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    « September 2007 | Main | November 2007 »

    October 29, 2007

    Customer Satisfaction Surveys

    In case you haven't noticed I am a firm believer in the principle and methodologies communicated in Fred Reichhelds book "The Ultimate Question".  I recently stayed at a Hilton Hotel in London England.  I had a bad experience.  I am a frequent customer of Hilton Hotels and felt an obligation to provide them some feedback when they sent me a customer satisfaction survey.  It was a nice Web survey to make it easier for me to respond...yeah right!.  I went through page after page of questions.  There were so many pages that they required a status indicator at the bottom to show me what % of completion I was in the survey.  Every time I gave an indication that I was dissatisfied the screen changed and expanded.  Ten more questions appeared to ask why I wasn't satisfied.  The more I answered the further I was on the % completed indicator.  I was getting worried that I might spend the whole day just to finish.  It seemed the only way to finish was to either quit or to start giving satisfied or "not applicable" answers.  I reached the point of dissatisfaction that I was committed to finish just to show how dissatisfied I really was.  I finally go to the point where I could type in a free form response.  Here it is.

    Your surveys are awful.  Hopefully this doesn't get filtered out by the survey company, MarketMatrix.  If you own stock in MarketMatrix sell it.  This survey is way too long.  I spent over 15 minutes just to communicate to you I had a bad experience.  I will never respond to one of your surveys again and you will no longer know how satisfied I am.  Read the book the "The Ultimate Question".  Fire your survey company and do it yourself!  If you'd like to talk to me please give me a call.

    Following the methodology in The Ultimate Question they should have asked the following questions:

    1. Based on your recent stay at the Hilton London Euston Hotel would you recommend this hotel to a friend or colleague? (Please rate us from 0 to 10).
    2. If we didn't score a 9 or 10 what do we need to do to score a 9 or 10?  If we did what was the most important factor that influenced your decision?
    3. May we contact you to discuss this?

    If they use this methodology; the number of responses they will get will increase, the goodwill from their customers will increase, and the data they collect will be more meaningful and measurable.

    October 23, 2007

    Ego and Greed

    A saw a captivating presentation by a well respected Washington DC entrepreneur, Mario Marino.  He gave example after example of companies that had risen and fallen.  Every time he traced back the demise of the company to one of two things and often both.  It was ego or greed.  If own stock in or are you are doing business with a company driven by these principals beware.

    October 16, 2007

    Terabytes on Every PC

    Hitachi announced that they will be able to create hard drives that can store terabytes of data in desktop computers or laptops.  How will the business world change when every laptop PC has a terabyte of storage? 

    FYI: A terabyte is about 1,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica!

    October 15, 2007

    No Change is Good

    In an HBR interview with Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, he stated that Amazon ties their strategy to things that don't change versus things that change. This may seem counterintuitive. With change ever present we are told we need to adapt to change or perish. Jeff says Amazon focuses on things like helping customers make faster more informed buying decisions about which book to buy versus selling more books. Whether people buy new books, used books or digital audio books, Amazon helps people find the right book at a good price and in a format that they prefer. This will not change for a long time. If their strategy was focused on moving as many hardcover books as possible they would be in trouble. The format people will prefer will change with ebooks. How people share information about books will change with social networks. The warehousing, printing and distribution of books will change. Providing a service to help people make better decisions will change much less.

    Are you focused on selling more ink on paper or providing project critical content logistics? Is your value "printing" or helping customers control and deliver important information? Printing will change. The need to control and deliver important information in the construction industry won't change much.

    October 04, 2007

    How Customers Converse with Each Other About You

    Here is a link to a blog post on Fred Reichheld's net promoter blog. The post is a conversation between Fred and his son about their experiences with banks. It is an interesting read. Imagine what the conversation would be like between a customer of yours and a prospect. The NPS metric is a good indication of what that conversation would be like without hunting down proof of an actual conversation.