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Worksheet 4.5 is a diagnostic tool that helps you monitor the workload
and productivity of the customer service representatives and the depart-
ment as a whole. Keeping the pulse of activity in customer service can
provide a general indication of how well the company is performing. This
worksheet and any other measurements of customer satisfaction are key
to a general determination of operational efficiency. The worksheet can
be used to track the productivity of the individuals who answer your tele-
phones. Posting these measurements will give rise to the natural compe-
tition between individuals, especially for sales dollars.

Making It Happen

List each customer service representative by name and, if your telephone
equipment and computer equipment allows, enter the number of calls
each has answered, the percentage of time on the phone, the percentage
of time each is not available to take calls, and the dollar volume of sales
per sales rep. At the bottom of the worksheet, tally the number of calls by
month in each category over the past two years.

The bottom half of this worksheet is a good indicator for sales; the more
calls received, the higher the sales dollars for the month. If complaint
calls have increased, it may be a measure of problems in shipping or in
the quality of the product.

Reality Check

Consider these questions about your completed worksheet:

• Is the number of calls answered increasing or decreasing?

• Are order calls increasing faster than the number of calls in general?

• Are complaint calls increasing?

• How do the number of calls you receive relate to the various prod-
ucts you make or market sectors you serve?

• How do per-unit revenue or profitability numbers relate to cus-
tomer service contacts?

• Can you find ways to reward super performers in terms of num-
ber of calls taken and sales volume?
Worksheet 4.5

Customer Service Key Indicators
For (Month/ Year)
Time on Time Not Sales per Time on Time Not Sales per
Customer Service Calls Phone Available Terminal Calls Phone Available Terminal
Representative Answered (%) (%) ($) Answered (%) (%) ($)

Last Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
Calls Received
Calls Answered
Calls Abandoned (%)
Average Talk Time
Calls Categorized:
Last Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
Calls Received
Calls Answered
Calls Abandoned (%)
Average Talk Time
Calls Categorized:

138 Build Long-Term Growth


Worksheet 4.6 helps you look at how well your salespeople are perform-
ing over time. It looks at sales both in terms of the individual salesperson
and in terms of whether sales are to new customers or existing customers.
This survey assesses your customers™ opinions of your products and ser-
vices. Data gathered here can help improve your service to current cus-
tomers. It may also help you get back customers you™ve lost or prevent the
loss of other customers.

Making It Happen

Send this survey to each demographic group of customers. Try to send at
least 50 surveys per group, if possible. You might select demographic
groups by sales volume, product type, or particular distribution method.

You may get back only a small percentage of surveys sent. You can in-
crease this response rate if you give customers an incentive to return it”
perhaps a discount on their next order or a free premium. The larger the
number returned, the better the data you will have from which to draw
conclusions. You might consider encouraging customers to return the
form directly to the company president by including a self-addressed, in-
dividually stamped envelope. You will get a better response and the re-
sponses will be more meaningful if customers believe the president of
the company will read their survey comments. You can also conduct a
survey by e-mail or at your web site, especially if you give an incentive to
complete it.

Tabulate responses by taking each question individually, totaling the 1 to
10 score received, and dividing that number by the number of surveys re-
ceived with that question answered. This will give you an average score
for each question.

Distribute your scores throughout the company. A score of 8 to 10 means
that you™re doing a great job. A score of 5 to 7 means that you still have
room for improvement. Finally, consider scores of 4 or under to mean you
need to focus immediate attention on those areas of your company. Put
together interdepartmental task forces to devise action plans to increase
your levels of service.
Mastering the Art of the Sale

Worksheet 4.6
Customer Service Survey
Please help us provide outstanding service by rating us in the following categories (10 = best).
Question 1“10 Comments
Telephone calls are answered promptly
Customer service reps are helpful and
Your orders are filled correctly
You are informed about new products or product
We are easy to do business with
Items ordered are received in good condition
Orders are received promptly
We deal with problems efficiently and effectively
Orders are complete and correct when received
We offer good value for the price paid
Products are easy to use
Billing is accurate
Credit terms are clear
We provide timely responses to your requests
What new products would you like to see us produce (include changes to our current
product line)?

What can we do to improve our relationship with you?

Comments about other areas we missed in this survey:

There is more to say and I would like you to telephone me. The best time to call is .
Name and Company Name (optional)
140 Build Long-Term Growth

In addition, pay careful attention to the remarks in the comments sec-
tions. Call any customers who requested a response within a week of re-
ceiving their completed survey. Be sure to send a thank you message to
all customers who provide their names at the bottom of the survey. This
survey should be done annually and the results trended over time.

Reality Check

Consider these questions about your completed worksheet:

• Is customer service getting the priority it deserves in your

• Are most of your scores in the 8 to 10 range?

• Was there a similarity in customer comments, particularly by de-
mographic groups?

• What can you do to immediately change customer perception for
the better?

• Are your scores trending up or down over time?
Mastering the Art of the Sale


Worksheet 4.7 is a communications tool that provides employees with a
way to examine sales and receive a meaningful analysis of what the num-
bers mean. Circulate it once a month and discuss it at regular meetings.
You can use this report as you would the Financial Report to Employees
(Worksheet 3.8), and it gives you an opportunity to congratulate out-
standing performers on the sales team and encourage everyone to get in-
volved in sales and promotion.

Making It Happen

Complete Worksheet 4.7 with information from the Dollar Sales Month-
to-Month Worksheet (4.1) and others in this section. Provide a simple
analysis at the bottom of the page by determining which products are up
or down from projections and translating the importance of these
changes for your employees. Attach the important worksheets developed
in this section.

Reality Check

Consider these questions about your completed worksheet:

• Are your sales meeting expectations for the company overall on a
year-to-date basis?

• Are some products performing much better than expected? Why?

• Are some products lagging expectations?

• Are there reasons that can be corrected?

• What can each employee focus on to improve sales?

• Do employees understand the marketing concepts and numbers
used in this report? If not, how long would it take them to learn
enough to apply them?
142 Build Long-Term Growth

Worksheet 4.7
Sales Report to Employees
This Month Year-to-Date
Product Projected ($) Actual ($) Projected ($) Actual ($)

Total Company Sales


Products above projections:
Products below projections:
We were (above/below) projections for the month by %.
New accounts this month:
Attachments to this report: Dollar Sales Month-to-Month.
Mastering the Art of the Sale

W H AT ™ S N E X T

Sales is the big driver of your business on the revenue side, but op-
erations, the subject of the next chapter, is a big driver on the ex-
pense side. You must do both well to maximize profits. Next, we
look at the reality of the consequences of how you produce your
product and deliver it to your customers.

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a
distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
”Thomas Carlyle

T he goal for operations is to achieve the highest possible efficiency,
making the best use of equipment and human resources”in other
words, to reduce costs without damaging sales. Therefore, operations is
the natural choice to see to it that the business attains your goals for
gross margin. Operations implementation entails looking at ways to con-
stantly improve your process”to seek to make the time in production
less and the quality higher. It means constant measuring and setting
new standards.


Benchmarking is the art and science of setting a standard of performance
by looking at what others in your industry do. It™s straightforward and,
when properly focused, highlights the important tasks that operations
must accomplish. However, benchmarking doesn™t automatically set the
right goals. Would Federal Express have built its business with bench-
marks tied to the performance of the U.S. Postal Service? It might have
offered four-day delivery to beat the Postal Service by one day. Instead, it
targeted a revolutionarily higher standard and gave us overnight deliv-
ery, forcing the Postal Service to measure itself against that (and setting
a new benchmark).

146 Build Long-Term Growth

The point is that market-based benchmarks”those pegged to the perfor-
mance of your competitors”serve as minimum standards, not as the be-
all and end-all. They work for starters, and only if you can™t come up
with better standards to measure your own performance. You do better
to identify best-case performance standards and aim for those, irrespec-
tive of what your competition does.

It™s easy to find performance standards for operations. How well your
operations people meet deadlines measures time management. Actuals
versus budgets measure cost control. Random sampling measures qual-
ity control.

In setting performance standards for operations, consider the fol-
lowing five items:

Five Critical Measures of Operational Performance

1. Customer satisfaction.

2. Productivity and efficiency.

3. Companywide (or total) quality.

4. Innovation.

5. Financial performance.

In operations, the fundamental objective of making money translates into
production, inventory, and operational expense. Making money means
keeping production high and inventory and expenses low.

Although operations is a greater focus in product-based companies, it is
still important to service companies. Operational decisions are much
more focused on people in service companies”such as the cost of
salaries and benefits and unused time or unproductive time.

Defining Quality

The Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award has set the standard for defining
quality for U.S. companies. The award was initiated in 1987 to make U.S.
Achieving Quality and Quantity

companies more competitive in the world market. The seven categories
in which companies are judged are:

1. Leadership.

2. Strategic planning.

3. Customer and market focus.

4. Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management.

5. Human resources focus.

6. Process management.

7. Business results.

Process management includes both processes that create value for
customers, giving you a true competitive advantage, as well as those
support processes that make sure you are running as efficiently and ef-
fectively as possible. The selection criteria looks at how companies did
in these categories measured by an assumption that this is what it takes
to be a quality-driven company: visionary leadership, customer-driven
excellence, organizational and personal learning, valuing employees
and partners, agility, focus on the future, managing for innovation,
management by fact, social responsibility, focus on results and creating
value, and a systems perspective.

Looking at these standards, notice that quality is no longer defined
by looking at a single product output from a manufacturing line.
Quality is inherent in the entire process from the first time a cus-
tomer sees one of your brochures, through the first phone call to

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