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Discovery Surveys, Inc.
Specializing in Employee Opinion and Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Improving the Workplace
EMPLOYEES NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President, Discovery Surveys, Inc.

3 out of 5 employees believe they do not receive enough information about customer satisfaction.

Part 1 - THE PROBLEM:

Information about customer satisfaction is critically important to virtually any organization, yet 60 percent of employees say they do not receive adequate information about it. How can employees be responsive to the needs of customers when they don't really know how customers feel?

Although some organizations do conduct customer satisfaction surveys, few share the results with their employees. Many questions, therefore, often go unanswered:

  • How do customers really feel about our products and services?

  • How did they feel about the project, procedure, or delivery we just provided?

  • What transpired when the customer interacted with my coworkers?

  • How do they feel about our prices?

  • What is most important to customers about our products and services?

  • How do they feel about our warranties and payment terms?

  • Are they considering leaving us to do business with our competitors?

  • Why did we win or lose that last sale?

Part 2 - WHAT MANAGEMENT CAN DO

  1. Conduct Frequent Customer Satisfaction Surveys

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 interactions.

    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.

In summary, in order to improve customer satisfaction, all employees need to be kept fully abreast of how customers are feeling about the products and services they are receiving from the organization.

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