVERABLES 4 square Components of Client Expectations
    38. 38. Tracking Project Results High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit “Ohno. Wedidn’tdoitright.” “GreatJob. Doitagainthesameway.”
    39. 39. TrackingProject Results High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit add cfb
    40. 40. Tracking Project Results High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit CLIENT FEEDBACK scale
    41. 41. High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit Unacceptable - 1 NeededImprovement -2 Acceptable - 3 MetExpectations- 4 ExceededExpectations- 5 Excellent - 6 Exceptional - 7 Tracking Project Results
    42. 42. High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit Unacceptable - 1 NeededImprovement -2 Acceptable - 3 MetExpectations- 4 ExceededExpectations- 5 Excellent - 6 Exceptional - 7 quads Tracking Project Results
    43. 43. High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit Unacceptable - 1 NeededImprovement -2 Acceptable - 3 MetExpectations- 4 ExceededExpectations- 5 Excellent - 6 Exceptional - 7 clients Tracking Project Results Potential Expert Poor Fit Burn Out
    44. 44. High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit Unacceptable - 1 NeededImprovement -2 Acceptable - 3 MetExpectations- 4 ExceededExpectations- 5 Excellent - 6 Exceptional - 7 A B C D E Clients LEGEND ExpertPotential Poor Fit Burn Out Tracking Project Results
    45. 45. High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit Unacceptable - 1 NeededImprovement -2 Acceptable - 3 Met Expectations- 4 ExceededExpectations- 5 Excellent - 6 Exceptional - 7 A B C D E Clients LEGEND ExpertPotential Poor Fit Burn Out design team Tracking Project Results
    46. 46. High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit Unacceptable - 1 NeededImprovement -2 Acceptable - 3 MetExpectations- 4 ExceededExpectations- 5 Excellent - 6 Exceptional - 7 A B C D E Design Team LEGEND ExpertPotential Poor Fit Burn Out proj type Tracking Project Results
    47. 47. High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit Unacceptable - 1 NeededImprovement -2 Acceptable - 3 MetExpectations- 4 ExceededExpectations- 5 Excellent - 6 Exceptional - 7 A B C D E Project Type LEGEND ExpertPotential Poor Fit Burn Out Tracking Project Results
    48. 48. High Profit Loss Average Profit Break Even Target Profit Unacceptable - 1 NeededImprovement -2 Acceptable - 3 MetExpectations- 4 ExceededExpectations- 5 Excellent - 6 Exceptional - 7 ExpertPotential Poor Fit Burn Out agenda Tracking Project Results
    49. 49. Agenda •StateoftheDesignIndustry •FeedbackSystems •DesignFirmChallenges •CollectingEffectiveFeedback •UsingFeedbacktoImproveYourFirm When to ask
    50. 50. Collecting Feedback - WHEN $ $ $ProjectStart LowHigh ProjectCloseout FB FBFBFB FBFBFBFBFBFB FB Meeting KeyDeliverable Designer’sIncreasedValue Start Finish Meeting End of Phase End of Phase FB = Send Survey&Collect Feedback How to ask
    51. 51. Collecting Feedback - HOW STEP1. GatherFeedbackEffectively Objective Professional Systematic Comfortable Concise Fast & Simple STEP2. ResolveIssuesandCelebrateSuccesses Utilizing face-to-face communication, live phone calls, meetings, lunches. Who asks
    52. 52. Collecting Feedback - WHO Firm Leaders Team Leaders TeamMembers AccountingMarketing HasClientContact Face-to-face
    53. 53. Collecting Effective Feedback - Top Ten Techniques 1. Makecomfortabletouseforallparties 2. Askquestionsthatcreatethebestreports 3. Askprocess-orientedquestions 4. Askquestionsregardingclient’sexpectations 5. Askquestionsthatreducefirm’sliability
    54. 54. 6. Collectfeedbackthroughoutproject 7. Collectfeedbackintrackableformat 8. Collectfeedbacktoallowinstantalerts 9.Useemailtobuffer&facilitateunderstanding 10.Collect& reviewfeedbackfast(<5 minutes) Scatter plot Collecting Effective Feedback - Top Ten Techniques
    55. 55. •AutomaticCentering Starts at “Met Expectations” •Fast&Easy Intuitiveto use, 2 seconds to score •CapturesDetail 60level answer scale MeasurebyClientExpectations Collecting Effective Feedback
    56. 56. Viewing Collected Feedback 1 Answer 1 SurveyTrend Line Sender: Billy Bibbit Respondent: Nurse Ratched Category: Responsiveness Project: Activity Center 1st year effects
    57. 57. First YearEffects:PhillipsArchitecture Profitability Staff Retention Staff Performance Liability MarketingLeadership Increased 27%after first year,now top 2%in US Zero claims or ‘penalties’ in last three years Improved client loyalty, especially duringrecession Improved assignments & training; leaders more accountable for team Feedback scores improved 42%,metrics published No keystaff defections to other firms Collecting Effective Feedback
    58. 58. •StateoftheDesignIndustry •FeedbackSystems •DesignFirmChallenges •CollectingEffectiveFeedback •Using Feedback to Improve Your Firm Agenda
    59. 59. Using Client Feedback to Improve Your Firm Profitability Staff Retention Staff Performance Liability MarketingLeadership ImproveYourValue &Billings to Clients ImproveAwareness and Response to Client Problems TrackClient Loyalty, Improve Referrals, Resolve Issues ImproveLeaders’ Awareness, ImproveStaff Assignments &Training Improved Accountability & Reduction of Wasted Efforts ImproveYour Recognition of Staff Contributions
    60. 60. Questions? Mike Phillips AIA President Phillips Architecture PA DesignFacilitator LLC Mike Phillips AIA, IIDA, ASID, is the President and Founderof Phillips ArchitecturePA, a 20-yearold multi- disciplinary design firm in Raleigh, NC,nameto the PSMJCircle of Excellence andwinnerof ZweigWhite's Best Firm to Workfor award in2007and 2009. www.designfacilitator.com Axium Axiumhelps architectureand engineeringfirms streamline difficult processes and increaseprofitability with easy to use accounting, project management and business development software. www.axium.com

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