CUSTOMER FOCUSED PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Who is customer?
Key Goals for Businesses
Type of customers
Customer Driven Project Organizations
Customer Satisfaction Measurement
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
Gathering Customer Information
Four Steps to Quality Customer Service
37.1 Who is a
customer in any project?
World class projects and organizations are obsessed with meeting
and exceeding customer
expectations. Firms should learn to have “customer focused
projects”, often in response to
competitive crises. Customers in any project refer to:
1. Any individual or group that receives and must be satisfied
with the work product or output
of a process.
2. Individual or group whose request a process is intended to
3. Anyone who is impacted by the product or process.
Looking at your project organization from you customers’ point
of view and “improving
processes” to enable you to meet and exceed your customers’
expectations is the only way to
It important to meet customer expectations as it is the prime
responsibility of every organization
to meet the needs of its customers. Understanding of one’s
customers leads to customer
satisfaction. Japanese relate quality to customer satisfaction.
Importance of Customer Satisfaction (CS) in Project Management
37.2 Key goals for businesses:
Following are the four key goals for any business:
1. Satisfy customers
2. Achieve higher customer satisfaction than competitors
3. Retain customers in long run
4. Gain market share
o achieve aims and goals, a business must deliver
ever-improving value to its customers.
Value refers to “quality related to price”. It is important as
consumers no longer buy solely on
the basis of price.
37.3 Types of Customers:
“Direct receiver of output of the process” (bank loan seeker,
lab test report receiver). It is
the source of product and process requirement.
Secondary customers are from “outside of process” boundaries,
who also receive any
process output, but not reason for “process’ existence” (bank’s
head office receiver
When original boundaries do not receive process output directly
but are affected if process
output is incorrect or late (logistic department)
Those who are located outside the organizational boundaries,
receive end product or service
but is not the actual user. (Power supplier for computers
This refers to the final user of the product. Sometimes the
external customers and
consumers are the same.
In between producer and end user (Transporter).
When a process that performs activities that do not add value to
product or service.
Inspectors doing 100 % inspection. It needs to be eliminated.
Next person to whom product passed on for further processing.
His requests must be met,
but not at cost of external customers.
37.4 Customer-Driven Project Organizations:
Customer Value Package
If competitors offer better choices for similar price, consumers
naturally select package with
highest “perceived quality”.
37.5 Customer Identification:
37.5.1 Fundamental Questions in Identifying Customers:
Identifying customers begins with asking some fundamental
products/services are produced?
call/ write to/ answer questions for?
37.5.2 Importance of
Identifying Customer Types:
Every customer type, source of product, product requirements
must be identified and
process effectiveness must be measured.
Information on what satisfies customer, and what improvements
are necessary. It comes
from lost, prospective, and competitors’ customer, who provide
37.6 Kano Model:
The Kano Model of Customer (Consumer) Satisfaction classifies
product attributes based on
how they are perceived by customers and their effect on customer
classifications are useful for guiding design decisions in that
they indicate when good is good
enough, and when more is better.
Analyzing Customer Satisfaction Data – Kano Model
Project activities in which the Kano Model is useful:
- Identifying customer needs
- Determining functional requirements
- Concept development
- Analysing competitive products
- Other tools that are useful in conjunction with the Kano Model:
- Eliciting Customer Input
- Prioritisation Matrices
- Quality Function Deployment
- Value Analysis
The Kano Model of Customer satisfaction (Figure 37.4) divides
product attributes into three categories:
threshold, performance, and excitement. A competitive product
meets basic attributes, maximises
performances attributes, and includes as many “excitement”
attributes as possible at a cost the market
Threshold (or basic) attributes are the expected attributes or
“musts” of a product, and do not provide an
opportunity for product differentiation. Increasing the
performance of these attributes provides
diminishing returns in terms of customer satisfaction; however
the absence or poor performance of these
attributes results in extreme customer dissatisfaction. An
example of a threshold attribute would be
brakes on a car.
Kano Model Analysis
Threshold attributes are not typically captured in QFDs (Quality
Function Deployment) or other
evaluation tools as products are not rated on the degree to
which a threshold attribute is met, the
attribute is either satisfied or not.
Performance attributes are those for which more is generally
better, and will improve customer
satisfaction. Conversely, an absent or weak performance
attribute reduces customer satisfaction. Of the
needs customers verbalise, most will fall into the category of
performance attributes. These attributes
will form the weighted needs against which product concepts will
be evaluated. The price for which
customer is willing to pay for a product is closely tied to
performance attributes. For example,
customers would be willing to pay more for a car that provides
them with better fuel economy.
Excitement attributes are unspoken and unexpected by customers
but can result in high levels of
customer satisfaction, however their absence does not lead to
dissatisfaction. Excitement attributes often
satisfy latent needs – real needs of which customers are
currently unaware. In a competitive marketplace
where manufacturers’ products provide similar performance,
providing excitement attributes that
address “unknown needs” can provide a competitive advantage.
Although they have followed the
typical evolution to a performance then a threshold attribute,
cup holders were initially excitement
Products often have attributes that cannot be classified
according to the Kano Model. These attributes
are often of little or no consequence to the customer, and do
not factor into consumer decisions. An
example of this type of attribute is a plate listing part
numbers can be found under the hood on many
vehicles for use by repairpersons.
Application of the Kano Model Analysis
A relatively simple approach to applying the Kano Model Analysis
is to ask customers two simple
questions for each attribute:
1. Rate your satisfaction if the product has this attribute?;
2. Rate your satisfaction if the product did not have this
Kano Model Analysis
Customers should be asked to answer with one of the following
B) Neutral (Its normally that way);
D) Don’t care.
Basic attributes generally receive the “Neutral” response to
Question 1 and the “Dissatisfied” response
to Question 2. Exclusion of these attributes in the product has
the potential to severely impact the
success of the product in the marketplace.
• Eliminate or
include performance or excitement attributes that their presence or absence
respectively lead to customer dissatisfaction. This often
requires a trade-off analysis against
cost. As Customers frequently rate most attributes or
functionality as important, asking the
question “How much extra would you be willing to pay for this
attribute or more of this
attribute?” will aid in trade-off decisions, especially for
performance attributes. Prioritisation
matrices can be useful in determining which excitement
attributes would provide the greatest
returns on Customer satisfaction.
should be given to attributes receiving a “Don’t care” response as they will not
increase customer satisfaction nor motivate the customer to pay
an increased price for the
product. However, do not immediately dismiss these attributes if
they play a critical role to the
product functionality or are necessary for other reasons than to
satisfy the customer. The
information obtained from the Kano Model Analysis, specifically
regarding performance and
excitement attributes, provides valuable input for the Quality
Function Deployment process.
37.7 CUSTOMER SATISFACTION MEASUREMENT:
Measuring Customer Satisfaction Levels
37.7.1 Methods of Customer Retention:
Following are the methods for retaining customers:
honest relationship and empathize
(airline’s frequent flyer)
(Coupons, credit points, preferential treatment)
service (free product targets, after sales service)
37.7.2 Seven Steps to Customer Satisfaction System:
Step 1: Total
Step 2: Get to
know your customers
Step 3: Develop
“performance and process standards” of service quality
Step 4: Hire,
train, and compensate good staff
Step 5: Reward
Step 6: Stay
close to your customers
Step 7: Work
towards continuous improvement in “service quality performance
37.7.3 Customer Defections:
1. Leading practices for
profitability and market share
must understand linkages
between voice of customer and design, production, and delivery
2. Ensures that no critical requirements fall through cracks and
gaps between expected quality and actual quality.
3. Make commitment to customer that promotes trust and
confidence in products and
4. Must have effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM)”
which customer can easily seek assistance, comment, complain and
resolution of their concerns.
37.7.4 Must measure Customer Satisfaction:
1. Compare results relative to competitors
2. Use information to evaluate
3. Improve internal processes
37.7.5 Methods of Measuring Customer Satisfaction:
There are the following two methods of measuring customer
1. Quality Dimension Development
2. Generate Critical Incidents
Methods of Measuring Customer Satisfaction
18.104.22.168 Quality Dimensions Development Method:
Step 1: Creating list of quality dimensions (Table 37.1):
a) Read professional literature and enlist quality dimensions
b) Generate list from personal experience
Step 2: Write definitions of each dimensions:
a) Definition can be in general terms
Step 3: Develop specific examples for each quality dimension:
Specific-reflecting service or product
b) Examples: Specific behaviors of providers
c) Declarative statements
22.214.171.124 Five Key Dimensions of Service Quality:
- Ability to
provide what was promised, dependably and accurately.
service representatives respond in promised time.
- Providing error
free invoices and statements.
- Making repairs
correctly first time.
Knowledge and courtesy of employees.
- Their ability
to convey “trust and confidence”.
- Ability to
capabilities to do necessary work.
credit card transactions to avoid possible fraud.
- Being polite
and pleasant during customer transactions.
- Equipment and
appearance of persons include:
- Well designed
forms that are easy to read and interpret
- Degree of
Caring and include attention provided to customer
“Tech Jargon” in: layman’s language
regular customers by name
help customer and provide prompt service. For example:
to resolve problems
crediting returned merchandise
replacing defective products
Table 37.2: Quality
Dimensions of a Manufactured Product and Service
5. Timeliness of Support:
- They completed
the job when expected
- They met my
- They finished
their responsibilities within stated time frame
- The project was
completed on time
6. Responsiveness of Support:
- They were quick
to respond when I asked for help
immediately helped me when I needed help
- I waited a
short period of time to get help after I asked for it
Customer Relationship Management (CRM):
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) includes attention to:
- Target and
developing customer contact employees.
- Empowering them
to do whatever is necessary to satisfy customers.
37.9 Gathering Customer Information:
requirements called “voice of customer”:
There are a variety of methods to “listen” to the Voice of
Customer. To do it effectively,
information needs to be collected about the customer like:
a) Needs and expectations
c) Satisfaction with company's performance
37.10 Four Steps to Quality Customer Service:
There are the following four steps to quality customer service:
Step 1: Send positive attitude:
(concern for customer’s benefits)
Step 2: Identify needs of your customers, guests, clients
Knowledge / command
(dress, quality, cleanliness, orderliness, etc)
- Body language
(head, arms facial, smile, body movement, eye contact)
- Sound of your
voice (tone and how you say it)
Face to face
- On telephone
- Human Needs: (welcomed, respected, comfortable, orderly,
understood, helped, important, appreciated, recognized)
- Timing Needs: (hold time on telephone, waiting in office,
letter response, return calls, appropriate time to meet, width and depth of product/service
- Location Needs:
- Product Needs: (stated, unstated, basic, delighter)
- Create an environment to listen
- Careful Listening and Understanding
- Feedback / Evaluation
Figure 37.9: Use of Kano Model to Identify Must-be, Delighters
and One Dimensional Qualities
Step 3: Provide for needs of your customers, guests, clients
- Are you ready to fulfill
the human, timing, location, and product needs of the customer?
- Are you capable to
fulfill the human, timing, location, and product needs of the customer?
- Do you have the required
product / service to meet the needs of the customer?
- Have you actually
fulfilled the human, timing, location, and product needs of the customer?
Step 4: Make sure your customers, clients, guests return to you
difficult customers with whom you have to deal nicely
- Make sure you
delivered both the procedures and the personal
- Be sensitive to
check your performance by the outcomes before, during and after the service delivery
complaint for cases of gaps, customers will complain (within themselves, gestures, light words, strong words, strong reactions).
Listen to their
stated and non-stated complains carefully
- Repeat and
confirm whether you understood clearly
- Correct the
root-causes and prevent recurrence
usually difficult for their own reasons - not because of you
- Nasty or
- Constant Critic
- Non-Stop Talker
Why Companies Lose Customers?
Customers are Difficult:
ego or self-esteem
In bad mood
Customers on Your Side:
Do not take it
personally, hold on to your confidence
Do not just
protect yourself or your company, share his/her grievance
Focus on the
problem, not the person
difficult one into a satisfied, consider it an accomplishments
Take an extra
step - surprise the customer. For example:
- Ticket agent:
would you like me to select a seat for your return flight now?
- Salesperson: I
will deliver it personally this afternoon
- Nurse: Since
you are awake, let me give you a drink
- Waiter: may I
bring extra glass of coffee
- Hotel desk
clerk: may I call a cab for you
- Mechanic: since
car will take long, may I give you a newspaper
- Grocer: may I
give you help to carry your goods
- Bank Cashier:
may I give you brand new notes279
Re-engineer your Customer Satisfaction into Quality Customer
Satisfaction Vision and Policy
Satisfaction Personality Grooming and Development
Satisfaction Systems and Procedures
Satisfaction Measurement (e.g. customer retention rate)
- Develop and
regularize Customer Satisfaction Delighters
1. Determine Questions:
- Be Concise,
- Be Direct
- Be Unambiguous
Examples: How are these questions?
- The SDO was
- The bank
manager listened to me and took a short time to handle my complaint
- The SDO was not
available when he was needed
- The SDO was
available when he was needed
- The staff was courteous
2. Response Format:
b) Liker-type (1-5 scale)
“Introduction” to Questionnaires:
For example: “To better serve you, we would like to know your
opinion of the quality of our
service at XYZ Company. You recently received service from our
company. Please indicate
the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following
statements about the service you
received from the staff. Circle the appropriate number using the
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Finally, select appropriate questions; ensure critical customer
requirements are addressed
Some of the common sampling techniques used are briefly defined
• To gather
information from all of customers (sample is the total population) for example,
doctors response by drug manufacturers.
2. Judgmental Sampling
• Use judgment in
the selection of customers.
3. Statistical Sampling
• Select sample
based on statistical probability (rely on chance). It becomes easy to
generalize, if not biased.