Lexmark has a corporate vision of “Customers For Life.” A dedicated customer experience team exists within Lexmark with a goal of creating a valued customer experience. But our commitment doesn’t stop with them. The entire organization, from the CEO through each employee, is engaged in understanding and solving customers’ needs and concerns. All Lexmark employees have at least one annual performance objective focused on the customer (Customer Focused Objectives).
At Lexmark, various methods are utilized to regularly connect with, listen to and understand our customers. Lexmark also incorporates surveys at all phases of our customers’ experience including 30 days after purchase, post-service experiences, broadly to end users in specific key accounts, with our Business Solutions Dealers (BSD) and on an annual basis with our Managed Print Services (MPS) customers. Lexmark generates key conclusions for each of the surveys and understands the results from each respondent. Best practices are used to prioritize the feedback and provide the insights to drive action that meets customer needs. Key conclusions are generated for each type of respondent (decision makers, end users, service providers) across industries and geographies.
The Voice of the Customer (VOC) in social media is captured with Mystery Shopper, online panels, industry awards that are reviewed and online Web commentary. Finally, Lexmark seeks to improve our newest products with the use of Beta testing with select customers. Each of these VOC methods is incorporated back in the business in various formal processes to ensure that we are listening to our customers and designing products and services that meet their needs.
The Net Promoter Score has been adopted by the customer experience team as a common language used to broadly communicate and set targets for improving customer satisfaction. Lexmark has established a set of repeatable processes that utilize direct customer feedback to improve our products and services, driving a deeper understanding and continuous improvement in customer experience.
The Closed Loop Quality System (CLQS) is a continuous process that utilizes direct customer feedback to better understand and resolve the negative issues that our customers experience. This feedback is combined, categorized by theme and then prioritized, taking into account customers' loyalty and concerns. A team of cross-functional leaders addresses each theme using robust problem-solving tools. The system is designed to address immediate issues in addition to improving the processes for prevention of similar problems in the future. Finally, the system has a check phase to ensure that the particular theme has been improved. The CLQS at Lexmark ensures that our process-improvement efforts are focused on customers and addressing what matters most to them.
Lexmark leverages customer needs-based research in innovation processes as a part of the creation of product lines, future technology planning and detailed product and service requirements. These processes include methods to systematically and predictably identify opportunities and then design and evaluate concepts that deliver significant new value.
Lexmark employs a worldwide performance program that includes a formal process to assess progress against customer-focused objectives. Every employee sets objectives that focus on improving the customer experience. These individual objectives are based on an understanding of how the work the employees perform connects to the customer and aligns with the strategy of their department and the Company. Each objective has specific success criteria: the difference that it will make to the customer. We believe that this focus on improvement and innovation will lead to a better customer experience.
Lexmark’s survey strategy seeks customer input across the entire customer lifecycle, from prepurchase through usage and replacement. This data is gathered from both Lexmark customers and our competitors’ customers. Customer perceptions of products and services are collected and analyzed to enhance both current and future development efforts. Customer needs-based research is also employed to identify ideas and technologies that have the greatest potential for creating customer value in our future efforts.
During the new product-development cycle, Lexmark verifies not only that the product meets all specifications, but that it goes further gathering indirect and direct input from customers to validate how well the product satisfies their needs. Early in the development cycles, Lexmark utilizes an internal team whose goal is to emulate customers in their uses of the product. The team utilizes feedback from current customers to direct their product validation efforts. During this same time period, internal Lexmark customers are recruited to provide early feedback on what actual customers will experience. As the product development cycle continues, future customers are brought into Lexmark and products are sent to their work or home environments to gather specific feedback on the functionality and usability of the products. These processes provide products that not only meet the specifications but, more important, satisfy the needs of Lexmark’s customers.
Lexmark is focused on maximizing the customer experience during the rollout of a new product to our customers. One program sends the product engineering team onsite to engage with the customer and ensure a positive product introduction. Not only is the customer satisfied, but the engineering team takes back the learning to continuously improve the rollout experience for all customers. In 2011, the Lexmark product engineering team was onsite with 10 customer rollouts, in addition to being engaged with the rollout team for more than 50 customers.
Lexmark launched a new customer visit program, in which our engineers and product designers visit customers who are using Lexmark devices. These face-to-face interactions help us better understand the needs of our customers and will result in the design of improved solutions in the future.