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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

2. Quality: Customer Feedback and Customer Satisfaction

Customer Feedback and Customer Satisfaction: What are Methods to Measure Customer Satisfaction?

Bill Harreld:
The typical method [is] to listen to… the customers, we call it the voice of the customer. We can do many approaches to that. We can do survey data. We can do focus groups, of groups of customers. We can look at web-based data. Look at our warranty data. Complaint logs, and field reports that come in, are all ways of getting that voice of the customer, where the customer's making the comments. And data information that affect customer purchasing or relationship decisions.

Once again, it's the voice of the customer, is our guiding light. We look for what that customer … is thinking, saying, and what they feel, compliment or complaint. Compliments are oftentimes help us a little bit of direction on what is satisfactory and what is really preferred by the customer, whereas the complaint usually gives an indication where we're falling short on our delivery of the customer's needs or their requirements or their expectation.

Employee satisfaction is almost a must when you're going to have customer satisfaction. And it's how the employees react to… or help out the customer. There's research has repeatedly… showed that… there's a direct correlation of employee satisfaction to customer satisfaction.

If the customer is contacting our employees, and the employees are grumpy, grouchy, not pleased with the way things are going in their work environment, that's going to be reflected to the customer. You walk in a store, any retail store, you can find out very quickly whether the employees are happy or not. And so that's very important to have a good employee satisfaction, clearly you're going to find a good customer satisfaction.

The key aspect of the workforce is to have them engaged, make certain that our workforce is being engaged, that they have a good morale, they're empowered so that they can do things without having to ask a question every time, and that they're driving to do the things that… know and understand the goals of the organization.

Very important for the workforce to know, what are our goals? What do we intend to achieve in this organization? How does my role fit into all of that? Very important for the work force, each person to understand how they fit into the whole picture of the organization. How their activities day to day will ultimately affect the customer. And another one is understanding how my work, my activity as an individual will impact the needs, the requirements, and the expectation of the customer and our business goals.

A good example for compiling customer satisfaction results is to utilize something like a Pareto chart for both customer satisfaction and customer dissatisfaction. Many people look for satisfaction, but they fail to measure dissatisfaction, and in the Council we saw that it was very important to keep both those measures there. We may not find a great deal of dissatisfaction, but one dissatisfaction can offset a whole host of satisfaction statements. So that's where we often look for actionable items because… what in a process can we improve to avoid dissatisfaction?

My view of a critical measure is customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. Perhaps if I stuck with those two, but I could get five questions for customer satisfaction. Simple one is what should I start doing? What should we stop doing? What should we do better? And what can we improve on? And oh, by the way, what's about right? So just five simple questions, rather than trying to measure everything under the sun.

Trends are… repeated measurements through time. We look to see "Is that satisfaction trending upward or trending downward?" Levels are degrees of what I call granularity, "To what detail are we looking at those… satisfaction levels or process improvement levels?"

Comparisons… our comparisons are like a similar data, or to learn. We often use the term apples and oranges. We like to compare oranges to oranges, and apples to apples, because if we're… comparing things that are not… alike, then we're not getting any information.

Through trends and analysis, we find the value of our actions or results to our customers.

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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001MNSCDD-03, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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