Customer Delight: A Data Collection Tool
- To collect information on customer's perceptions of the team.
- To create a plan for improving customer satisfaction.
The tool is designed for use in individual interviews with customers. It may also be used by a facilitator of a focus group composed of customers. An effective focus group consists of six to eight members.
An individual interview using the tool will take 45 minutes to one hour. A focus group should be scheduled for one hour to an hour and a half. It may be necessary to eliminate some of the questions when using the tool in a focus group.
An individual interview should be conducted in a private setting such as small conference room or private office. A focus group should be held in a small conference room with chairs set around a small rectangular table.
A copy of the Customer Delight tool for the interviewer and the customer. A focus group facilitator will need a copy of the tool to guide the discussion.
- Explain the purpose of the interview, confidentiality guidelines and how the results will be used. If the customer will see the results, make it clear what they will see. The general rule is that a summary of the data is prepared with no names associated with any of the ideas, comments and recommendations. Similar guidelines apply to focus groups.
- Give a copy of the tool to the interviewee. Explain that he or she can follow along but you will take notes on your copy.
- Follow up each questions with probes such as
- Can you tell me more about that?
- How would that work?
- Do you any examples of that?
- Help me understand why that is an issue?
- Use your active listening skills to bring out more information with
comments such as:
- So, you're saying . . .
- In other words, the real issue is . . .
- If I can summarize what you just said, you seem to feel that . . .
- Therefore, your recommendation is that the team should . . .
- At the conclusion of the interview, go back and review your notes with the interviewee to determine if you accurately recorded his or her thoughts. Remind the person what will happen with the information.
While we do not usually debrief an interview, if time permits, consider some of the following:
- How did you feel about the interview process?
- Were the questions I asked what you expected?
- Were there any surprises?
- Are there any questions that you expected to be asked that I didn't ask?
- Did you learn anything from this process?
Purpose: These questions are designed to solicit feedback from customers about how well the team is meeting their needs.
1. What are some of the ways the team collects information about your needs?
2. How satisfied are you with the way the team collects information about your needs? What else should be done?
3. How often does the team talk with you about your needs? Is this too often? Not frequent enough? What do you recommend?
4. How would you describe the way the team responds to your questions, requests for information and complaints?
5. How would you characterize your relationship with the team? Collaborative? Adversarial? Friendly? Competitive? A Partnership?
6.Does it apprear to you that all members of the team are operating from the same guidelines? With the same goals? With the same goals? With the same quality standards? With the same concern for customer satisfaction?
7. How would you describe the meetings with the team? Well planned? Too long/short? Productive? What can be done to improve these meetings?
8. When the team makes a mistake or misses a deadline or in some other way does not meet expectations, how is it handled? What, if anything, would you like to see done differently?
9. Given complete freedom of choice, would you continue to do business with this team? Why?
10. What are some of the things the team can do to improve its relationship with you?
Reprinted from: G. Parker & R. Kropp, Team Workout: 50 Interactive Activities, Amherst, MASS: HRD Press, 2000.
If you are unable to use the interview method, consider a survey instrument. One such instrument is the Customer Focus Survey, a team self-assessment that measures the extent to which the team is customer focused. Another is the Customer Perceptions Survey, which collects data on the customer's perceptions of the extent of teamwork demonstrated in their interactions with the team. Both instruments are found in Glenn M. Parker, 25 Instruments for Team Building, HRD Press, 1998.