Archive for the 'Management Systems' Category

In 2009, I wrote an article about how United Airlines broke a singer’s guitar by mishandling his baggage and refused to pay for the damage. He wrote a song about it and it went viral, causing United to reverse its decision and a public relations nightmare for the company. Normally customer dissatisfaction of that magnitude should cause financial hardship to a company unless they change their policies.

The Temkin Group has released a free ebook called The 6 Laws of Customer Experience which is an excellent read.

Front line staff know what customers want. If your front line staff are turning away customers by the hundreds or thousands because you don’t stock certain ‘in demand’ items at Christmas, you will not only lose sales but also good will and loyalty.

Many large organizations have a complaint system in addition to a customer service organization. It is designed to handle the situations where the customer is dissatisfied with the service he received and wants to take the problem to a higher level of management. The complaint department’s responsibility is to listen carefully to the customer’s service complaint, to resolve it or explain why it cannot be resolved in a way that leaves the customer ‘less dissatisfied’. A closed complaint does not mean the customer is satisfied,even if the customer’s request was granted. Here’s an example.

Customer satisfaction cannot be bottoms up driven. While excellent work can be done by customer facing personnel such as customer service call centers, or customer support personnel, sales teams and business partners, if the senior executive team do not have a commitment to customer satisfaction, the results will be sub optimal. And the front line employees will become increasingly frustrated with the lack of support for customer problems. Many employees are not included in senior executive meetings and strategy sessions so they cannot know for sure how their executives weigh in on customer satisfaction commitment but there are tell tale signs they can read that tell the story.

In a prior blog post titled How to Understand Your Customers Better using Focus Groups, I reviewed the reasons for an organization to want to run a focus group and what the elements were of customer satisfaction research using this technique. This article reviews the preparation steps to run a successful focus group.

In an earlier blog post titled: Warning, Is your Sales Force blindsided by Customer Service I talked about the need for customer service to keep sales informed about potential customer escalations and that might negatively impact the sales team. Here is a real life example of a system that was in place when I retired from IBM Canada.

In a large organization, the sales team on an account may not know about issues the customer is having. Customer personnel may be calling the service organization with their problems. In many cases the front line staff in support handle the problems from the customers in an efficient and effective way and the sales team need not know. But what if the customer is not happy with the resolutions being offered. The sales team may be preparing a new proposal for the customer or have a presentation planned with the customer. If the sales team doesn’t know there are hot issues, they may walk into a firestorm at the customer’s office and be ill prepared to handle it.

In an earlier blog post titled How to Get your Lost Customers to Come Back, we covered 2 basic steps: 1. Find out why they left. 2. Look for Opportunities to Engage. What are the strategies a company can use when an individual or committee made a recommendation or decision to leave, and will lose ‘face’ with their peers and management, if they decide to do business with your organization again?

What strategies can you use to overcome this problem?

Buying or selling a home is a major financial transaction for all concerned. Picking an agent to list with or an agent to help find a home is a decision that often involves word of mouth recommendations. As a result, it is very important for a broker to monitor it’s customer satisfaction ratings for its agents and for the brokerage as a whole.Real Satisfied is a service provides a realtor with a system to measure customer satisfaction both at the broker level and for multiple real estate agents working for them.

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