February 6, 2006

News & Opinion: Are your customers humming along to the Rolling Stones?

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 3:41 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Do your customers sound like Mick Jagger at Superbowl halftime singing "I Can't Get No Satisfaction"? I've still got that song playing in my head from last night.
Alright, they may not actually be singing that. There is a new book out on customer satisfaction called Satisfaction -- and as far as I know, there are no references to Mick Jagger in it.
You may be more familiar with the book than you'd guess. The author, James D. Power IV is from the J.D. Power and Associates -- the company that measures customer service.
Here's what James says about customer service in a recent interview with Inc. magazine:
You know you have a customer service problem if...
"You're spending more money to acquire new customers compared with competitors or compared with internal standards. Employee turnover is another indication."

If you have a problem....
"Consumers aren't expecting perfection, but they want problems to be dealt with in a forthright way."
He gives an example of Lexus. When they were first starting, there were a few "minor problems with its cars". So "they rushed a letter of apology to every customer, then had the dealerships pick up the vehicles and bring them in for repairs."
James said that Lexus' actions helped to improve customer satisfaction ratings and "it had a positive impact on brand image."

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.