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2018-02-13

Ask, listen and learn

2018-02-13

Running a company means – ideally—having clients. And if you are lucky enough to have them, you must make them happy or they'll wander off to your bitter rivals. The tricky thing here though, is that it can be difficult to know exactly what it is that makes each client happy.

Sophie values speed of delivery, Mike appreciates the personal touch and Leonard, who is our favourite kind of nerd, wants his technical solutions to be so innovative they've barely been created. And this is why any self respecting company with illusions of grandeur will regularly run the trusty (and yes we know – sometimes pesky) customer satisfaction surveys.

Creating these surveys is its own kind of headache. But let's say the survey has gone out without tears and the results are in. Now what?

This is usually when the statistics people and the marketing people up the stress levels. Why? Because they know they are in for a fight. The statistics people are hesitant to draw big conclusions because as every good statistician knows – there is always an uncertainty margin and many factors affect the results. The marketing people on the other hand, love big conclusions and want stuff that looks good on power point presentations and in yearly reports.

So the crux of the matter is as follows. How do you report survey results in a way that is not mind bogglingly boring and obnoxious while at the same time factually correct? And how do you make sure the report keeps the stake holders happy and functions as a valuable map to make your clients happy?

We know this is not rocket science. But after reading a lot of survey results that were either incomprehensible or purely self congratulatory, we figured there was room for a blog post about how to turn a customer satisfaction survey into a useful tool.

 

How we did it

In 2017 we performed our latest customer satisfaction survey and the premises was as follows.

  • Participating clients where from Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
  • The survey had both quantitative and qualitative questions.
  • Almost a 100 companies participated.
  • The survey was performed by Great Nordic Consulting.

And the results were….

 

The good stuff

This is what many companies tend to focus on. But while it is important to maintain good results each year, “the good stuff” should not be the main focus of the continued work. However, everyone needs a boost in their workday and here is ours.

We have a satisfaction index of 4.18 out of 5

Supposedly, results above an average of 3/5 are good. But we all know that's not quite true. I mean, who is happy being average? It's not what people usually aim for, and neither should companies.

Our customer satisfaction result for 2017 was 4.18/5, which is on the clear side of good but with room for improvement. We especially like that our index has moved up since last year, largely due to 60% of the participants having no complaints. As in zero, zip, nada! Happy dance for that!

We are easy to work with

Of course we think we are easy to work with but it is nice to know that this is not a one sided opinion. So, we allow ourselves a little high five before getting back to work. 

We have a high level of competence

Our IT-consultants are not just the bread and butter of the company. They are the cake and the icing too and they make it possible for us to deliver seriously cool, society enhancing IT-solutions. So we are of course proud as any mother hen when we hear good stuff about them.

 

The stuff we can learn from

You can always deliver faster
No matter how fast you deliver, someone won't be happy. The important lesson here though, is not that “we messed up” (although that can sometimes happens) or that the client is “being whiney”. But to remember that when something doesn't work, we want it fixed again as soon as possible. For instance, you don't spend much time thinking about your leg, until it stops working. When that happens, you think of little else but your non-working leg and guess what… you want it back to working order “right this minute”!

This is exactly the case with IT-solutions. Companies use our services because they need something fixed, created or upgraded and they are likely to think of little else until we've solved their problem. So to summarize: we can always be faster and if we are in any way delayed, communication is key!

You can always make transitions easier

Transitions of all kinds are a pain in the neck. Moving, starting a new job or changing routines and systems at work can severely upset our day. And if someone can effectively help in this transition, we are likely to love them forever (or at least for a while).

So even though the final product or solution is the end goal, the way there is equally important. An easy and problem free transition will simply make the end result so much sweeter.

You can always be more experienced

So much is happening in the IT-world and the digital transformation is putting extreme demands on businesses and organisations. It is therefore only natural that they are eager to have the best and the brightest handling their IT-development. This makes it more important than ever to invest in the continuous training, education and certification of our consultants.  

 

The somewhat baffling stuff

There will sometimes be survey data that is baffling and needs further exploring. For us it was this:

  • There are differences between Norway, Denmark and Sweden regarding what is considered important when choosing an IT-partner.
  • There are differences between Norway, Denmark and Sweden regarding what is considered important in an existing IT-partner.

Who would have thought!

 

The conclusion of all the stuff

Our clients are happy but we want them happier and so the main things we will bring with us into our work is this:

We do not all like the same things

Even though we don't know why seemingly similar Scandinavian countries value different qualities in their IT-partners, we must adapt to the results. The survey showed us that there is no universal solution to make clients happy. And that we must keep the ear to the ground in each country where we have an office. We simply can not be sure that something that works in Gothenburgh will automatically work with all our other clients.

Communication is key

To the great sadness of cosmetic surgery addicts – no one is perfect, and mistakes and misunderstandings will occasionally happen. But while a speedy solution is the most important aspect, a clear and speedy communication is vital in order to understand needs and possibilities. No one is going to know or appreciate the fact that we are working day and night to solve a problem, unless we tell them what we are doing and how we are doing it. With the risk of sounding like a hobby psychologist, communication creates understanding and understanding creates contentment. And contentment creates… yeah you guessed it – great customer satisfaction results!

 

 

 

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Written by Susannah Eriksson