Conduct Frequent Customer Satisfaction
If you want to know how customers feel, you need
to ask them. Customer satisfaction surveys should be conducted on a regular
basis for all businesses, large or small. Surveys should also be conducted
after each major project, purchase, or delivery while the experience is still
fresh in the customer's mind.
Invite Customers to Attend Focus Groups
Your employees can gain valuable insights by
sitting behind the one-way window of a focus group session. Listening to the
words of customers and observing how they talk about the services they are
receiving can provide a very valuable perspective to employees.
Share Customer Satisfaction Information at
Regular Employee Briefings
Typically, the results of customer satisfaction
surveys are shared with senior management only. This helps the company develop
strategic plans to improve customer satisfaction, but does not help improve the
day-to-day experience of customers.
Invite Employees to Meet with Customers
Many employees operate behind-the-scenes and have
little, if any, direct contact with customers. Why not invite some of these
employees to accompany your sales force on sales or customer service calls? The
more they understand the needs of customers, the better they will be able to
meet those needs or support others in the organization who can meet them.
Maintain a Customer Relationship Database
Customers typically interact with many different
employees. Yet rarely is important information about these many interactions
shared among employees in any systematic way. Entries should be made into a
single company-wide database on an ongoing basis to document these
For example, the sales people have direct
interaction with prospects who eventually become customers. The operations
people then take over. At some later point the sales person is expected to go
back and sell to the customer again. But without the benefit of the shared
knowledge of their fellow employees in operations, billing, and accounts
receivable, it will be as if the relationship is starting all over again.