Buhler Inc. has announced the results of its annual Customer Satisfaction Survey, which shows that the company’s customer satisfaction index (CSI) and net promoter score (NPS) ratings continue to exceeded national averages. Overall, 85.1% of sales (equipment and engineering) and 91.9% of service customers indicated that they are receiving the value they expect relative to the price they paid. Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Strategic Performance Group, both independent consulting and research groups, conducted the annual survey.
“Buhler is committed to listening to customers and continually improving our products and services based on their feedback.” said Rene Steiner, president. “We believe deeply in the value of the customer satisfaction survey process we started back in 2007. It continues to give us access to the voice of our customers and is our primary measure of success. These surveys are absolutely critical to ensure that we understand our customers’ needs and that we can continue to improve our ability to deliver value on a daily basis. This year’s results, we are happy to say, show continued improvement across cross the board. We have improved every category of measurement over the past three years. We are very proud of this accomplishment. But we also realize that we are not done yet. We still have obvious areas that need improvement and have already established action plans to do just that.”
With the completion of the 2009 survey, Buhler now has three years’ worth of survey results with which to measure its progress. Based on prior annual survey results vs. this year’s results, Buhler has improved in each sales and service process area. Compared to other suppliers, Buhler received its highest ratings in the following areas:
- Conducting business in a professional manner.
- Providing complete business proposals.
- Quality of equipment and parts.
- Performing maintenance as required.
- Technical expertise of staff.
After initiating the customer satisfaction process and reviewing as many as 500 customer responses per year, Buhler has implemented a number of actions aimed at improving customer satisfaction, including:
- Added NPS and CSI as key performance criteria to the bonus plans for all account managers and customer service management, so bonus compensation is now tied to performance.
- Increased parts inventory by 89%, developed new inventory planning models, and established new metrics and standards for average time-to-fill orders and percentage of orders filled from stock. This includes a weekly review of all spare parts orders with the twin goals of reducing the time required to fill complete orders and increasing the percentage of orders that are filled from local stock.
- Developed a quarterly review process in which the company analyzes which purchased parts need to be stocked locally. This has resulted in a 33% reduction in the average time to fill a complete order and led to over 62% of all orders being shipped complete from stock.
- Increased Field Service Engineering staff and hired a full-time Customer Service coordinator to enable a more rapid response to customer service calls.
- Increased training opportunities for the service staff in order to provide a greater understanding of the technical needs that customers have.
- Established a dedicated Technical Support team and phone line to assist customers with troubleshooting and issue resolution.
- Customer Service staff are now making follow-up calls following service trips to ensure that the work was completed properly and that all issues have been addressed.
- Improved phone system configuration and organizational structure to improve handling of incoming customer phone calls.
- Developed and implemented mandatory phone system training for all employees and reinforced internal commitment to the customers regarding availability to answer customer requests.
- Reorganized the Sales and Engineering organization in order to focus on improving communication and shortening proposal and quotation response time.
- Implemented “Kaizen” style project management and communication process, which enables open and direct communication to all Buhler team members, aimed at proactively addressing project issues and improving efficiency of the project fulfillment process.
The 2009 results will be analyzed in further detail, and new goals will be established that will be supported by detailed action plans for each Buhler business unit. For additional details, visit www.buhlergroup.com