#442  from Innovative Leader Volume 8, Number 12          December 1999

FORUMófrom our readers

Customer Satisfaction? Hah!

I work for a small company that is doing exceedingly well.  We work extremely hard and put in long hours as we try to keep up with the long line of customers who want our services.  Our advertisements stress quality and customer satisfaction.  Thatís why I took this job--to participate in something I believe to be good, not just to have a job.

After a few months here, however, I saw the underside of this company.  We are pressured to go through each customer as fast and as inexpensively as possible.  Thereís really no focus on quality.  When customers complain, and most of them do, we try quick-fix patches.  Usually, it will take many months before the fix comes apart.  By then, we have been paid in full.  Since weíre not facing much competition, complaining customers arenít a great detriment.  We have enough new customers to not worry about repeat customers.  

I feel terrible about the way the president of my company talks about our customers.  He doesnít care a bit about how they feel about our product.  He only cares about getting their money.  Itís just the opposite of quality and customer satisfaction.  If Iím caught trying to properly satisfy a customerís request, Iím told to stop and find the fastest--usually with poor quality--route.

My work, then, has become something I donít look forward to.  I feel guilty when I tell customers that weíll be doing a great job for them.  While the pay is great, more than I ever expected, Iíll be leaving by the time this Forum is published. 

I donít consider myself to be much of a risk-taker, but I need to be comfortable with myself, and feel good about what I do.  Together with another person, I have been working on a plan for starting my own business.  While our advertisements will also stress quality and customer satisfaction, we actually will stress those qualities. 

I think weíll do OK, especially with repeat customers.


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