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Manufacturing: Measuring the Customer Experience

Customers have expectations about everything from how quickly we respond to their inquiries, to when their shipment will arrive on their docks. How well we meet or exceed those expectations directly influences whether or not they are a repeat customers. Fortunately, there are many ways to measure the customer experience.

In manufacturing, delivery and quality can make or break the customer experience. Customers expect their goods at a certain time and they expect them made correctly. From an internal perspective, there are a couple key performance indicators that manufacturing companies can track to determine how well they are living up to customer expectations: On-Time Delivery to Commit and Perfect Order Percentage.

On-Time Delivery to Commit measures the percentage of time that manufacturing delivers completed products on the date that was committed to the customers. Late orders could cause downstream delays for customers, but an early order could also be problematic for customers. Receiving goods ahead of schedule could pull costs forward into a fiscal period where they weren’t budgeted and require customers to hold inventory (physically and financially) that they were not planning to hold.

Perfect Order Percentage measures the times that customers received their entire order of manufactured products, to the correct specifications and at the expected time. To keep downstream operations running smoothly, customers need products manufactured to spec in the required quantity. Perfect order percentage can not only indicate a customer’s satisfaction with your products and service, but can be an indicator of quality as well.

The customer experience can also be measured directly by your customers using customer satisfaction (CSAT) and net promoter score (NPS). These are measures of short-term and long-term satisfaction that can provide more insight into the likelihood of a customer becoming (or remaining) a repeat customer, and whether or not they will recommend your company to others.

Customer satisfaction surveys may have graduated from paper to digital over the years, but they are not a new concept. CSAT surveys measure the short-term happiness of a customer, often focused on their most recent interaction with your company. These are a good indicator of what a customer thinks about the products or service they just received and their experience during this transaction. CSAT scores can often be indicative of performance in specific departments or sections of the company as your are able to correlate the responses back to the goods purchased and the employees who interacted with the customer.

Net promoter score, on the other hand, asks a single question: How likely are you to recommend us? The score is a number from 1 to 10 with 10 being the most likely. A single follow-up question might be used if the customer scored the company at an 8 or less asking why the customer gave that score. NPS measures a customer’s intent, though, not their actual action. It provides a measure of loyalty and the customer’s perception of their entire relationship with your company.

Measuring the customer experience is a good first step, but you ultimately need to take action based on these results. How can you improve your on-time delivery to commit ratio? What will turn detractors into promoters? Companies need to understand what these scores mean for them and use that to drive meaningful change within the organization.

Proper utilization of these scores and analysis of the correlated data gives organizations the opportunity to reflect on internal processes and continually improve the customer experience: locate pain points, modify delivery methods, and check back in on CSAT scores to test and compare performance. Contact Rosetree Solutions to figure out how digitally tracking Customer Satisfaction metrics can help your manufacturing organization.

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BY SAMANTHA BRAGG, SOLUTION ARCHITECT: Sam worked in industrial manufacturing for 15 years, initially as a super user and then as an admin, working to roll out Salesforce to global sales and engineering teams. Now working as a Salesforce consultant with 17 Salesforce Certifications, Sam has implemented Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Pardot for industrial and equipment manufacturers.