I like to think that I've got a pretty good grasp on how our customers feel about the job Billtrust does for them. I'm a big believer in Management By Walking Around which keeps me reasonably in tune with what's going on. Two things happened this week that made me question whether I'm really as in touch as I think.
Everytime our sales team gets a new customer we make a fairly big production about "Signing the Contract". I like to sign all the contracts personally. Tom Scott, our VP of Sales, sends out an email to the entire company congratulating the salesperson and others involved. And occasionally we will play a celebratory game of foosball. Anyway, back to my point. One of our salespeople was talking about a customer the other day and for the first time I couldn't recall whether they were a customer or not. As far as I knew they were still a prospect that we were trying to bring on board. So I asked myself, "Self, how can you know what your customers think about you if you don't even know who your customers are?"
Coincidentally, this was the same week that Mitch Rose, our VP of Marketing, sends out our annual customer satisfaction survey. I like to read each of the individual responses and while I look at the rankings in the different areas, I always find the most value in reading the customer comments. While the majority of the comments are positive, I can't help but focus on the negative ones. One negative comment on any area is always a concern for me. Two negative comments on the same area is a trend and causes Flint the Nice Boss to turn into Flint the Boss From Hell who everybody avoids.
The customer survey this year had a couple of interesting comments that reminded me once again that maybe I'm not as in touch as I thought I was. If you don't survey your customers regularly, go to SurveyMonkey and do it right now. Make sure you ask open ended questions and ask about how you're doing in areas that you know are your weakest. You never know, you might just learn something.