Increasing Customer Satisfaction

Posted by on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

It’s the start of a new year, and with that comes the time for doing individual performance reviews; how well did our managers and employees perform last year relative to their goals and objectives? The concept, of course, is that if our company goals are clear and important, and they get properly cascaded to the department and individual level, and they deliver on their goals, everyone will be satisfied and well compensated. Right? That’s nice in theory but hard to make work in practice. Those companies that do this well are typically the highest performers.

At BraunAbility, we provide wheelchair lifts and wheelchair vans for people with disabilities. If we do that better than anyone else, we will certainly outperform our competition and be successful. As I am working through this year’s performance reviews, it is clear to me that everything we do must have a connection to our customers, the very people that buy and then use our wheelchair lifts and handicap vans everyday. I have thought long and hard about this over the years, and I believe that everything we do and every goal we have should be accompanied with the question, “What will that do for our customer?”

Try it. Pick something out that is a goal at the company where you work. Ask, “If we are/I am successful, what will that do for our customers?” Today an employee asked me about a plastic flare in one of our newly-developed mobility vans. “What is wrong with this flare; why is manufacturing asking me to have it modified . . . again!” This relates to a goal we have to ensure our wheel chair vans look as OEM-like as possible. We want our wheelchair van conversions to be an extension of what a Toyota or Chrysler or GM minivan looks like. So, how does this benefit our customers? They can have a feeling of pride in driving a wheelchair van that looks professional, modern, and is fully functional. And that feeling of pride, coupled with the new freedom of mobility, can be just as important as the function of the ramp van itself.

I truly believe that every goal we have can and should have a connection back to satisfying our customers. If not, is it a goal worth pursuing? Try the test and share with me what you find by commenting below.