Customer Satisfaction Policy

Customer satisfaction, diversity and pay for performance are among the top core values managers espouse. What we say and what we do is often at odds.  Examine the evidence.  While organizations tend to have written policies covering many of its priorities – allowed hiring criteria, authorization to spend money, eligibility for travel expense reimbursement – it is rare to find a written customer satisfaction policy in place and deployed. How important, then, can satisfaction really be? An example of a customer satisfaction policy used effectively by a number of especially insightful leaders can be found below.

Customer Satisfaction Policy Example

All employees, associates and partners will:

  1. Proactively solicit customer needs and expectations.
  2. Confirm that we have understood those expectations.
  3. Develop, package, deliver and support our products to meet those expectations.
  4. Measure the degree to which our customers’ product and outcome expectations are achieved.
  5. Never blame the user when he or she cannot make a product or process work; provide understanding, then help. Assume they have done their best.
  6. Aggressively seek to close any gap between what our customers expect and what they experience.

A policy functions as a bridge between strategic direction and operational execution.  It is a guide to action and a statement of intent or principles, providing the basis for consistent conduct for those working within the organization.  A core value that does not have at least one supporting policy reveals a core value without intent of execution. That creates ambiguity which can lead to any of several results:

  • Inconsistent behavior
  • Doubt about leadership’s intent
  • Creation of detailed procedures that miss, or are at odds with, the intent of the core value
  • Conflict between personnel and functional business units that make differing interpretations of the stated value
  • Use of key performance indicators that negate the core value’s intent
  • General chaos

One of leadership’s principal roles is to create clarity of direction.  If customer satisfaction is a stated core value, it must be accompanied by an unambiguous definition and policy.  For more on this topic, please see Chapter 6, “Change Levers and Ambiguity”, in the book Mastering Excellence by Robin Lawton.