The Greatest Voice
The greatest voice in any business is that of the customer, but how often is it heard? As successful business owners we need to take time to listen, to reflect and after careful consideration, to take action. Failure to do so will only play into the hands of the competition and therefore understanding what is valued by our customers and how we perform, is vital in ensuring our success.
An annual health check is considered routine in the context of managing our personal health, our domestic heating system or the safety of a motor vehicle, but how often do we step back and consider the health of our business? For sure quantitative measures are taken and a good accountant will ensure that you are on the right financial path, but the numbers only tell part of the story and a more holistic approach is therefore required.
The satisfaction of our customers is an important metric in measuring the health of our business and in determining the strategic steps that we take, but can this really be measured and how do we capture the data?
When conducted correctly, an annual customer satisfaction survey will provide a valuable insight into the value drivers of our customers, how we measure against them and the gap between us and their preferred supplier. For the survey to be effective, its design and implementation is critical and many businesses fail at this first hurdle. They make the assumption that “they know their business” and “they know their customers”. These assumptions lead to direct and specific questions, such as; “how do you score the quality of our product?” or “are you satisfied with our delivery performance?” , which assume that quality and delivery are important value drivers for the customer. This of course maybe true, but the value drivers of our customers will change over time and we should therefore use the survey as a tool to validate and confirm our baseline assumptions. We all know that price, delivery and quality are important, but what else do our customers value?
Mind the Gap
Benchmarking exercises can be both costly and time consuming, but when designed correctly an annual customer satisfaction survey will allow for a simple “temperature check” to be taken, providing high level indicators as to how we perform against the “best in class”, the preferred supplier. Hopefully this won’t always be the competition, as one would hope that such status can be achieved by ourselves, but such a comparison will provide a useful measure as to how we perform and if our previous and current strategic choices are delivering the desired results.
At Bright Trees we have designed a simple approach to measuring customer satisfaction, which not only meets the criteria of international quality assurance directives such as ISO 9001, but is also specifically designed to provide a valuable insight into the value drivers of your customers, assisting in setting the strategic direction of your business.
The survey can be adapted for your specific business needs and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss these with you. Follow the link for a free consultation.