Customer satisfaction has a new meaning
When Pat and I started Laserbeam, our only goal was to deliver an inexpensive, yet feature rich software for our customers that pays back every penny they invested. Software products don’t have to be so expensive!
We have come a long way. I always trusted from the heart; keep doing whatever you do, to the best of your ability and satisfaction, and the rewards will always follow.
This is all great, but then how do we measure customer satisfaction? There are surveys, connections, meetings and many more. We greet, drink and dine. At the end of the day we have a piece of paper with a high score of 4.5/5 Customer satisfaction index. I always wondered if this is just an index of satisfaction on the work you have done, what more? Did we really touch them or move them by sharing their pain in business, their work place, job or small things like preemptively adjusting the meeting when they have a personal need.
I know that most of the time we work with the actual doers and not the stakeholders. We take time to get to know them – often reading between the lines on the challenges they are facing at work. A simple thank you and a note of appreciation makes their day.
I remember once, when one of our client managers was having a baby and her colleague quit, we said we will take all the work and manage until she finds a standby. We said forget the contracts and hourly rates, we are here to help you. That small thing is an example of why we build such good relationships with our customers.
I know we are not working for charity, but does everything need to be billed? No. Then there is the whole other notion about business is a rat race, everything needs to be tied to revenue, “Show me the money”, yada yada yada… , I do not live in a perfect world and nor does anyone else, but I believe what keeps us all going is to remember that we are all trying to do work that we can be proud of.
I always found it difficult to explain that “you will make money in the long run if you do the right things”. With twelve years passing by since starting Laserbeam we can observe that 40% of our business has come from referrals. That means we have saved tons of money in sales costs just be doing the right things for our customers. We never required customer satisfaction scores to win these deals. When someone recommends Laserbeam from the heart vs a lip service, you will know it. The former always closes a deal. I used to wonder how this all adds up, but it’s clear to me we followed the right path.
So is there really a customer satisfaction measure? Yes but it’s not by getting them to answer a set of questions and rating them. I found the true measure when I received a bouquet of flowers across the globe from thousands of miles away, when they heard I lost a dear one in my family. Recognizing the grief I was experiencing, sending a condolence note, and this expression of caring about me as a person just beats me. This to me is a customer satisfaction index that made my day and keeps me going on and on and on…and now it all adds up. Cheers!