Making Contact

Abstract:Customer surveys often get inaccurate responses, leading to a need for alternative metrics of customer attitude. Cameron, a supplier of equipment to the oil and gas industry, developed the customer touch point business model (CTPBM) to serve as such a metric. The CTPBM begins with identifying the touch points at the four stages of the customer relationship: attraction, interaction, transaction, and reaction. Using customer and worker input, a process map is developed that shows these touch points as well as customer decision points. Quality function deployment is then used to translate customer needs into engineering components suitable for analysis. Key touch points are examined using strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis to determine how to increase customer satisfaction and business impact. The difficulty and impact of improving each key touch point is assessed, and those worth improving are. Periodically, the quality metrics for each touch point are aggregated and the …

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Very useful article! I like the affinities with moments of truth, front-end and back end... and the stages of customer experience with the supplier.
--jose costas, 12-16-2012

Excelent, very helpfull. I can improved my customer satisfaction.
--Naiska, 10-14-2012

These rigorous analyses and the tools used yield an exceptional starting point. Development of the CTPBM process maps and identification of all the customer touch points is a relevant and valuable first step.

Customer Contact:

The article says:
“For an organization to be able to truly understand how well it’s meeting customer expectations, more concrete, measureable metrics must be used. The maxim, “What gets measured gets done,” fits here. The issue with the customer experience and other soft objectives is the fact that determining exactly what needs to be measured and how to effectively collect data is not always cut and dried.

“A unique customer motivator may not exist for each individual touch point because some touch points might have the same underlying customer motivator.”

“The output of the QFD in regards to the CTPBM is a ranked list of customer motivators and technical requirements…”

Application of QFD would nominally involve customers as key participants, yet I did not sense them having a significant role or presence in any of the analyses described. I recommend greater customer involvement in these analyses – share the touch points with them and ask the following questions:
1) What have we left out that might be important to you?
2) Which of these are most important to you?
3) What metrics should we use to measure our success in meeting your needs at these important touch points?
Determine which customers to involve by recognizing that, like women, all customers are beautiful, yet some are more beautiful than others. Select your largest, newest, oldest, most and least vocal on past surveys, or choose whatever criteria make sense… but get them involved!

SWOT Analyses and PICK Charting:

Again, the article says:
SWOT analysis is completed by brainstorming…”

“In each case, the intended objective is to increase customer satisfaction…”

“The best results… come from the input of a cross-functional team.”

PICK charting is essentially an exercise in establishing priorities based upon “bang for the buck.” I recommend the cross-functional SWOT and PICK teams include key customers.


Customer Touch Point Business Modeling, QFD, SWOT analysis, PICK charting, and AITR scoring all make great technical sense. Application of all these tools make for a great LSS project, yet they might not be required at the level of effort indicated. Consider the following statement: “Cameron successfully improved its customer relationships after instituting the CTPBM. CTPBM has obvious potential value for engaging customers in the VOC discussion. Saying “QFD and SWOT analyses will shed light on which areas need the most focus” begs the question “Would greater customer participation make these analyses less burdensome?”

Surveys can be quite useful. Having customers help develop surveys and recommend what questions to ask makes the surveys more valuable. Cameron’s indicating they are “No longer needing to rely on vague and potentially misleading survey results…” implies CTPBM analyses might have helped in this area.

I sense an underlying desire to apply rigorous technical methods to study customers. Rigor is fine and appropriate, yet they are not mechanized. Even though they might represent corporate entities, the actors are human subjects, and their behaviors are strongly influenced by emotion as well as logic. They also like to be asked what they want…
--John Adkisson, 10-12-2012

Very helpful. I have been looking for a new approach to gage customer satisfaction.
--Gary Vorst, 10-08-2012

Excellent. Very unique approach.
--Lupita Roberts, 10-08-2012

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