Competition is greater today than ever before. It is critical that every business knows how well it is meeting its customers’ needs, identifying deficiencies, and putting into place improved practices and procedures. In previous newsletters we have discussed the customer service level. This is the percentage of line items for stock products that can be filled complete in one shipment from on-hand stock. But many manufacturers, distributors, and retailers know that just having a product in stock doesn’t ensure a satisfied customer. They want to be sure that each order completely meets their customer’s expectations. They utilize a tool that is often called a “customer satisfaction analysis.” This analysis reflects the percentage of customer orders that are filled correctly and completely, on or before the promise date. In addition to inadequate stock, the customer satisfaction analysis reflects situations where:

  • The customer received the wrong item even though the correct item was listed on the packing slip and invoice.
  • The wrong quantity was shipped even though the correct quantity was listed on the packing list and invoice.
  • The material was delivered to the wrong address.
  • The customer received damaged material.
  • The paperwork was incomplete or necessary documentation, such as the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), was not sent with the shipment.
  • The customer was charged the incorrect price for the item.

Sales people and customer service representatives carefully record every customer call reporting a problem.

Here is a sample incident form:


 Customer_________ Date _______ Order#______ 

 Line Item#____________ Item#_______________

 ___ Customer received the wrong item
 ___ Wrong quantity was shipped
 ___ Damaged/Defective Goods
 ___ Material was delivered to wrong address
 ___ Paperwork was incomplete
 ___ Incorrect price
 ___ Other



 Customer Service


Like stock line items whose order quantity cannot be completely shipped by the promise date, each problem is considered a missed opportunity to please the customer, or simply a “miss.” Each month, the customer satisfaction system reports the percentage of customer orders without any type of miss for each customer and warehouse. Management carefully reviews each problem sheet to ascertain if action can be taken to prevent the same problem from reoccurring in the future. Not only is this system a great measure of customer satisfaction, but also a fantastic tool for identifying opportunities for improvement!