A Utility Working Hard to Satisfy its Customers
Fortune 500 Company
A Fortune 500 company was facing an extremely competitive industry.
The company decided that committing itself to the highest possible levels of customer satisfaction would give it an edge in the competitive marketplace. The company took this goal so seriously that it set ambitious targets for improved customer satisfaction and set before its employees a bonus program if those targets were met.
The company sought to measure every interaction a customer has with it – and to track improvement over time. With employee pay and its central business strategy at stake, the job needed precision. And it had to provide insight and actionable recommendations. Clearly, the company needed the right measurement tool.
| "Potomac knows how to get results. They gave us specific recommendations. We implemented them and our customers are telling us they can see the difference.|
The company asked Potomac to help.
We went to work developing a survey questionnaire, a sampling technique, and a customer satisfaction index that could be tracked quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year.
Working with a team of the company’s employees, Potomac developed a comprehensive 15-minute interview. We traveled to their headquarters, talked with employees, and saw each aspect of the operation. The result was a questionnaire that examined every operational area of the company while bringing to light customers’ underlying impressions of the reliability and value of the firm.
Potomac designed the survey instrument to provide objective, quantified measurements. These formed the basis of the customer satisfaction index. The instrument also captured qualitative information from customers who had specific recommendations for improvement.
Next, Potomac designed an air-tight sampling methodology. We drew a representative sample of the company’s 1.2 million customers and added telephone numbers.
To establish the baseline customer satisfaction reading, Potomac interviewed 2,000 customers by telephone.
We offered comprehensive in-person briefings for the company’s senior management team and met with individual managers to discuss specific recommendations and customer needs in their areas of responsibility.
From our initial meeting with the client team that authorized the project until delivery of the completed baseline survey report, Potomac completed our work in just 45 days.
Potomac is now in the fourth year conducting this customer satisfaction survey program. We continue to conduct 9,000 customer interviews per year as we track dozens of important measures for the company.
The survey program was expanded to include a "transactional" component – calling customers within 30 days of an interaction with the company.
The company continues to focus on generating high levels of customer satisfaction and has been increasingly successful in meeting its goals.
A number of operational initiatives have been implemented that have resulted directly from customer feedback collected through this program. These interviews have provided the basis for employee training programs, and have shaped customer outreach efforts.
| "I have found Potomac to be extremely responsive when we have special requests. They are concerned with making the research program work for us."|
-Customer Service Manager