This section is an attempt to demonstrate why organisations should examine their current approach to build and presenting Customer Results.
In the first part, we explained the importance of the Customer Results, what to measure and report and how to present the results. At the bottom of the page, you will find the “Assessment sheet” to help you assessing how is your Customer Satisfaction Survey in terms of effectiveness and how good are you interpreting it. Finally, you will identify your strengths and what you need to improve.
WHY ARE CUSTOMER RESULTS IMPORTANT?
Excellent organisations design and manage processes and systems that enable them to understand, monitor and assess their customer’s needs and opinions.
They have a structured approach to gather valuable customer-related data as well as Customer Results.
DEFINITION OF A CUSTOMER AND CUSTOMER RESULTS
According to EFQM, “The customer is the final arbiter of product and service quality” and the Customer Focus is a Fundamental Concept of Excellence.
Customer Results express the level of delivery of the Mission and the achievement of its Vision and what that means for the customers. Good practice organisations invest a substantial amount of time understanding customer requirements and establishing processes that deliver the products and services that customers want within the agreed parameters of TIME, COST and QUALITY. A Customer Result is the reported outcome of those efforts and actions.
LAGGING AND LEADING INDICATORS EXPLAINED
BEYOND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
EFQM used to refer to Customer Satisfaction as the key lag Indicator for Customer perception results. A study by the EFQM Customer Satisfaction Task Force revealed that while Excellent organisations do measure Customer Satisfaction, they often progress to a broader understanding that includes customer loyalty and customer value.
The more an organisation learns about the impact of customer patronage on business results, the more skilled it will become at asking the right questions and collecting the right sort of information from Customers and internal processes. The more an organisation understands the range of success drivers that influence a Customer's choice of Suppliers, the more likely it is to measure relevant areas of the relationship with the Customer, producing results that reflect an accurate and complete picture of the nature of the relationship - past, present and future. Excellent organisations use these results as the basis for reviewing strategy, improving processes and producing new products and services.
WHAT ARE YOU MEASURING AND REPORTING?
The EFQM Excellence Model separates Customer Results into two distinctive groups of measurements that also correspond to lagging and leading indicators. Customers’ perceptions of the organisation (obtained, for example, from customer surveys, focus groups, vendor ratings, compliments and complaints), represent the most important dimension of Customer Results and contain the majority of lagging indicators.
The first challenge facing an organisation is to decide on a relevant set of perception measures. There are two main considerations. The first is to ensure that the process of perception measurement provides information on the various activities undertaken by the organisation in its pursuit of fulfilling customer requirements. The second consideration is the importance and priority attached to the measures by the Customer. The most sophisticated measurement system in the world is of little value if it does not deliver data that is relevant to the Stakeholder group! "Good" results in irrelevant areas will not help an organisation to focus on improvement actions that will make a difference…
These measures are the internal ones used by the organisation in order to monitor, understand, predict and improve the performance of the organisation and to predict perceptions of its external Customers. Organisations rely on lead indicators that will provide data on its operations by the day, week and month that help to predict the response of Customers well before they are canvassed for their opinions.
RANGE OF RESULTS (SCOPE AND SEGMENTATION)
What does a comprehensive set of Customer Results mean for your organisation? The answer is directly related to the range of Customers that you serve and the size and nature of your portfolio of products and services. An incomplete set of Customer Results can have a dramatic impact on the value of the information collected for informing improvements, future strategy and business results. There are three potential mistakes:
One component of assessing an organisation’s performance in relation to Customer Results is to see the results matched against the targets set by the organisation. Even then, we might not be fully satisfied unless we know if the targets set are relevant in terms of an organisation’s declared aspirations. Effective organisations apply specific targets to specific indicators rather than setting one or two general targets to cover whole groups of indicators.
The EFQM Excellence Model encourages organisations to plan and manage for repeated, durable, good performance, rather than be satisfied with "one-off" success relying more on good fortune and serendipity. Sustainability is assessed by the degree to which the organisation’s Customer Results show positive trends over three to five years and evidence of the likelihood of it continuing.
USE OF BENCHMARK DATA
Using Benchmark Data begins with the development of a Benchmarking strategy that will direct your efforts as you Benchmark at the process, organisational and metrics levels. The critical success factors for successful Benchmarking are your Benchmarking methodology and your choice of Benchmarking partners. The successful selection of both should lead to the collection of data that could have a very significant effect on the improvement of your Customer related processes, the targets you set and how you interpret the results.
The most effective way of presenting Customer Results is graphically. They need to be communicated to all the organisation. A Balanced Scorecard can be used as an important tool for communicating that.
Click here to access the Customer Results Assessment Sheet. This Assessment Sheet is in PDF format, you can fill it in as a form, save it or print it.