Astute Planning, Flawless Execution,
Delighted Customers

Issue #161

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Managing the Customer Experience - A Case Study Part 4
by Craig Bailey

This week we return to the case study example outlining strategies and techniques that one of our past clients (PTC) has put in place to effectively manage the customer experience. This multi-part series results from a collaborative effort with Mark Hodges, DVP and Chief Customer Officer at PTC.

In the previous article in this series, we discussed the approach taken to ensure scalability of highly specialized resources that are engaged to address complex customer issues, while ensuring the "whole customer" is considered. In this article, we will cover methods to obtain and leverage the Voice of the Customer.

Have you invested tens or hundreds of thousands in a customer survey program only to realize that you are not receiving the level of actionable insight you need to determine where to invest precious resources? Or, that the results received are not taken seriously enough to drive change? If that is the case, you are ready to take things to the next level.

We now outline the approach taken by PTC to obtain highly actionable and targeted customer insight. Such insight leads to laser-beam focus on areas that matter most to the customer, thus enabling the organization to make concrete decisions on which customer-focused initiatives to invest in.

PTC uses a variety of tools to collect "Voice of the Customer" feedback in a systematic, actionable and measurable way. In fact, PTC has been assessing and improving its customer satisfaction performance across PTC, for more than 5 years. The key tools in place are:

1. Customer Satisfaction Survey
2. Independent Project Quality Assessment (IPQA)
3. Customer Support Closed Call Survey

We will now share how the tools are used to improve PTC's performance.

Customer Survey Process

PTC uses an independent partner to provide an on-line Satisfaction Survey to its global customers. The survey is available in all PTC supported languages and provides a rating system for measuring overall levels of customer satisfaction as well as specific information regarding satisfaction with key functional areas of the business such as Product Satisfaction, Buying Experience, Technical Support, Customer Education etc. Customers can answer as much or as little as they like in the survey based on their overall knowledge and experience with PTC and its products and services.

The Satisfaction Survey is issued to all customer contacts (who have not requested to opt out of the process) whose companies have current maintenance contracts. The invitation process is designed to ensure that an individual is only contacted to participate in the survey on an annual basis.

In addition, PTC delivers the Satisfaction Survey to key customer contacts within strategic accounts. These contacts not only provide generic feedback on PTC's products and services, but also information that can be used by the PTC Account Team to identify specific issues or improvement areas that need to be resolved.

Independent Project Quality Assessment (IPQA)

Enterprise PLM solutions are complex and multi-faceted. PTC Global Services partners with customers to deliver complex solutions such as initial deployments, software upgrades, legacy system migrations, learning programs and best practice process consulting. In order to ensure that PTC Global Services can objectively measure customer satisfaction for any significant contract engagements and continuously improve their business performance, an Independent Project Quality Assessment (IPQA) is performed.

The IPQA is a formal interview process conducted by a Senior PTC Services Manager who was not directly involved in the specific project being assessed. A variety of questions are reviewed with a designated Customer representative at the end of the individual project cycle (typically around the "Go Live" or "Project Completion" milestone).

At the end of the interview process, customer ratings covering all major aspects of a project are collected and an overall satisfaction rating is provided by the customer. If this rating is below defined quality limits, then PTC will automatically invoke a Corporate Escalation procedure to attempt to identify root cause and provide resolution to the customer.

In addition to helping resolve individual customer concerns, IPQA's yield information that is reviewed at Operations Council and Executive team level, to identify global trends and mobilize improvement initiatives based on the findings of the analysis.

Customer Support Closed Call Survey

PTC Customers with current maintenance contracts are able to utilize PTC Customer Support to help resolve issues or concerns that they may have encountered when using, deploying or upgrading PTC products. With a few exceptions, all PTC product families utilize common support processes and procedures based around access to web-based or remote telephone based services.

Independent of the support route chosen by the customer, PTC reviews calls that have been marked as "closed or resolved" and sends an online satisfaction survey, at random, to 10% of the customer contacts who are identified as the owner of the original call. The survey asks for a satisfaction rating based on the customer's experience during resolution of the call. The random nature of the survey process means that customers may have multiple requests to participate in the survey depending on the volume of calls that they place in a given period.

This process operates across PTC's Technical Support organization and is used to capture customer satisfaction metrics by geography and product on a global basis. The information collected is reported on a quarterly basis and is a fundamental part of the operating metrics for Technical Support. It is also monitored as part of the Quality Management System for Customer Support which is central to the accreditation process for the ISO 9001 Standard.

Finally, PTC truly "puts its money where its mouth is" by actually sharing the results of prior surveys online and the key improvement programs that are underway in direct response to this feedback. PTC expects to publish their latest satisfaction survey results to their external web site by the end of March.

As stated by Mark Hodges, of PTC: "An essential component of PTC's commitment to Customer success and maximizing realized value is listening to the "Voice of the Customer" and enhancing our products, services & solutions based on this feedback. In fact, PTC has a range of business improvement programs in operation in 2010 that are a direct result of feedback gained from our "Voice of the Customer" processes."

Stay tuned for subsequent editions of our newsletter in which we'll cover the final topics of this case study: Taking things to the next level.

About PTC: PTC is all about helping discrete manufacturers succeed by meeting their globalization, time-to-market, and operational efficiency objectives in product development. As one of the world's largest and fastest-growing software companies, PTC delivers a complete portfolio of integral Product Lifecycle Management solutions to over 50,000 customers in the Industrial, High Tech, Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Consumer, and Medical Device industries.

PTC's solutions enable teams to collaborate across departments—and across continents—helping them create innovative products that meet their customer needs and comply with industry regulations. In addition to best-in-class solutions, PTC also delivers expert training, software support, and world-class services directly through PTC Global Services and indirectly through a range of partners.

CCI Serving Those in Need...Again

Members of the Customer Centricity team and the First Baptist Church of Hudson, NH are again headed to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi during the week of March 1, 2010, to build and/or refurbish homes, with Habitat for Humanity.

Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, destroying property and killing hundreds. Less than a month later, on September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita also made landfall on the Gulf Coast, extending the devastation even further. All told, more than half a million homes were damaged or destroyed.

Four years later Habitat for Humanity still engages coastal Mississippi families struggling with run down temporary shelter and poor housing conditions.

If you are interested in supporting the cause or would like to learn more, visit We, and the people in need, thank you in advance for your support.



+ CCI Serving Those in Need...Again

+Managing the Customer Experience - Case Study Part 4


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Some Words From Our  Customers
Check out what a customer had to say about his experience with Customer Centricity:

"Customer Centricity has been instrumental in making the Sophos customer survey program a reality. From concept to launch, the Customer Centricity team guided us quickly and expertly through the process. Their years of customer experience were instrumental in analyzing critical customer feedback allowing us to take swift and decisive action in a very short period of time. Our organization highly recommends Customer Centricity and will continue to leverage their expertise in our customer-facing programs."

Dick Faulkner
VP Sales & Operations, Americas
Sophos, Inc.



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