Sunday, April 11, 2010

"Almost Perfect"

As I approach Lexington coming north on Route 11, a billboard brags, "No one's perfect, but we come close.  92% customer satisfaction."

Every time I see that sign I think: (1) nearly 1 in 10 customers is unhappy; and (2) since when is a "B" "almost perfect?"  Why would a company brag about that?

I think this firm has confused employee goals with customer goals.  Maybe 92% sounds good internally, on an easel set up in the company cafeteria.  An improvement goal of 93% within 6 months might sound even better.  But the general public will not be impressed by 92% when nearly 1 in 10 of them are unhappy.

"Absolutely right," says Virginia.  "Customers want to see 100%, or 99.9%, something way up high."

"Disconnect," I say.  "If they see a company happy with 92%, they'll go looking somewhere else."

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