Question 6: We have routine or regular measures of customer service.
At a score of 3, which indicates that the company's senior management sees
their performance as neutral on this specific question, indicating the
consultancy has processes in place for routinely measuring customer
service. Yet from the responses to earlier questions it is clear that
there is a lack of commitment and a lack of urgency to using these routine
or regular measures to quantify their performance in customer service
What the consultancy needs to specifically focus on is creating a set of
customer listening strategies, and as been mentioned before, Voice of the
Customer programs, to develop the discipline of gaining valuable customer
feedback on their performance. A pattern is beginning to emerge in the
question responses of senior management on the one hand seeing customer
centricity as a core strength of the company, yet there are no strategies
in place to either quantify customer satisfaction, or gather their specific
unmet needs overall.
Question 7: We are more customer focused than our competitors.
With a rating of 4, senior management at the consultancy agrees that they
are superior to their competitors in their knowledge of customer needs and
knowledge of their requirements. Paradoxically however the specific
programs and strategies to gain this insight get low ranks on the survey.
As was mentioned in the previous questions' analysis, there is a disconnect
between how management sees the core strength of Business Resource
Management Group and its commitment to the many strategies necessary for
giving themselves the competitive advantage, from a customer-centric
standpoint, they claim to have. A pattern is emerging of the consultancy
claiming to know its customers very well yet either unwilling or unable to
discipline itself, or more critically, find the passion for finding their
customers' voice and requirements in everything they do. This is a
critical point, as many senior managers and even C-level executives quickly
say they are more customer focused than their competitors yet when it comes
to the daily discipline of listening to customers' points of satisfaction,
dissatisfaction, ideas for new services, and the creating of VoC programs,
disconnects begin. The critical element in all this is consistency from
the perception of being customer centric to making the right decisions and
choosing to be disciplined and passionate about seeking out the voice of
the customer. For Business Resource Management Group this will make or
break the total growth potential of the consultancy.
Question 8: I believe this business exists primarily to serve customers.
Scored with a value of 2, which indicates the consultancy's senior
managers disagree with this statement continues to show the paradoxical
nature of how Business Resource Management Groups' management sees their
core strength as being customer-centered, yet as can be seen from the
responses to previous questions, not either committed to or passionate
enough about going after the strategies to gain the insights from
customers. This questions' response as a 2, showing that the consultancy's
management sees the company as not primarily in existence to serve
customers just brings greater depth to the irony and paradox that the
survey is exposing relative to the values versus actions of the company.
Senior managers would counter that the primary business of the company is
to generate a profit, yet the paradox of this is clear when the response to
the first question is compared to the response to this one. One of the one
hand objectives is driven by customer satisfaction yet there is nothing in
terms of the specific commitment to make these objectives anchored in
actual strategies to make them happen.
Question 9: We poll end users at least once per year to assess the quality
of our products and services.
With a score of 2, this specifically states that the consultancy's senior
managers in general disagree with the statement that the company is polling
customers at least once a year to ascertain their levels of customer
satisfaction. This is consistent with the conflict between what managers
are stating on the one hand that customer centricity is at the center of
their strategies and the lack of activity to make this happen, either out
of a lack of discipline or a lack of passion for getting the Voice of the
Customer into their specific services strategies.
Question 10: Data on customer satisfaction are disseminated at all levels
in this business unit on a regular basis.
With a score of 2 which indicates that in general senior management
disagrees with this statement, further illustrates that customer centricity
is not part of the consultancy's culture today. As has been mentioned
earlier in this paper, the discipline and passion to bring the Voice of the
Customer into the development, execution and completion of strategies is
critical for the company to claim their objectives really are based on
customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction needs to permeate the
consultancy not with anecdotal data but with survey feedback that shows
very clearly what customers are most and least satisfied with. Only when
this type and level of data is available and posted throughout the
consultancy will lasting change become prevalent throughout the company.
The paradox of claiming objectives are based on customer satisfaction yet
there is a lack of discipline and passion for tracking satisfaction is a
serious issue for the consultancy to resolve.
Three Suggestions for Providing Better Customer Service
The following are the top three recommendations for increasing the level of
customer service within the Business Resource Management Group:
1. Begin a Voice of the Customer Strategy that includes monthly
assessments of customer satisfaction using telephone-based surveys and
the use of a quarterly Customer Advisory Council. This strategy of
creating a Voice of the Customer Strategy needs to publish a dashboard
that is posted in all areas of the consultancy so everyone can
specifically see how their efforts are making a difference in customer
satisfaction. The Customer Advisory Council is a forum which will be
used specifically for gaining greater insights into what customers are
seeing as points of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, many of which
are emerging and not picked up yet on telephone surveys. All these
activities need to be recorded in a dashboard that is published both
online in the company's intranet site but also in hard copy, so it can
be posted throughout the company.
2. Set objectives on customer satisfaction and post monthly progress
toward this goal. As Business Resource Management Group is a small
business itself, it is critical for its growth to have a high
percentage of referencable customers so they can validate for
prospects the value of the consultancy's services. Setting the goal
of having 75% referenceability in their customer base is aggressive
yet attainable, and posting progress towards this goal will galvanize
the staff to drive this figure up, as references are very valuable
during business development and new prospect development. The higher
the number of references the greater the credibility in many
3. Index management bonuses to the customer satisfaction score the
company earns every year, and also index specific project teams'
salary increases and bonuses to per-project satisfaction. This is a
critical step for the consultancy to make so it can change the culture
to be one that values and finds a passion for seeking out customers'
feedback of both the good and bad, and acting on it. Two of the
questions in the survey specifically illustrate that there is a major
disconnect between what the performance levels are with customers and
if the word gets back to other departments, whether good or bad. When
pay increases and bonuses are indexed to customer satisfaction, this
will change quickly and dramatically.
The paradoxes that pervade Business Resource Management Group illustrate on
the one hand an organization that wants to see itself as driven by customer
satisfaction yet lacking either the discipline or passion to define
processes, procedures and programs to actually capture customer
satisfaction data in the first place. The disconnect is disconcerting and
if left to its own direction, will become very wide for the company until
customers will make the perceptions of managers align with the reality of
customers. The bottom line is that the customers' perceptions are reality,
and that the senior managers need to get away from just claiming to have a
competitive advantage due to a knowledge of customers and…