Again and again we preach to our customers how important it is to deal with their users (= customers), to ask them questions and to take their opinion seriously. Well, that does not apply to us, does it?
In this context, the primary question that concerns us as an agency is how we can ensure a continuous development of our overall competence and its positive perception by the customer. To this end, we can and should also rely on the opinions of our clients and collect and evaluate these in a structured manner.
For this purpose, we created a questionnaire at the beginning of the year, which was sent to our existing customers. In this way I would like to send a big thank you to all our customers who participated and thus enabled us to gain valuable information about their perception of our competencies. The result of this survey serves primarily as an initial stock-taking, followed by the task of how to instrumentalize this tool and integrate it into the daily project routine.
The tool of the skill or competence matrix known from personnel development can be used for our purposes. This serves to identify the development needs of individual employees. The consideration is to what extent this tool can also provide useful information on the further development potential of the competencies within our agency.
In the first step, important competencies must be defined and assigned target values. In our case, these result from an internal survey of the employees, from which the rounded average value per competence is determined. This creates the basis for the competence evaluation. Of course, the target values must also be critically questioned again and again and compared with the corporate strategy or vision.
On this basis, a regular comparison of the actual perception of our customers can take place after each project, for example. At this point we are of course dependent on motivating our customers to participate. In practice, this, together with the evaluation effort behind it, could well become a stumbling block. Nevertheless, it will be worth it, because through the feedback from our customers we can identify deviations between target and actual values. These deviations are an indicator of the points at which measures need to be introduced, which then represent the development goals of our agency and the individual employees.
Customer surveys are important
Yes, for us as an agency it is also essential to deal with our customers and their assessment of our work and to take this assessment seriously. There are many ways to obtain customer feedback and learn from it. One way is to regularly survey them via the competence matrix. Even though these surveys always involve a certain amount of effort, I think it will be worthwhile investing in them. Because we can learn a lot from them and "Learning is like rowing against the current. If you stop, you drift back. (Laozi).