We'd Rather Have Customer Loyalty Than Mere Satisfaction
by Keith Johns, on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 @ 16:07 PM
Edmonton Valve President Keith Johns on how we strive for a high-performance team to match Swagelok's high-performance parts
It's not enough for Edmonton Valve & Fitting to have a warehouse full of high-performance parts. We want to be a high-performance organization from top to bottom. While we have performed well over the years, we recently revitalized our strategic plan to make that performance even better. We've challenged ourselves to get a clearer understanding of our customers' needs so that we can make it easier than ever for them to do business with us.
We've always tried to be proactive with measuring customer satisfaction in all aspects of our business. We have even integrated a customer satisfaction target into the metrics for our ISO 9000 certification. This year, we are migrating to a new survey called a Net Promoter Score, developed about 10 years ago by Bain & Co. We ask our customers to rate us on a scale of 1 to 10, and they are invited to write anything they want to explain the score. We know that those customers that give us nines and tens most likely will recommend us to others, and we want to do everything we can to earn those high scores.
It really helps that Edmonton Valve & Fitting has tried to hire passionate learners. The people who have done the best with us are those who have been hired at the grassroots level and worked their way up in the organization. Even for the most basic jobs we are very selective in our hiring. Our interview process may seem long and laborious to some, but we take our time because we value these applicants' lives. We really want them to get a good feel for what our organization is about, and our values.
Ultimately we want to enhance, expand, streamline, and improve our business to become a high performance organization. These strategies will impact quality of management, openness and action orientation, long-term orientation, continuous improvement, and quality of associates.
We want to deliver on our core values, which are integrity, respect, customer focus, quality, continuous improvement, and innovation. If we live the values, they provide the platform that drives the strategic plan as a whole. Communication, knowledge sharing, and training are key too – we want to support passionate learner, pursue perpetual excellence, and communicate freely with our associates.
One thing you can't buy is culture. You can't put a price on it. It takes years to develop and it is one of the main things that as an organization we are blessed with. The culture of Edmonton Valve and Fitting is positive. People get along and work hard to help each other be successful. We challenge ourselves to continually improve and we work as a team to achieve that.
You can see that attitude in places like our customer service department. When a call comes in, everyone is eager to answer the call because they all want to give the customers the best service they can.
Yes, we always hope to expand our sales and service offerings by listening to our customers, but our focus isn't on top-line revenue. We want to assist our customers in fluid system design, safety and efficiency, but we also want to make it easier than ever for our customers to improve their business operations and interact with our organization. If we tighten the bond between our customers, our supplier Swagelok, and our associates, the top line revenue will take care of itself.