Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Customers’ Feedback as a Component of Performance Appraisal

Feedback is an important component of performance appraisal. Involving customers in performance appraisals remains however a rarity in Germany. Generally, customers are also not involved into performance management.

Scouting China or Poland for that matter shows however a handful of examples how a feedback on customers representative performance can be an integral part of any interaction with the client. Banks clientele can assess tellers on a three point scale using a feedback devise right at the counter. Similar machines are placed next to immigration officers at Hong Kong borders. Next, some restaurants are fitted with communication devises with the staff including commands such as “We’d like to order”, “Please bring me some water”, “We’d like to pay” and “I enjoyed eating here today”. Furthermore, a feedback on a five point scale via text message is sought by travel sites after every call with the hotline representative. In Poland, the largest polish job board is bringing direct customer feedback into B2B world.

After posting an ad, one is asked to provide an assessment of cooperation with the sales representative.

The rating system has a high relevance to all client facing roles. As any other performance appraisal system, customer feedback must be linked to rewards. Otherwise, the process lacks impact. However, multiple advantages of customers’ ratings exist:
* Applying customers’ ratings at the point of contact produce reliable and consistent measurement of performance.
* The customers’ rating system is especially valuable to the employees’ development and satisfaction as it allows setting up objective goals more easily.
* It provides a simple format, it is brief (not time-consuming), easy to understand, and elicit useful information (customers’ satisfaction level with the service).
* It is designed to provide timely, impersonal and regular feedback, so that the employees can immediately know how their work is perceived by the customers.
* Employees can directly adjust their behavior to costumers’ expectations, thereby influencing the ratings.

As more and more, human resource professionals consider themselves in service to the internal clients, I wonder either they would welcome such feedback loop every time they deliver the service to company’s employees and managers.