- THE MAGAZINE
The survey was conducted the first week of October 2008. Over 5,000 readers to the monthly Tornado Industries e-newsletter, TornadoWatch, were invited to participate.
Nearly 60 percent of the respondents indicated they conduct ongoing customer service surveys. The largest percentage (46 percent) conduct surveys monthly to semiannually and another 24 percent conduct annual surveys.
Additionally, more than 80 percent said that conducting these surveys were either a "mid-level" or "high" priority.
The respondents also said the main reason for conducting the surveys was "to evaluate their workers."
Very few reported using new technologies such as online survey systems, which allow customers to answer a variety of questions on a Web site.
Instead, 44 percent indicated they simply call their clients; about 20 percent mail or e-mail clients a questionnaire, while most of the others install a "suggestion/comment box" in client facilities.
And what happens if a problem is reported? According to the survey:
- Fifty-six percent of the BSCs said they first fix the problem and then call the customer to discuss the issue.
- About 33 percent said they call the customer first before any action is taken to address the problem.
- Six percent said they investigate the issue first, then contact the client.
- Six percent said they take no action at all.
According to Accenture, a Chicago-based management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company, poor customer service drives nearly half of all business customers to take their business elsewhere. This applies to virtually all types of service providers-including BSCs.
"Ensuring customers' needs are being met should be a commitment in every organization," says Jolynn Kennedy, marketing manager at Tornado. "It is something that has to be continuously worked on and is critical in helping any organization better understand their customers needs and challenges." In regards to the BSC customer service survey, Kennedy said it was interesting that so many BSCs call their clients to check on service status. "Many BSCs feel it is a more personal level of contact that helps them keep close to the client," she says. "It is a very good way to head off potential problems and maintain customer loyalty."