Episode #: 95
Show: Regional 11
Airdates: Apr - Sep '01 (see Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)

Gauging customer satisfaction 


  • It is the ultimate test. Many organizations only realize there is a problem after their customers flee. Many companies suffer this fate because they do not have the resources of larger companies to ensure 100% customer satisfaction. To satisfy this need for customer feedback, QMS Consulting, Inc provides on-line solutions.   
Broadcast Excerpts

News Desk

The World Trade Organization, or WTO, is the international organization that deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. But why does an organization like this need to exist in the first place? The experts say without it, general guidelines and standards for industry, trade and commerce would simply not exist. And as international trade has multiplied exponentially within the last century the need for uniform standards is a must. And these standards have become documented agreements containing technical specifications and precise criteria used consistently as rules, guidelines, and definitions of characteristics, to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose between trading nations.

These International Standards have therefore contributed to making life simpler, and to increasing the reliability and effectiveness of the goods and services we use. The International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from 130 countries. And the ISO 9000 is a system of international quality management standards and guidelines that has earned a global reputation as the basis for establishing quality management systems. So today, we have decided to investigate the validity behind these standards and go behind the scenes with one organization that says it has worked hard to implement the very standards we speak of... reports.

On Camera:

The revised ISO 9000 :2000 standard is based on a process model of Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA). This process facilitates senior management to direct their organizations towards improved performance, which is principally measured in terms of customer satisfaction. It stands to reason that customers have to be satisfied in order that organizations succeed. 

The International Standard specifies eight clauses in the new ISO 9000 :2000, which, if effectively implemented, assures any organization that it shall demonstrate the ability to consistently provide a product or service, that meets customer satisfaction. And Customer Satisfaction is the mission of every Supplier, without it Suppliers are unlikely to continue in business. For success in a competitive market place, a supplier has to be concerned about:

1. Early on-going customer responsiveness 

2. Knowledge of the unsatisfactory business areas that may affect customers

As such, the process for determining customer satisfaction requires feedback from the customer. For the organization to make sense of the information for improvement, it must be received in a structured fashion for processing by the supplier.

On Camera:
QMS Consulting, Inc a full service Quality Management System Organization, located in the San Leandro, California, says their business relates developing Quality Management Systems for organizations, centered around to ISO 9000. The company says they have trained, implemented and when called upon, reengineered existing Quality Management Systems. For ISO 9000, their clients attest to the skills of these consultants in tailoring the compliance issues, to fit the need of their business practices. So today we talk to the execs at QMS.

Q.1 You talk about Customer Satisfaction being an effective method for Suppliers to evaluate their performance, how do you gauge this?

It is the ultimate test. Many organizations only realize there is a problem when their business-to- business customers have faded. Or, businesses may be out there marketing to win new customers, but at the supply end, actual performance results in customer loss due to a lack of customer satisfaction. Many small and mid-size companies suffer this fate because they do not have the resources of larger companies to ensure 100% zero defects, leaving their organization. Whether they are ISO 9000 or not, the supplier needs to be provided with customer feedback for improving the drive to zero defects. 

Consequently to satisfy this need for customer feedback, QMS Consulting, Inc has provided an on-line opportunity with a structured format, for executing a process for driving customer satisfaction. 

Display Complaint URL page on Screen from Overhead Projector

It is a scientific process. When business to business customers use the site ( SHOW COMPLAINT PAGE PROJECTION) to alert say•a single supplier, all the complaints received by the supplier are categorized and the most prevalent reasons ( POINTING TO ITEMS ON COMPLAINT PAGE) are determined by way of what is called a Pareto.

Go through the motions of switching from complaint URL to already prepared Pareto URL by using mouse

The Supplier can then access their own Pareto privately ( SHOW PARETO PROJECTION AND KEYSTROKES TO ACCESS PARETO ON-LINE) and evaluate the accumulative customer complaints. The supplier can compare and track the complaints by category and take steps for corrective action, for effective improvement.

Q.2 We were told that your Web site provides a way to index customer satisfaction parameters, can you explain this? 

Display Survey URL Page on Screen from Overhead Projector
Yes we provide a generic survey checklist that covers 'customer satisfaction' characteristics that applies to most industries. Show checklist projection. On a scale of 1-10 the customer organization rates the importance of each characteristic to their own organization; the customer then determines the supplier rating against the 'importance' ratings (show rating scales projection). This is translated into a privately accessed histogram to the supplier. (Show histogram projection) The histogram indexes from the e-surveys whether the supplier fails, meets or exceeds customer expectations, which translates into satisfaction.

Providing a process to resolve complaints, referencing on supplier performance and online surveys to measure specific performance indicators and histogram information are, all available for your private Internet viewing. This site also allows comparison to the results of surveys. The comparison of actual complaints to the customer satisfaction survey validates the customer opinion provided by the survey. For any given period, both results can be viewed simultaneously on the site for indexing performance.

On Camera:
QMS Consulting Web sites are an online source of feedback for suppliers to be apprised by their customers. The site has been touted as a low cost resource facilitating suppliers' Customer Relationship Management' (CRM) for customer satisfaction. The customer complaint format and survey provide the essentials for the supplier to shape the business driven by customer opinion. 

Q.3 How does the supplier fulfill the customer's requirements based on the complaint submitted?

Go back to Complaint URL and pointing These areas on the site, allows the customer to tell the supplier exactly how the complaint can be immediately satisfied. Thus the supplier, armed with the information, can respond in a manner to address the customer concerns, in the shortest possible time, in a way to alleviate the inconvenience caused to the customer. As the supplier and customer progress towards resolution, after settling the customer's discomfort, the site provides a real time recordkeeping format, operated with minimum effort.

Q.4 What are the benefits of using the site for both customers and suppliers?

For ISO 9000 suppliers, the new standard makes it mandatory that customer satisfaction data be provided for compliance. qmscrm.com facilitates compliance without having to make any special staffing arrangements.

Non ISO 9000 suppliers reaps the essence of ISO 9000. The information provided by the customer, leads suppliers to follow exactly the same path of their ISO 9000 counterparts, in meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Thus the site offers real benefits, in directing suppliers to organize their business processes, along the lines of Plan, Do, Check, Act.

The Supplier Management can access and review the status of its staff responsiveness toits customers. The information is open to the organization and there is no need to prepare special reports. The site provides and manipulates the information in any management format for providing statistical data and progress reports.

The customer has a real-time means to get his critical supplier attention. In addition there is real data for referencing returns for customer surveys. Many customer surveys are sometimes opinionated without foundation. 

The site offers the customer an opportunity to provide the supplier with genuine survey information, by referencing the information based on real data. The site provides the methodology for evaluating suppliers for periodic reviews based on the discrepancy records.

The use of the site is free for customers to submit all complaints and submit surveys.

On Camera:
The customer can also direct comments on the level of satisfaction to the supplier. But customers should only address surveys when requested to do so by the supplier. The site allows the customer to track complaints to all suppliers and manipulate the data. And one of the requirements of ISO's Y2K 9001 is the Measurement of Customer Satisfaction. The Standard requires 'organizations to establish a process for obtaining and monitoring information and data on customer satisfaction'. But why is so much importance placed on customer satisfaction?

Jeff Lewis ­ (response)
Because in the Supply chain, every supplier is also a value- adding customer. At each stage of the supply, seamless integration at the interface is the preferred mode of operations. However, where Return To Vendor (RTV) of product afflicts the supply process, the delinquent Supplier perishes upsetting the smooth running of the chain. Hence, the importance of Customer Satisfaction to be cherished. In other words, either be cherished or be perished. 

QMS Consulting says they decided to embrace the recent technological quantum leap and so created QMSCRM dot com, which they call an electronic process for fulfilling a paperless trail - from complaint to responsiveness to resolution to valued customer opinions. 
Jeff Lewis - "Though technology we facilitate the supplier's Customer Relationship Management' 

On Camera:
We are told this site, when acknowledged by suppliers to customers, engages customers' attention, as there is the assurance that the supplier has taken the time to provide a reliable and responsive process for taking care of business. It demonstrates that the supplier is interested in providing the best possible conduit for the facts, if the customer has any concerns about the supplier's product or service. The promotion of the facility by the supplier to the customer, can only result confidence, trust and understanding. 

The ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947. The mission of ISO was to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to develop cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.

On Camera:
In the past?, The existence of non-harmonized standards for similar technologies in different countries or regions can contribute to so-called "technical barriers to trade". Export-minded industries have long sensed the need to agree on world standards to help rationalize the international trading process. This was the origin of the establishment of ISO. However, after many years, the system of Standardization has resulted in a better way of doing business and organizational enhancements, where it matters most - the customer.

With the intention of fully applying the ISO standards to its business model, QMS Consulting says they clients can be assured of quality service. And as international standardization is well-established for technologies in diverse fields such as information processing, communications, textiles, packaging, distribution of goods, energy production, shipbuilding, banking and financial services; the process business model, as per ISO 9000, will continue to grow in importance for all business-to-business sectors, of industrial activity for the foreseeable future. In this regard, QMS Consulting, Inc. is pleased to contribute its skills and talent to provide deepening relationships, between suppliers and customers. 

On Camera:
As consumers have matured and become more educated they've become more confident in products and services that conform to International Standards. QMS Consulting says it is the only real way to insure that(what) you pay for is truly what you get. From San Leandro, California, I'm XXXX.., for Business World News.

News Desk:
You know, Penny, today's free-market economies increasingly encourage diverse opportunities for expanding markets. But fair competition needs to be based on identifiable, clearly defined common references that are recognized from one country to the next, and from one region to the other. An industry-wide standard, internationally recognized and developed by consensus among trading partners, serves as the language of trade. 

Well also Mark, no industry in today's world can truly claim to be completely independent of the rules of application that have been developed by standardization. The computer industry offers a good example of technology that needs standardization at a global level. And standardization programs in completely new fields are also now being developed. Such as advanced materials, the environment, life sciences, urbanization and construction. Standardization infrastructure is a basic condition for the success of economic policies aimed at achieving sustainable development. Creating such an infrastructure in developing countries is believed to be essential for improving productivity, market competitiveness, and export capability. Well folks, that's it for us here at Business World News,...




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