Compliance Conversations: Who Should be Involved in Measuring Customer Satisfaction?

Posted by Craig Thornton

This is part of a series of compliance conversations about how you best manage your QHSE management systems and their associated processes.

In this video QHSE Consultants from around the world talk about who should be involved in measuring customer satisfaction.

Check out the video here:

 

Video Transcription

Who Should Be Involved In Measuring Customer Satisfaction?

 

Chris, FQM, United Kingdom

It's important to get one thing pretty clear, I've met many organisations that see customer satisfaction or customer feedback as it's often referred to, from the ISO standards, as being part of the compliance department's role.

Why is this?

Well, that's the team that deals with the ISO certification. That's the team that deals with the external auditor, so it's up to them to drive customer feedback, in order that they can satisfy an ISO certification body or an external auditor.

Well, actually, that's a very low bar, if that's what you're trying to achieve.

You should be trying to think about customer satisfaction in terms of what it can do for your business, and for your customers.

If you really want to drive a culture of improvement within your organisation, consider involving everyone that has an impact on a customer, whether that may be related to deliveries, then maybe you need to involve and speak to the shipping department.

What about customer satisfaction? Or even just the reception or admin team? Are they the guys that receive the calls regularly, but that information doesn't go anywhere?

Think about the guys that are out on site, dealing with clients on a regular basis, possibly visiting them either salespeople or contracts managers.

What information are we getting back from them? Golden nuggets that can be used to drive improvement through our business.

We need to involve as many people as possible, within reason, that will help us gather the correct metrics, the correct data that will allow us to drive improvement from that customer satisfaction data.

 
Mark, Business Basics, Australia

Everybody within the business.

  • Your top management should understand what their customers are saying,
  • The workers on the ground that are doing the work should understand the impact they're having on the customer,
  • Your sales and marketing and finance team.

They should all be involved.

Get up, get out of your office, go for a drive down the street and have a chat with them, buy them a coffee, coffees cheap.

By having a clear understanding across the organisation, even a customer who's not particularly happy with what you're doing, if they've got every man and his dog across the business, they're going to feel like you care. At the end of the day, that's all we want, people just want to feel like they matter.

 

Sean, Kaizen Consulting, New Zealand

The best person is the person who's actually keeping the relationship with the customer.

In saying that, they also need to have all the relevant information, for example, in Mango, when you go to the customer site and read their history, you can see the list of all the improvements that you've raised for that customer or that the customer has raised to your attention.

Having that background information is quite important, so when you call the customer, you actually know you have a good background of what has been happening.

The best person to do that, I think would be the person who's actually maintaining a relationship with them with relevant data from the system.

 

Michael, Momentum Safety and Ergonomics, Australia

Really everyone across the business will be involved in this.

The person who is directly interfacing with the customer should have a little bit of an idea or some training or something like that, that this customer is important, and we should be looking to get some general feedback from them as often as we can.

I think over and above that, the people involved in the creation of the product should also be involved in the formulation of surveys, and the analysis of those results, if we're able to bring those through.

And we should be having a continuous improvement site process around our customer satisfaction. I imagine we would have some sort of register of customer satisfaction, complaints, those sorts of things, and build that into our improvement systems and our improvement registers.

So that should be your quality people involved in that, health and safety people, as well as the appropriate managers of the relevant departments.

And going up and up and up, senior management should be having a good overview of how the company is performing in general.

I don't think they have to see every customer survey that comes across the desk, but if we can compile those together, and put those into a Management Review, where we all have a little bit of a look at and get a bit of a gauge of what customer satisfaction is like, that would be my approach there.

And so really everyone across the business in some aspect or a differing aspect might be involved in that in that process.

 

Nicholas, SRM, South Africa

From a supplier side; whoever is responsible for providing the product or service and/or their senior management.

If you're going to go and see the customer face to face, and you've got the person who deals with the customer, and also the senior manager from the supplier side.

It shows a great level of commitment when the person who's responsible for the work and their senior manager goes round to see the customer and to find out if they are actually satisfied. Obviously, it's not always practical, but that shows a good level of commitment from the supplier side.

On the customer side of the customer satisfaction survey; you'd obviously want the person who's the recipient of the product or service.

Not necessarily a storeman or somebody like that, but somebody who's the ultimate process owner, for the recipient of that product or service.

Somebody who's got knowledge of the process who understands what's going on and is able to give positive feedback or negative feedback as it may be, but accurate feedback with regards to the effectiveness of the product or service that you're rendering.

 
Gary, QSM Group, Australia

Ideally, the person involved in measuring customer satisfaction should be independent of customer interactions.

This provides the opportunity for the customer to provide constructive feedback without the risk of upsetting their key contacts within your organisation.

 
John, Many Caps, New Zealand

Ideally, the whole organisation should be involved in measuring customer satisfaction.

Anyone who has any form of interaction with the customer should be able to combine with a gauge of how happy they are.

And the more levels you have engagement and the more bits of reference information you have from that, the better understanding you can have your customer.

 

Takeaways
  1. Involve as many people as possible throughout your organisation to help gather the correct data to help drive improvement in the business
  2. Everyone in the business should understand the impact they have on the customer
  3. Before you speak to a customer, get some good background knowledge so that you are aware of any issues that may have happened in the past.
  4. The more levels of engagement you have with your customer, the better understanding you will have.

Tags: Management System, ISO, Compliance, Risk Management, Customer Satisfaction, QMS, integrated qhse manual, ISO45001, ISO Certification, process approach, Compliance Conversations