Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Customer satisfaction – the art of making the customer feel like they matter!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Past the half way point in our top ten countdown of quality system nightmares -

Reason #5 – Customer satisfaction data is not analyzed, or even collected!

Whenever the subject of customer satisfaction comes up in quality system implementation, there is never a neutral or apathetic response from top management. Some are gung-ho on getting data and finding out where they stand, and others will wince in pain knowing that the big blowout last week with that top account will end up as a documented exercise in finger pointing. Everyone will have their personal take on gathering data, including just who should be solicited for feedback and who will analyze it.

”Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.”
- Donald Porter V.P., British Airways

Often, those management team members that have direct responsibility for on-time delivery and zero defects may think customer satisfaction data is not necessary, especially when there has been a recent positive trend in both of those metrics. If the customer is getting defect free product and on-time delivery, what could possible be wrong? Why would anyone complain?

If you read ISO 9001 clause 8.2.1 – Customer Satisfaction, it states “…the organization shall monitor information relating to customer perception as to whether the organization has met customer requirements.” This can mean a lot more than good product on time. Your customer may have many issues regarding such matters as communication, response time to questions or concerns, or other service related items.

One of the most comical remarks we’ve heard from the ranks of top management is that “We don’t want to ask anyone now – we just sent out a lot of bad orders that are coming back!”

Waiting for customers to be in a really good mood should not be a part of information gathering criteria. How the company ranks in customer satisfaction is not the important thing. What a company is doing in response to customer satisfaction is the primary concern.

In fact, great customer relation-building opportunities await if customer satisfaction data is collected during times of product crises. Demonstrating that customer opinion matters, whether good or bad, and then actually acting on that information through such methods as corrective action, increased contact or even new process implementation will convey the message that no matter how negative a customer experience was, the customer is supreme!

For some creative ideas in measuring customer satisfaction, contact G3 Solutions today!

Meetings – friend or foe to the productive?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

It seems it never ends. You’re scheduled to go into a meeting to discuss the actions from the last meeting and plan for the next meeting. You look at your Outlook calendar or Blackberry and see that your theoretical 40 hour work week contains 50 hours of meetings. In between all of these meetings, you’re responsible to actually be productive in some accountable manner. How did things get this way? More importantly, you wonder – how can this cycle of chaos be stopped?

Here are 4 … no, wait, 5 … okay, 6 of the best solutions we’ve seen for curing “meeting madness”-

1) We’re here because…??? There better be a good reason for a meeting. ALWAYS have a specific agenda – no matter how small the meeting or how small the number of topics. Have one in print or electronic form and distribute to all participants. This will help to keep a focus on what is important and will help to avoid random topics.

2) Have participants do an impression of their favorite tree! Stand! If time is critical, or if people get too comfortable sitting down and tuning out, have everyone stand during the meeting. Make chairs off limits and keep people literally on their toes. You’ll be surprised how quickly and efficiently people will get to the point. Lengthy meetings will no longer be a problem.

3) Members only! Invite only those participants that will play a direct role in the agenda items. During the meeting, participants should state to the group the people they will communicate with regarding relevant topics/action items and when that will happen. Communication accountability is crucial! No accountability produces no results!!!

4) Share the spotlight! Make sure all participants provide input of some kind – either something to report (such as objectives or department measurables) or they should make a statement as to what their role will be in any action items that are discussed. Remember: No participation = no interest = no action. (We at G3 call this equation “The Gogoleski Theorem”)

5) Somebody write this stuff down! Create a SIMPLE system to document and track action items. Make sure it includes assignees and due dates. You can even make action items official corrective or preventive actions as part of your quality system. Anything less and key strategic ideas become nothing more than “thought bubbles” that eventually pop and become forgotten flashes of brilliance that your competitors will somehow document, implement and execute before you do! (And wow, is that painful!)

6) Don’t schedule another meeting for follow-up to the one you just had!!! Duh! This becomes the most effective exercise ever created for wasting time and reducing productivity. Make follow ups electronic (or paper – only if you really need to – save a tree) with cc’s to all participants of the original meeting. No accountability produces __ ______!!! (see # 3 for answer)

Now go forth and be productive!!!

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