A customer’s feedback and suggestions for improvement of your laboratory services should be taken seriously. Customer opinion is many times more useful and important than your own opinion and satisfaction with your operations. Many a time you would have come across the phrases such as ‘Customer is always right’ or ‘Customer is King’. These may not hold true all the time but it is a good idea not to ignore criticism as therein lies the key to your future growth.
Types of customers
Customers can be classified into two categories:
Majority of your customers are outsiders who depend on your results for taking critical decisions such as approval of a product, release of consignment to domestic and international markets. Your prompt response based on committed timeframes and release of reliable analysis reports will ensure that external customers are a happy lot.
One often tends to overlook internal customers. These are the people who will wait for your reports to take decisions. The internal customers normally include
- Section in charge
- Quality Control Manager
- Production in charge in manufacturing units
- Organization head who will base his crucial decisions on timely receipt of your analysis reports
One cannot afford to overlook the requirements of internal customers as they also have the same rights and expectations as your external customers.
Customer Feedback Review
Laboratory’s top management plays a crucial role in review of customer feedback.This was also outlined as an activity in the earlier article role of management in efficient laboratory running. Some tips are offered for conducting such reviews.
External customer feedback review
External customers should be encouraged to share their feedback through
- Customer care calls
- Messages on analysis reports
- Scheduled meetings of laboratory representatives with key persons in customer organization
- Open feedback sessions
- Internal customer feedback review
Internal customer feedback Review
It is equally important to regularly hold in-house meetings between laboratory section and other departments as the case may be to resolve the issues and streamline the pending issues. Such meetings can be held at regular intervals or in emergencies can be scheduled even outside the fixed dates. It is good to solve your problems as they come as procrastination further builds up problems to catastrophic levels that can ruin future relations
Customer feedback and comments can be vitrolic and hurting at times but remember that there is always a hidden message for self improvement. Your positive acceptance will encourage your customer to make further comments and suggestions. I am reminded of a famous quotation which I have seen in several business establishments in India
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
——- Mahatma Gandhi
The essence of this quote is to take all criticism, however bitter it may be, in the right spirit because that will go a long way in improving your own operations and services.
Hope you have liked the article. Please do not forget to offer your experiences and comments.