Perfecting Service Management

Issue #58

Tuesday, November 22, 2004

Book Recommendation from CCI President Craig Bailey

"Thinking" about becoming Customer Centric? If so, a book that "started it all" for Customer Centricity is Customer Centered Growth, by Richard Whiteley and Diane Hessan. This book offers key insight, practical approaches and a tool-kit for Customer-Centered Growth. To whet your appetite, I thought I'd share the "Are you willing…" Acid Test of Executive Commitment that is shared on page 226 of this book.

To judge your level of commitment to customer-centered leadership, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will you fire the high performer who does not live the values of the organization?
  • Are you willing to devote a minimum three-year commitment to making the creation of a customer-centered organization happen?
  • Are you willing to be visible in the effort by attending workshops, personally participating in recognition events, and spending considerable time with customers?
  • Are you willing to put customers and personnel on virtually every operating meeting agenda and discuss them first?
  • Are you will to put customers first even when it might mean that short-term numbers are missed?
  • Are you willing to promote a person who embodies customer-centered concepts over an uncommitted manager?
  • Do you insist on having customer-satisfaction numbers as well as the financials in your regular reporting scheme?

The book suggests that if you answer "no" to two or more of these questions, review your own commitment carefully before moving forward. For you, attempting a customer-centered transformation is most likely an expedition into the Great Waste: an under-committed initiative.

As a case-study example - The techniques suggested in this book were key to the efforts taken by members of the Customer Centricity team to elevate a managed service provider to the number one spot for customer satisfaction in their industry. And, we continue to leverage these techniques in helping numerous other firms.

In closing, if you are serious about becoming Customer Centric, this book is for you.

View Book

Becoming Customer Centric - Customer Surveys
by Craig Bailey

Leveraging the Voice of the Customer (VoC) is critical to becoming customer centric. In this edition, we will expand upon the topic of "obtaining the pulse of the customer" by covering customer surveys. While we won't be covering details on how to construct and administer a customer survey, it is important to note that there are (at least) two types of surveys to consider, each with a typical audience.

Transactional surveys

Typical audience: Product/service end-user
The purpose of a transactional survey is to measure customer satisfaction with individual, or a history of, interactions (transactions) with the firm. This can yield valuable information, enabling a firm to improve the customer experience at a tactical level. It should be noted that, while a firm may experience high levels of satisfaction at the transactional level, this does NOT necessarily correlate to high degrees of loyalty. However, it is an important "data point" within a comprehensive VoC process. Finally, a transaction-based survey is most frequently targeted at the end-users of a firm's products and services. While the end-users may not hold budgetary responsibility, they can significantly influence the decision-maker.

Relationship surveys
Typical audience: Decision maker
The purpose of a relationship survey is to measure the health of the overall relationship. A relationship survey will typically cover all aspects of the firm including, but not limited to:

  • Marketing
  • Product Management
  • Engineering/Development
  • Sales/Account Management
  • Professional Services
  • Training and Education
  • Service and Support
  • Accounting/Finance/Billing

As such, several individuals from the customer's firm may be required to participate in order for you to understand the nature, satisfaction level and loyalty of the "entire relationship."

In addition to obtaining customer satisfaction on a ranked scale (low to high satisfaction), surveys should provide the customer an opportunity to respond to open-ended questions and general comments.

Important considerations with regards to customer satisfaction surveys include:

  • Determining who to survey and how often
  • Knowing which voice of the customer you are hearing
  • Not merely conducting them, but evaluating the results and taking responsive action

In summary, customer satisfaction surveys are an important aspect of your VoC practices, but are ONLY worthwhile when acted upon. In the next edition, we will cover additional approaches to "obtaining the pulse of the customer" and in subsequent editions we will cover taking appropriate responsive action!

View previous articles in this series.

+ Book Recommendation
+ Becoming Customer Centric
+ Recommended Reading
+ Speaking Engagements


If you have received this newsletter from a friend and would like to subscribe: Click here to subscribe

View previous newsletters


Recommended Reading
This issue we recommend several articles from CRM Magazine with the theme of customer focus.

CRM's Dysfunctional Relationship by Ginger Conlon presents the wireless industry as an example where customer loyalty is not rewarded. In fact, it is to the customer's (financial) benefit to change companies on a regular basis.

The Disappearing Act by Lior Arussy stresses the importance of keeping the customer mindset at all times. After all, we're all customers - why should we forget that when we're doing our jobs?

CRM Claims the Corner Office by Vicki Powers introduces a new role on the executive team: the Chief Customer Officer. The article also presents case studies of three Chief Customer Officers.

Speaking Engagements
CCI President Craig Bailey will be a speaker at PDMA's (Product Development and Management Association) 7th Annual "Voice of the Customer" conference on December 7-10, 2004, in San Francisco CA. Presentation materials will be available for download from CCI's website closer to the conference date.

About Customer Centricity, Inc.
We strengthen overall company performance through better service delivery and management.

We boost efficiencies in front-line customer service and technical support teams, order processing, fulfillment, field service, logistics and other key operations functions.

In short, we align the resources of your organization to exceed your customers' expectations in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

See What Our Customers Say

Quick Links

About Us

Contact Us


Previous Newsletters

© Copyright 2004 Customer Centricity, Inc. All Rights Reserved

5 Old Coach Road Hudson, NH 03051 (603) 491-7948