[CASE STUDY] Annual NPS® Survey Drives Continuous Improvement at Woodruff Sawyer

Woodruff Sawyer is one of the largest insurance brokerage and consulting firms in the US, protecting the people and assets of more than 4,000 companies worldwide. Specializing in property & casualty, management liability, cyber liability, employee benefits, and personal wealth management, the Woodruff Sawyer team helps their clients identify and diminish business risk through custom solutions, data analysis, expertise, and advice. They strive for continuous quality service which includes receiving ongoing client feedback through an NPS® survey. 


Woodruff Sawyer milestones for NPS survey


When it comes to serving their clients, Woodruff Sawyer has adopted a culture of fierce client advocacy. Their team takes a personalized approach to each and every client relationship, and it was this client-centric commitment which led them to invest in a client satisfaction survey initiative in 2014. Since then, Woodruff Sawyer’s annual client survey has expanded into a robust client experience program, providing insights for the company’s strategic focus and helping to fuel a cycle of continuous improvement.

We recently sat down with Melinda Mui, Woodruff Sawyer’s Assistant Vice President of Marketing, to discuss their journey with client feedback, NPS surveys, and world-class service. 

Fueling continuous improvement with actionable client feedback through NPS survey

Like many insurance firms, the client experience is a strategic priority for Woodruff Sawyer. But in 2014, they took the next step to invest in a data-driven approach to measuring and improving the service they provide. 

“Our team is passionate about serving clients and helping them succeed. When we launched our first ClearlyRated survey, we took our first step towards a formal, direct feedback mechanism. We used the survey to understand: Are we delivering an outstanding experience? Where are we doing well? Where are we not?”

Woodruff Sawyer’s cultural commitment to the client experience and their dedication to servicing the unique needs of each client helped set them apart as a service provider, but they wanted to capture concrete, measurable, and actionable data about their clients’ experiences—and that they wanted to hear that feedback directly from the source. 

“Our primary goal when we launched our first survey was simple: get client feedback. We wanted to hear from our clients and to hear from as many of them as possible. We wanted to learn how we’re doing, and to uncover actionable insights that we could look to when striving for continuous service quality improvement. We pride ourselves on our service, and we want to ensure our customers are having an outstanding experience.” 

Leveraging client experience data for deeper business insights

One of the primary benefits of a Net Promoter® Score client survey is the ability to quickly identify Detractors—unhappy clients that you might be at-risk of losing. While Woodruff Sawyer’s client ratings have been world-class from the start of their survey program, they have identified a few Detractors over the years. 

“We receive very few Detractor responses, but when they do come through we are able to very quickly mobilize and get in front of the client that is experiencing an issue. Identifying these issues enables us to bring in senior leadership to meet with those clients and take the time to get at the root of the problem they are experiencing. It gives us a real opportunity to save those accounts.” 

Identifying Detractors empowers Woodruff Sawyer to deepen their practice of fierce client advocacy—facing client concerns with a compassionate, service-oriented approach, and resolving issues before they lead to revenue loss. But beyond addressing Detractor responses, Melinda notes that all client feedback, from Detractors, Promoters, and even Passives, provides valuable insight into their identity as a service provider. 



When we asked Melinda which feature of the survey program stands out to her as the most impactful for Woodruff Sawyer, she talks about the ClearlyRated dashboard—the cloud-based interface where she and the Woodruff Sawyer team can monitor client feedback in real-time, view historical trends, run reports, and trigger notifications for team members to follow up with accounts. 



“The ClearlyRated dashboard is so easy and intuitive to use. We can very easily run reports and filter real-time results by region, line of business, manager, or service leader. I can share side-by-side comparisons of the results, and set email notifications based on different criteria. Our team that administers the survey can do all of these things easily, on our own, but our ClearlyRated Customer Success Manager is always available to help with any questions or issues.” 

Beyond viewing client feedback and survey results in the ClearlyRated dashboard, Woodruff Sawyer has integrated their ClearlyRated dashboard with their Salesforce CRM. With this integration enabled, every client-facing member of the Woodruff Sawyer team has access to the most recent and historical feedback provided by members of that client account. 

“Seeing the impact of this valuable client feedback, we realized it was critical to store these insights in the system where the rest of our team accesses client data—Salesforce. Extending access to survey results beyond the dashboard has amplified the actionability of the client feedback, and empowers our team members with valuable information that can impact their next conversation.”  

Beyond the data: Service experience, usability, benchmarks, and the power of positive feedback

Woodruff Sawyer has conducted an annual client survey with ClearlyRated since 2014. We wanted to know a bit more about what kept Melinda and her team engaged with our survey process, year-over-year. What kept them “coming back?”

“We were specifically looking for a Net Promoter Score survey solution, because we understood the power and actionability of that data. That’s how we found ClearlyRated. The ClearlyRated survey program is built on the NPS methodology, but we benefit from so much more than the survey data alone. ClearlyRated’s Customer Success team provides one-on-one guidance, hands-on support, an easy-to-follow process, and helpful context and best practices to guide our survey program. ClearlyRated ensures that we never feel alone in our survey efforts. It’s the type of client experience we strive to deliver at Woodruff Sawyer, and it’s a primary reason we recommit to surveying with ClearlyRated every year.”

Melinda mentioned that beyond her team’s experience administering the ClearlyRated survey program, she appreciates that Woodruff Sawyer’s clients and the teams that service those clients find the ClearlyRated survey program easy to participate in. 

“The way the ClearlyRated survey platform serves up questions to our clients makes it easy for them to complete the survey. It’s also easy for our internal teams to track and prompt responses from clients who haven’t yet completed the survey. Both of these factors have kept client participation and response rates high.” 

Melinda also mentioned two other benefits that have delivered outsized ROI on Woodruff Sawyer’s client survey program: industry benchmarks and positive feedback. 

“Another great thing about ClearlyRated is that they provide peer results and industry benchmarking, which can be difficult to obtain. It’s really helpful to know where we stand with our peers, and we can use that data to tout our great scores and service record.”

Last, but certainly not least, Melinda spoke about how positive feedback, earned through ClearlyRated’s testimonials and Shout Outs features, have provided outsized benefits from their client survey program. 

“The Shout Outs are really impactful—they provide clients the opportunity to help us celebrate our service people internally and give them the recognition they deserve. Beyond the morale boost that comes from hearing that recognition, both the Shout Outs and the testimonials captured through the survey have helped us identify and validate what our clients appreciate and value about us. It helps us to reaffirm our brand and better communicate the experience that prospects can expect to have with us.”

Woodruff Sawyer leverages survey results to tell their story of client service

Woodruff Sawyer is a shining example of a brand that weaves the voice of the client into their marketing and communications to help tell their story of service excellence. They have drawn directly from their survey results and have an entire page on their website dedicated to sharing Woodruff Sawyer’s NPS rating and testimonials from happy clients. 

“From a communications perspective, NPS has provided us with a metric to credibly demonstrate the level of service we provide. Every single NPS survey that we’ve launched since 2014 has scored us in the world-class range for service. Our most recent NPS based on our 2021 survey was 86.1%—far exceeding the insurance industry average of 34%. These metrics make it possible for us to tell our story in a way that provides proof of our claims of excellence.” 

Woodruff Sawyer is an amazing example of service excellence in action in the insurance industry, and we are honored that they continue to invest in measuring the client experience through ClearlyRated. 

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