Writing Center Journal


Client satisfaction surveys have long been a cornerstone of writing center assessment, but to date, research on satisfaction surveys has largely focused on analyzing client responses from the survey and their administrative uses. Research rarely investigates why clients provide the responses they do and how consultants process these responses. This study, therefore, involved conducting separate client and consultant focus groups to learn about each population’s interactions with one writing center’s optional post-session satisfaction survey and the survey results. The findings revealed that while client participants used the survey to communicate high levels of satisfaction, client participants also thought about the survey in multifaceted ways that took into account complex factors, such as their relationship with the writing center and care for consultants’ feelings. The study also showed that consultant participants valued positive feedback from clients but that consultants found their survey responses to have limited utility for professional growth and that they craved more specific and constructive feedback. This article offers considerations for how writing center professionals can better communicate the purpose of surveys to both clients and consultants, and it proposes additional forms of assessment that could allow consultants and administrators to hear the nuanced feedback clients can offer.