Again and again we tell our customers how important it is to deal with users (= customers), to ask their opinion and to take their opinion seriously. Well, this doesn’t apply to us, does it?
In this context, the central question that matters to us as an agency is: how can we guarantee constant development of our overall competencies and the positive perception of this by the customer. To learn about this, we should also count on the opinion of our customers and collect and evaluate data in a structured way.
That’s why at the beginning of this year we created a survey that we sent to our loyal customers. I would like to use this opportunity to send a big thank you to all of our customers who took the survey and therefore allowed us to gain insight into their perception of our competencies. The results of this survey were primarily used to get a first impression. The secondary purpose was to exploit this data and implement it in the projects’ daily life.
The Skill or Competency Matrix, a tool known from HR development, can be used for our purpose. It enables the identification of development needs of individual employees. Now, the question is, to what extent this instrument provides useful insights into the further development potential of the competencies within our agency.
To answer this, as a first step, important competencies have to be defined and assigned target values. In our case, these result from an internal survey of employees, from which a rounded average per competency is determined. This is the basis of the competency assessment. Of course, the target values have to be constantly aligned with the company strategy and vision.
This allows us to match the actual perception of customers after finishing a project.
At this point, there is a need for us to motivate our customers to participate. In real life, this, together with the efforts of evaluating, can become an obstacle. Still, it will be worth it because with the feedback from the customer we can determine differences between the actual and target values. These differences indicate where we have to take measures to reach the development targets of our agency and individual employees.
Customer Surveys Are Important
Yes, also for us as an agency, it is essential to deal with our customers and their assessment of our work and to take this perception seriously. There are many ways to gather customer feedback and learn from it. One possibility is a regular survey related to the Competency Matrix. Even if these surveys are always associated with a certain amount of effort, it is, in my opinion, worth the investment. Because we can learn a lot from it and “Learning is like rowing against a current – as soon as you stop, you drift back.” (Lao-Tse).