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The Pursuit of Perfection: Cisco-Eagle's Customer Satisfaction Survey Results from 2001 to 2003

“The survey results will not show you a perfect company. Just a company systematically striving to be perfect.”

Why do we survey?

Cisco-Eagle surveys constantly, and we do it for one reason: so we can be a better company that outperforms the market.

“People who fill out surveys for us get something for their time,” said Chris Doyle, Cisco-Eagle Marketing Manager said. “They get a better vendor. We take the time and expense to be sure we perform at a high level, across the board, with a broad variety of customers and projects.”

Why release this information?

“We believe that customers have a right to know the overall performance of potential vendors," Doyle said. "Why not let your customers know how others think you're doing?"

Customer satisfaction is rooted in performance, but it isn’t enough to perform well, Doyle said. “Performance has to be measured,” he added. “A one time performance, good or bad, isn’t indicative of what a company is capable of. We’re trying to understand our performance with a wide variety of customers, over a long period of time.”

Survey Methodologies: 2001-2004

The results are cumulative, based on a timeframe from May 2001 to the present, surveying orders made during that timeframe with a minimum sales amount of $2,500 (Later adjusted to $1,000).

Cisco-Eagle’s surveys include 5 bubbles to fill in—any result other than that top two are considered “negative”, and aren't' counted as a satisfactory answer.

The results numbers represent all Superior (5) and Excellent (4) responses added together, as a percentage of all responses. 80% means that eight of ten customers graded Cisco-Eagle’s performance as Excellent or Superior.

This method treats Good (3) responses as a negative, which Doyle says “is about setting a higher standard.” Scores of (2) and (1) are, of course, treated as negatives.

“We grade ourselves down for average performance,” Doyle said. “The customer has to say we were excellent for us to believe it. Our goal is 100% satisfaction."

Critical Numbers

These survey results represent hard data. They show steady improvements in a variety of areas—15 of the 21 performance-based questions showed improvement since 2001. Several showed double-digit progress.

“The survey results," Doyle said, "will not show you a perfect company. Just a company systematically striving to be perfect.”

  • Overall Satisfaction: 91.6%

This is the percentage of respondents who gave Cisco-Eagle a 4 or 5 on the question: What is your overall satisfaction level with Cisco-Eagle's performance? This trend has moved up from a 89.2% initial score.

  • "Recommend" Percentage: 98.3%

This is the number of customers who would recommend Cisco-Eagle based upon its performance. 8 of 487 responses said that they would not recommend Cisco-Eagle. 16 did not provide an answer, and 463 said that they would recommend Cisco-Eagle to a friend or business associate.

“We aggressively pursued the reasons behind the eight “no” answers over three and a half years in this category and were able to resolve problems in most of those cases,” Doyle said.

The Results: Specific Performance Questions

Note: certain market-based survey questions that do not deal directly with customer satisfaction have been eliminated from this report:

  1. How satisfied are you with our performance when you call to Place an Order or for Customer Service?
    1. Courtesy & friendliness: 97.1% cumulative score. This has increased from 96.4% in 2001. During two survey periods, Cisco-Eagle scored 100% in this category. It has never been below 95%.
    2. Ease of placing an order: 92.9% cumulative score. Since 2001, new order entry improvements, systems, live Internet ordering, and other improvements have been implemented to raise this number.
    3. Technical competence and problem solving: 91.2% cumulative score. This has declined slightly (from 92.8%) in 2001, and is a concern for Cisco-Eagle. We have added full-time educational and training resources and hope to move it up in the future.
  2. How satisfied are you with Delivery & Accuracy of the products you purchased from Cisco-Eagle?
    1. Time between placing an order & delivery: 80.9% cumulative average. This has improved greatly since 2001, up 9.5% from an initial 71.4% score.
    2. Meeting agreed upon delivery schedules: 83.7% cumulative average. Another area that has seen improvement—up from 78.5% in 2001.
    3. Notification of shipping delay when necessary: 78.9% cumulative average. In a business where manufactured goods are delivered, delays must be kept to a minimum, and clearly understood when they cannot be avoided. Cisco-Eagle has worked as hard on this issue as any other, and improved from a low of 71.9% in 2002. This issue is constantly being updated to ensure we improve.
    4. Correctness of order as delivered: 88.9% cumulative score. This area has also seen rapid improvement from a beginning score of 85.7% and a low quarter of 83.1%.
  3. How satisfied are you with the following aspects of Cisco-Eagle?:
    1. Competitive pricing: 74.6% cumulative average. This score has remained between 71 percent and 75 percent for the life of the survey, with one quarter at 81% satisfaction as a high.
    2. Service, maintenance, and installation services: 81.0% cumulative average. Many customers do not utilize these services. Those that do have rewarded Cisco-Eagle’s improvement efforts by raising our grade from a low of 67.3% to the current cumulative average—a whopping 13.7% improvement.
    3. Product traceability and identification: 85.4% cumulative average. This score has improved from a starting number of 81.6%.
    4. Overall quality of products: 92.6% cumulative average. Cisco-Eagle has hit 100% scores on two separate survey periods for this question.
    5. Availability of literature and information (catalogs, websites, etc.): 80.4% cumulative average. We have worked to raise this score from a starting score of 75.4% and a quarterly low of 68.6% by instituting new mailing programs, an online newsletter, and other processes to put information in our customers’ hands.
  4. How satisfied are you with Cisco-Eagle's business policies & procedures?
    1. Accuracy of invoices: 89.7% cumulative average. This is up substantially from our initial score of 75.4%.
    2. Responsiveness to billing inquiries: 89.6% cumulative average. We are working to improve processes in this area. It has not shown improvement since we started our surveys.
  5. Relative to other vendors/suppliers, what is your overall satisfaction rating of Cisco-Eagle in these areas?
    1. Availability of order status information: 87.7% cumulative average vs. competition. This is an improvement vs. the competition from an initial score of 83.0%.
    2. Engineering/design capabilities: 89.7% cumulative average vs. competition, a substantial improvement over the initial 2001 score of 82.6%. CEI has had one quarter with a perfect 100% score in this category.
    3. Sales representative (abilities and competence): 89.2% cumulative average vs. competitionan improvement from 87.5% in 2001.
    4. Customer service/ordering by phone: 89.0% cumulative average vs. competition, improving from a low score of 84.9% in 2002.
    5. Timely response to your needs: 89.4% cumulative average vs. competition. This area has remained at approximately the same level of customer satisfaction since 2001.
    6. Overall satisfaction relative to competition: 90.3% cumulative average.