How to gauge customer satisfaction

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Makkah newspaper

SOME organizations such as airports set up a small device to record customer satisfaction by touching one of four faces on the device. The first one shows a broad smiling face, the second is a little smiley, the third a yellow smiley and the last shows extreme sadness. Each face indicates a certain level of satisfaction or lack of satisfaction.

Personally, I don’t like the use of such strange devices to gauge customer satisfaction toward various services offered by any organization and I hope most people would agree with my view because satisfaction depends on different factors.

For example, the absence of conflict between the employee and the customer is one of the indicators. I believe every department should have a register to record disputes. If there is only one conflict registered in a month it means customers are happy. On the other hand, a rise in conflicts reflects dissatisfaction.

If customers do not contact the complaints center or contact it rarely, this is a sign of a high level of satisfaction. Who will look for the customer relations manager if the services offered are fine?

If customers say thank you very much to an employee, it is another sign of satisfaction, and if a Saudi customer says “God bless you”, it means he is highly satisfied with the service offered. But if you hear him murmuring something after turning his back, it means he is cursing the employee.

If the customer does not curse the employee after he was served, it is also a sign of satisfaction. Unhappy customers are likely to insult employees. We need a device to register how many such abusive words the customers use against an employee.

If a customer tells the employee where he works and offers his service if required after receiving the service, it denotes a high level of satisfaction. We need a record to document the work places of such customers. A long list of such customers will reflect an increase in the level of satisfaction.

If an employee keeps smiling even in the last hour of his shift, it shows he has been performing his duty efficiently. If he became angry over the slightest provocation from the part of a customer it would have reflected negatively on the employee’s work and his attitude toward the customer. Here we need a special device to register the attitude of employees toward customers.

If the customer did not get into a fight with the employee for many years, it means things were going smoothly and it reflects on customer satisfaction.

If the employee is the one who initiates complaints, it indicates dissatisfaction of all parties and machines will not solve this problem.

If the customer does not talk about satisfaction it means he is satisfied but if he expresses dissatisfaction it means he is unhappy. The customer's silence on the service, the employee and the place is an evidence of his satisfaction unless the service is fully monopolized when silence is the only solution. Here the problem is with monopoly, not with the employee’s attitude.

If a customer purchases food from the nearby cafeteria it means he is satisfied with its service and if he goes to another place to purchase things it indicates his dissatisfaction. Finally, I would like to mention some benefits of this stupid and useless instrument, which is used to estimate customer satisfaction:

Children and teenagers can use it as a game for time pass, pressing the buttons for fun.

A customer may come with some of his friends who do not benefit from the service. They can use this otherwise useless device for entertainment and time pass.

If the machine becomes out of order no body will be able to repair and this is another evidence of its insignificance. In addition, it would be a source of infections as many people will be pressing the buttons and there will not be any disinfectant placed next to the device.

The said device was installed in an organization and an expat customer pressed on the smiling face to express his satisfaction of the service. The employee was professional and does his work quickly but was angry at the customer’s action.

He said: "Nobody can assess my performance, of course except my boss Abu Abdullah.”

There were only two options, either to remove the device or remove the nervous employee. The expat customer and the machine were removed and the employee remained in his place.


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