I suppose you’ve already guessed my answer, which is an emphatic…..NO! Presuming that your client must be happy, or they would surely say something otherwise, is the first step in a painful journey out the door. The business landscape is littered with the remnants of companies who didn't care enough to ask their clients how they were performing and what they could do better. And then listen to what they had to say.
Our company has been consistently working at this process for roughly a decade now. We've learned a ton from our clients. And they've learned that they can count upon us to act based upon their feedback. After all, the only thing worse than not asking your clients how you're doing is to ask, yet the only sound they hear afterward is crickets, followed by the same shortcomings. That's perhaps the fastest ticket to termination.
Our annual client survey is our listening device to hear “the voice of the customer”. Sometimes the pulse is faint and other times strong, but you’ll only hear it if you listen for it. If you aren't willing to ask the “hard questions” you risk never learning what you need to know. A consistent, thoughtful survey is only the first step in this crucial client conversation.
When you ask clients how you're doing, how you're really performing, in a structured way once a year, what does it tell you if the majority of clients won't take five minutes to respond? Can you infer their likely responses from those of others who do respond? Some might tell you “Yes”, you can use a reasonable sample size to gauge your business unit’s overall level of performance. I would again say “NO”; if a client won't respond to a professional and thoughtful feedback request in a business to business setting, all you've really learned are which ones will drop you in a heartbeat for a cheaper service offering.
If you want to be wildly successful, first Ask. Then Listen. Next Understand and Adapt. Then Deliver. It's how lasting relationships are built.