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.

Have you ever had the problem that management and employees who are not on the front line, don’t focus on how they personally impact customer satisfaction? This is a common problem in large organizations. In my years at IBM, it was one of the key challenges. Often decisions made in departments removed from day to day interaction with customers set policies, designed systems or created products, services or promises that were not customer friendly or could not be implemented in the real world. Here are some tips to get buy in and focus internally.

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to plan customer satisfaction year beginning activities. If you want your customer satisfaction efforts to be successful, then ensure your employees see that customer satisfaction results are part of the review of the prior year achievements and understand the dynamics that drive superior results. Compare one group within the organization with other similar groups: If the results can be broken down across various leaders, geographies, departments, you should show results in aggregate and then results broken down by geography, sales branch, or service group. Prominently publicize customer satisfaction results in your year end / year beginning communication.The best place to put them is at the beginning of a year end / year beginning presentation, report or email, even before financial results. This article covers the 5 key areas to focus to launch a new year of customer satisfaction actions right.

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