Prime ambition of Rhein S.Q.M. is to provide superior services. Whether and to what extend we reached our guidance level is regularly analysed with a customer satisfaction questionnaire. Every year customers evaluate issues like (service) quality, our flexibility or price-performance-ratio on a scale between 1 (= very good) and 5 (= inadequate). In 2022 we were again able to outperform the excellent values of the previous years. These positive results will be an essential driving force for our work in diverse customer projects.
According to Wikipedia (01/14/2022 German version) “… customer satisfaction is formed when the customer’s comparison between his expectation and the degree of fulfillment or subjectively perceived performance is positive, that is, when his expectations have been exceeded. […]”
Our most important goals have always been, on the one hand, to achieve long-term cooperation with customers (without putting them into a perceived consultant dependency) and on the other hand, to be recommended to others. The results of the current customer satisfaction feedback for 2021 indicate that we have continued to achieve this goal. The difficult circumstances caused by lockdowns and home office called for much more flexibility than usual from our customers and ourselves. Due to the changed working methods and the distance, the consultant / trainer / auditor often is not sure wether customers achieve the usual effects and customer satisfaction is generated or maintained. Therefore we note with great gratitude that we were able to maintain the feedback value for target achievement of 1.33 in 2021 as well. This fluid flexibility from presence to online-supported appearances (and back), frequently also hybrid, was further developed in 2021 and rewarded by our customers with a score of 1.56. These efforts will culminate in an even broader webinar offering in 2022. Here are the other graphically presented results of the 2021 customer satisfaction survey:
Rhein S.Q.M. aims to offer its customers only excellent “Superior” services and therefore continuously evaluates their perception. The focus is on customer relationship as well as aspects related to professional and methodological quality, achievement of project goals and service.
Mr. Rhein, how did Rhein S.Q.M. experience the unusual year 2020 under the influence of the Corona pandemic? And what impact did it have on customer satisfaction?
Of course, the Corona measures also forced us – like many others – to work from home most of this year and some projects could not be carried out as planned. However, thanks to our long-standing regular customers, we had only suffered a 10% drop in sales by the end of the year. To be honest, we were expecting much larger drops on March 15, 2020. We are grateful, most customers “stucked with us” even in challenging times!
In 2020 we can be proud of the fact, that we were able to increase our customer satisfaction results even further compared to the previous top year 2019. In particular, we were able to improve in the categories “achievement of objectives”, “quality of services” and “flexibility”. So the “condemnation” working from home also had positive aspects. For example, technical questions from customers that arose at short notice could be answered much more quickly. We were perceived as being even more flexible because we were able to convert face-to-face seminars with everything that goes with a successful seminar into webinars, sometimes at extremely short notice – and that worked out much better than expected. The customer feedback was overwhelming. This positive feedback has encouraged us to significantly expand our online offering. We are now able to present almost all specialist seminars and training courses as webinars or online training courses. Of course, we are aware that these online offerings can never fully hold a candle to a face-to-face event in terms of quality and learning success. But special times call for special measures.
What are your specific plans for Rhein S.Q.M. in 2021?
In 2021, we want to continue to meet the justified performance expectations of our customers in the best possible way. That is why we launched various training initiatives and experience exchanges among our consultants, auditors and trainers. Customer solutions will continue to be our top priority, which means in concrete terms, we will talk to our customers even more than in the past, in order to be able to offer customized solutions.
At Rhein S.Q.M. GmbH, awareness of customer satisfaction plays an essential role, especially in connection with professionalism, service quality and the achievement of customer goals. Please read this short interview with managing director Wolfgang Rhein about the company’s customer satisfaction management.
Mr. Rhein, congratulations, the 2019 customer satisfaction figures for Rhein S.Q.M. GmbH exceeded the already high values of the past! How did you achieve that?
Many thanks first of all, but it always involves at least two parties: If customers or their suppliers do not “participate” in the projects and topics – which are sometimes quite ambitious – then we cannot perform. We are glad that customers still value our “hands-on approach”, the shift away from the abstract to tangible approaches and solutions, where we’ve weighed up the various risks and opportunities.
Why are the satisfaction values higher at some agencies than at others?
Our approach is: Clients should not receive standard answers just so that we can say we “did our job” and fulfilled the contract. And we don’t “hide” behind standardized forms. These can be found on the Internet without our involvement. Our customers contact us because they want or need to achieve certain goals. Business partners tell me that other consultants write them long lists of what needs to be done. So it doesn’t surprise me that this often results in catastrophic audits in which it is then discovered that much has been misunderstood. We find that such a procedure is not really helpful or effective in the operative business, perhaps serving at most as an “alibi”. In order to achieve the goals, we make it our responsibility to give our customers concrete answers. The experience of the last few years shows that our business partners appreciate this clear identification of options (not always immediately, sometimes only in the medium term) and then rate it as “very good” in terms of customer satisfaction. Every evening on my way to the hotel or to another customer, I ask myself the question: “Will my current customer recommend me to others? And – no matter what the answer is – why?”
So does that mean you can rest on your laurels in 2020?!
You’re making it far too easy for me: All right. NO, so that this must-have question is at least addressed … Anyone who spends even 10 minutes a day finding out the most important news from all over the world can guess that a painful and long-lasting recession is imminent – and then it’s no longer selling, but buying. Put simply: customers and end-users remain the most important interest groups.
As there is a growing demand for AIAG CQI standards we started developing a website with specific information about the process-relevant standards CQI-9 (Heat Treat System Assessment), CQI-11 (Plating System Assessment), CQI-12 (Coating System Assessment), CQI-15 (Welding System Assessment), CQI-17 (Soldering System Assessment) and CQI-23 (Molding System Assessment).
Rhein S.Q.M. will of course offer consulting and operational support during implementation of the CQI standards. But furthermore our range of services will also involve the performance and documentation of the CQI self assessments and company-specific in-house trainings. Read more