While I was writing this blog, I thought of something our COO, Kevin Turner has said repeatedly in the past – “When faced with a tough decision, we just need to ask what is best for our customers – then the decision is simple!”  It sounds easy, but making this real is very difficult if we don’t know with good transparency what our customers want, how they think about us, and where they want us to do something differently or better.

Continually capturing, tracking, and measuring customer satisfaction and most importantly, acting on the feedback is key to driving customer satisfaction and retention and revenue growth.  We want our Microsoft Partner Network branded members to actively engage in this feedback loop, which is why we offer the CSAT benefit for our silver and gold competency partners and actually require it of our gold partner practices.  If you haven’t heard about or aren’t using the CSAT benefit, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to get deeper insight around what your customers think about your Microsoft practice which in turn will help you earn their loyalty.
Over the last year we’ve worked with our outside survey experts (TNS) to streamline and improve this Microsoft Partner Network benefit.  Together we’ve interviewed partners regarding what they need to make measuring customer satisfaction a regular part of how they do business.  We’ve heard you and have made key changes – here are some highlights:
  • Continuous – The survey will remain open so you can match your survey cadence to the rhythm of your business.
  • Easier to use – We’re providing you with a permanent link to your survey on the CSAT Portal. Use this link to invite customers to take your survey without having to upload your customer’s information first. You also still have the option to upload your customers and for TNS to send the survey invitation if desired.  You can also easily utilize your unique survey URL by embedding it into your existing customer communications – newsletters, invoices, existing emails, etc.
  • Customizable – You can add up to 10 questions specific to your business that will remain in your survey until you decide to change them.
  • Simpler, shorter survey – You told us you need a shorter survey – now it’s less than 5 minutes and focuses on the drivers of satisfaction for your company. We’ve dropped the Microsoft specific survey questions so the focus is solely on your business. 
Finally, the thing I think is so fantastic about the CSAT benefit is that your company can benchmark your Microsoft practice against other similar Microsoft practices across the globe for free (from a business model and\or competency perspective) – no other customer survey mechanism will give you this comparison.
If you aren’t regularly collecting, analyzing and acting on your customer’s feedback – there is no better time than now to start! This feedback will help you drive focus and changes into your business to help increase the delight you deliver to existing and future customers. 
Please tell me what you think of the changes to the CSAT benefit and let me know when you will start your customer satisfaction commitment.