Client Window

A client window is a tool for gaining feedback from actual clients about the services they use. It differs from a client survey in that a survey asks clients about product or service’s performance, based on the survey designer’s ideas about what clients want and need. A client window asks questions in very broad terms, letting the clients express what they need, expect, like, and dislike in their own terms and from their own point of view.

When to Use a Client Window

A client window can be used to get information from clients or patients, in their own terms, about what they want or what they like about the current health service they are receiving. However, this is really only one step in understanding what is most important to clients. Not all things listed will be of equal weight, and further discussion with clients may be needed to find which areas are true priorities. A client window can be used by itself, or as groundwork for more formal data collection through surveys; using it in this way can help design more relevant survey questions. Client windows can also be used when designing solutions, getting information that will make it easier to avoid repeating past mistakes in planning.

How to Use a Client Window

Step 1. Determine the service or area for which feedback is desired. Frame what kind of feedback is being sought. Is feedback desired on the whole range of services provided? Is the team more interested in specific areas? For example, clients could be asked to provide feedback on all health services they receive, or the team may want to focus on specific services, such as care for chronic conditions.

Step 2. Gather information from clients by asking them to respond to the following questions:

  1. What are you getting that you want? What are you getting that is meeting your needs and expectations?  (Cell #1 of the client window)
  2. What are you getting that you really don’t want or need?  (Cell #3 of the client window)
  3. What do you wish you were getting that you are not? (Cell #2 of the client window)
  4. What needs do you expect in the future?  (Cell #4 of the client window)
  5. What suggestions do you have for how we can improve our products or services for you?

Client Window Framework

 

Getting

Not Getting

Want

Getting what you want (#1)

Want, but not getting (#2)

Don’t want

Getting, but not wanted (#3)

Don’t want, not getting (#4) (anticipated needs for the future)

 

There are two ways to administer the client window: to a group of clients or to clients individually.

Group: Prepare a large client window framework on a flip chart or wall. When the clients are gathered, explain that the goal of this activity is to get honest feedback about how their needs and expectations are being met. Write the areas of focus on the flip chart or wall. Ask them to write individually the answers to the above questions on the client window. (It is best to leave the room at this point so that the clients have privacy to answer as honestly as possible.)

Individual: In this mode, ask each client to fill out the client window and return the responses (no names required). Prepare instructions, including how their feedback will be used, the areas of focus, how to fill out the client window, and where and when to return it. Clients write their responses to the above questions directly on the client window form.

Step 3. Compile the information. If the client window was administered in a group, record the answers on a separate sheet of paper as they were written for each section of the window. Review the answers and count how often the same feelings were expressed by several people.  If the client window was administered individually, place all individual responses on a master sheet, and then count how frequently similar responses were given.

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