Customer Careless

Take this simple test to find out how good your organisation is at looking after its’ customers. Award yourself one point for each of these features that your organisation boasts:

customer sat rosette



  1. Performance related pay, especially when linked to profit-related bonuses
  2. Private Equity involvement
  3. A call centre
  4. A call-routing system
  5. A Head Office in a separate location to where the work happens
  6. Performance targets cascaded down from the top
  7. A Senior Management Team who could walk through your call centre unrecognised
  8. Monthly KPI reports
  9. A mission statement
  10. Outsourced/sub-contracted work


0 points – Outstanding! Your customers are likely to be very happy and will be recommending your business to friends and family while you read this. Staff are well motivated, care deeply about customer service and are likely to be focused on delivering the service that your customers need. No one receives a bonus, but everyone is well paid for the job they are doing. Finances will be strong and you may even have measures that you use to learn about current performance and help you improve service.

1-3 points – Pretty good. Despite the best efforts of some Senior Managers, you will have customers who are reasonably satisfied. There is still focus on financial performance and unit cost that filters down through the organisation, inhibiting change and improvement. The Board will be receiving KPI’s that are gently massaged to fit the corporate message they want to hear. If you can rid your organisation of those last couple of management tools, you will make customers very happy indeed!

4-6 points – Hmm, there is plenty of work for you to do before you can stop fiddling that customer satisfaction KPI. Your staff are under pressure and are pretty miserable. Some Senior Managers are happy with their bonuses though, so it’s not all bad! Your customers have to work very hard to get what they want from your service and some never will. Never mind, enjoy those bonuses, keep Senior Management away from the shop floor and forget all about the customers until you have to buy the biscuits for next month’s Focus Group meeting.

7-9 points – Oops, you are dangerously close to whistle-blowing action. You have so many targets and are so focused on finances that management last spoke to a customer in 1994. Those pesky customers are in open revolt, but Senior Management can ignore them because profit is still healthy and all the KPI scores are 5% up on this time last year. You respond to customer complaints within target time too. Bonuses are the largest expenditure item on your profit and loss account. You have set up a team to deal with all the media interest in your “misunderstood” service levels and your middle management spend most of their time massaging figures and preparing for the next inspection of your service.

10 points – Customer? We haven’t had one of those in 40 years!

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