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Ways of Gathering Customer Feedback

A

alehman

#1
We are a small company that is in the process of getting our ISO certification (the second audit is in the middle of May) and we are trying to tackle customer feedback.

In the twenty years since its inception, the company has never gathered this information. Nearly every employee has contact with a customer in one way or another, and everyone who keeps a record of the contact does so in a unique, individual way. I have been tasked with developing a way to collect the information from those varied customer contacts and then use it in a way that goes toward continual improvement.

At this time, I am thinking of having everyone send the information to a specific email address that only management can access, but I am unsure if that will get the results we're looking for. As no one here has ever had to do this sort of thing, we are all pretty stumped.

Any ideas for how to best collect the information and use it wisely? Would a periodic phone survey work best? The company is very small and so a lot of forms won't work. Also, we are a research and development company with its toes in manufacturing so our customer contacts are not typical. Thanks for your help.:nopity:
 
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D

Duke Okes

#2
Re: Gathering customer feedback

You might start by doing an affinity analysis/diagram on the info you are currently getting. Having one or more standardized questions that individuals ask ocassionally might add more structure. Don't overkill it.
 
M

mguilbert

#3
Re: Gathering customer feedback

I agree with Duke Okes. The customer feed back we recieve is from a stanardized form(s) that some customers return to us, others we gather upon delivery. We currently have approx. 89% return from US and Canadian custiomers and 75% return for international customers. Some of the customers biggest gripe is how we hound them to get these forms returned, but in the long run it helps us better meet our customers expectations and increase satisfaction. Some of the questions we ask concern on time delivery(Y/N), condition of product at delivery(A,B,C,F), quantity non conforming(#), with a brief comments section for misc. complaints/comments. I understand some of this is subjective based on customers perception but isn't that what it is all about.
Results are stored in a dbase using excel to analyze the data in chart form.

But remember to keep questions simple.

HTH,
Matt
 

Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Re: Gathering customer feedback

We are a small company that is in the process of getting our ISO certification (the second audit is in the middle of May) and we are trying to tackle customer feedback.

In the twenty years since its inception, the company has never gathered this information. Nearly every employee has contact with a customer in one way or another, and everyone who keeps a record of the contact does so in a unique, individual way. I have been tasked with developing a way to collect the information from those varied customer contacts and then use it in a way that goes toward continual improvement.

At this time, I am thinking of having everyone send the information to a specific email address that only management can access, but I am unsure if that will get the results we're looking for. As no one here has ever had to do this sort of thing, we are all pretty stumped.

Any ideas for how to best collect the information and use it wisely? Would a periodic phone survey work best? The company is very small and so a lot of forms won't work. Also, we are a research and development company with its toes in manufacturing so our customer contacts are not typical. Thanks for your help.:nopity:
Some of my Clients use "SurveyMonkey", a web based customer survey application. You can customize it as you see fit. The basic thing is free, more fancy, you pay.

Stijloor.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with SurveyMonkey.
 
T

Ted Schmitt

#5
We are a small company that is in the process of getting our ISO certification (the second audit is in the middle of May) and we are trying to tackle customer feedback.

In the twenty years since its inception, the company has never gathered this information. Nearly every employee has contact with a customer in one way or another, and everyone who keeps a record of the contact does so in a unique, individual way. I have been tasked with developing a way to collect the information from those varied customer contacts and then use it in a way that goes toward continual improvement.

At this time, I am thinking of having everyone send the information to a specific email address that only management can access, but I am unsure if that will get the results we're looking for. As no one here has ever had to do this sort of thing, we are all pretty stumped.

Any ideas for how to best collect the information and use it wisely? Would a periodic phone survey work best? The company is very small and so a lot of forms won't work. Also, we are a research and development company with its toes in manufacturing so our customer contacts are not typical. Thanks for your help.:nopity:
Besides what other Covers have suggested, can you some how measure how many clients come back and place new orders? Repeat customers?
 

JoCam

Trusted Information Resource
#6
Hi Alehman,

I've attached our level 2 process flow illustrating what we do to capture Customer Feedback, together with the associated Level 3 procedure explaining how we do it, the form that requires completion and an example of the spreadsheet we use to monitor the results. Pretty much all you should need really.

Hope it helps.

Jo
 

Attachments

D

DrM2u

#7
Any ideas for how to best collect the information and use it wisely? Would a periodic phone survey work best? The company is very small and so a lot of forms won't work. Also, we are a research and development company with its toes in manufacturing so our customer contacts are not typical.
Since you are more of an R&D and smaller organization I'd like to propose something a little different.
- look at your performance against customer's expectations: for example, the ability to complete the projects against due dates and budgets (adjust the targets based on any changes in time and requirements from your customers, as these happen frequently in R&D)
- look at volume of business with major customers (or all, if feasible); trends (upward hopefully), repeated business (retention)
- look at new business and reasons for getting it: price, referals, etc.
- look at customer feedback, both negative (complaints) and positive (thank you's)
- review these indicators on a regular basis (monthly) to identify the need for actions; can be a case-by-case or over-all
- don't create extensive metrics and don't spend a lot of time collecting detailed data and over-analyzing things unless you see an opportunity for improvement and need to quantify it (focus on it)
- share the information with all employees and ask them for participation and feedback

I have encountered a few organizations that monitor their performance internaly then approach the cusotmer for validation: 'this is how we are performing in our opinion and based on our metrics; do you agree?".
 
B

Bill Pflanz

#8
Maybe your best approach would be to keep it simple. Here are some suggestions.

1) Develop a simple form that has sections for gathering key customer information: new products or services wanted, customer complaints, etc. Since employees have been collecting information already, you could review past contact reports and develop common categories. You can make it electronic after you find something that works.

2) Until you have a better understanding of the information received, you may want the information sent to you for data collection and analysis. Summarizing the data for management can then be done.

3) Sort the information so that it can be given to the individual managers responsible for taking action

4) Develop a follow up plan to ensure that customer issues are addressed and finalized.

Focus on the process for customer feedback then the forms, analysis and actions taken will be worked out over time. You must be a successful company since you have been in business for 20 years. More than likely you already have an informal process in place.

Bill Pflanz
 
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