My name is Adele Berenstein, a retired Customer Satisfaction Executive with over 41 years experience at IBM. For my last 19 years at IBM, I was responsible for SW and Services customers primarily in large accounts. Prior to that I held roles in Sales, Marketing and Teaching, also at IBM. I am based in Toronto, Canada, but I also worked in Montreal, Canada and in Boca Raton, Florida. You can read my resume at my Linkedin profile. http://www.linkedin.com/in/adeleberenstein
When I started in the customer satisfaction arena, it focused initially on Quality, Six Sigma and Baldridge assessment. While these were excellent tools to evaluate your business, it became clear that it was internal oriented and external customer focus needed to improve. While our customers were easy to approach, management had a built in denial problem. After all, our customers were buying from us. But in the economic downturn of the early 1990s, the pressure to really listen to customers increased. There were several different approaches identified to listen to customers, through surveys, through the service organization, customer round tables and through the complaints received. We didn’t exactly like what we heard at first. But we persevered. Continuous improvement became the objective. Find out where you are now and find ways to improve.
Over time, and trial and error techniques were developed to look beyond what was impacting customers immediately and delve into root causes. What was it that we were doing in the product development stages, the marketing and sales stages, in manufacturing and distribution processes, billing and collections, and installation and post sale support that was happening over and over again. Trends were studied and root cause analysis done. This eventually led to fixing problems that could impact a customer before it ever reached the customer or finding processes that would prevent problems from ever surfacing. A strong management system and culture had to be put in place that turned around low satisfaction into ever increasing levels of customer satisfaction.
Over the years of many late nights, trying and failing, tweaking and trying again, I learned a framework for customer satisfaction that has proven itself over and over again. The results of these efforts were stellar. IBM is a wonderful company dedicated to customer satisfaction and with strong management support in the two areas I provided leadership to, Software and Outsourcing Services, significant improvements in customer satisfaction were measured through surveys and complaint metrics.
The purpose of this blog and related web pages is to provide you with the secrets of that framework so your business can benefit from happy customers that buy more from you and / or bring you additional business. Since the advent of Internet Marketing, Web Marketing, and Social Media, I have also added many articles about what is happening in the world of customer satisfaction that uses these new techniques.
New in 2010, I was awarded the designation of Expert Author on eZine Articles.
This blog has been awarded the designation of ‘One of the Best Business to Business Blogs on the Net” by Proteus Marketing.
I am also part of a network of trained Social Media Managers with the Let’s Get Social Designation.
I have been quoted in Channel Pro Magazine called Dealing with Disaster.
I hope you enjoy this blog site. Please leave comments at the end of my blog posts.