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Communicating TQM to Customers

When was the last time you sat down with any of your customers and presented your company mission or values? Do you have a written list of services that customers can expect of your company? Quill Corporation has a one-page "Customer Bill of Rights" that was created in the early days of the company by the founders. Every company employee must read and commit to providing these "customer rights." Quill is as well-known for its customer service as its extensive office products, competitive prices, and frequent promotions.

Employee feedback on customer satisfaction. A short one-page or half-page form can be used by all employees to note customer satisfaction events or problems that need to be addressed, as they happen each day. This form should be circulated to all appropriate departments within one week. Circulation of the form within one day may be possible for small companies.

Business Tools

Check the Business Tools area for a customer satisfaction form and accompanying instructions that can be used by your employees to record and take action when customers aren't satisfied with your products or services.

A summary of these internal company department comments on improving customer satisfaction (or solving customer problems) should be circulated each week to all employees to inform, educate, and improve total company problem-solving for customers.

Feedback from customers. Do you have a regular feedback method to confirm when your company is doing its job well with customers, or to detect problems when it is not? How timely is the feedback? Is it actionable? Once customers know that you are interested in feedback, your company must act on what they say and then provide status reports or presentations on the successful disposition of each problem or opportunity.

Business Tools

Check the Business Tools area for a survey that can be sent to your customers to gather their input on how well your business is satisfying their needs.

Consider staging a quarterly review with your key customers to provide:

  • a summary of sales information for year-to-date and previous years, along with an analysis of the business
  • a summary of current customer service problems and how they were addressed by your company
  • a summary of customer service improvements
  • a forum for candid customer feedback, with a short, one-page form