This month we’re celebrating Geonetric’s 10th anniversary! It’s a big milestone in our company’s history, and I’m proud to be a part of making that happen. Still, I like to look forward to what’s coming next, and one of the important things we want to do over our next 10 years is change the way companies like Geonetric do business.
We advise clients to use transparency (e.g. patient satisfaction or quality measures) as a communication strategy. Now it’s time for Geonetric to follow our own advice. We’re going to open things up. A lot.
We’re starting with client satisfaction. Client satisfaction is the most important overall measurement we have: how happy our clients are with our products and services. We measure this every quarter, across every client, and try to include representatives from every perspective: executive stakeholders, project managers, software users, etc. This isn’t a Web survey, either. I call each client every quarter to ask for the good, the bad, and occasionally, the ugly. It’s all dutifully recorded, compiled, and presented for everyone in the company to see at our quarterly meetings.
We measure client satisfaction on a scale of 1-6, with 6 being “exceptional” and 1 being “poor.” Our goal is to average 5 or higher — meaning we have to get lots of 6’s to balance out anyone who’s not singing our praises!
Here’s how we’ve done on overall client satisfaction the past few quarters :
The scores have been pretty good, although we’re hovering just below our target since we started. But, we’ve got a bunch of new ideas on ways to break through the barrier by the end of year, so stay tuned.
In Q4 2008, we added two new questions to the survey:
- How strongly would you recommend Geonetric? (6=Without Hesitation, 1=Never/Rarely)
- How strategically aligned is our work with your organizational goals? (6=Perfectly aligned, 1=Not aligned at all)
These two questions were designed to elicit more nuanced answers to angles we wanted to explore. The scores from these questions fell slightly from Q4 2008 into Q1 2009, though not too substantially. Here’s how the results came together:
More important than the numbers, though, is that we have important discussions with our clients every 90 days about our relationship. These conversations identified where the areas of concern are, and where we’re shining. Some areas they pointed to that we didn’t do well enough last quarter:
- We messed up some invoices, causing billing headaches for a few clients.
- We had some challenges with a recent product release.
- We need to communicate better on new product and service offerings.
Some of the positive comments included:
- Service level: “I’m insanely happy, [Previous Vendor] treated me like a small fish in big ocean, you never treat me that way, you treat me like I am your only client even though I know I’m not”
- Responsiveness: “Our [Project Manager] is doing an extraordinary job keeping everything together, and is always very responsive”
- Excitement about where we’re headed: “There’s lots of exciting stuff going on”
So, why put this information out publicly? There are several reasons:
- Candor: One of our values is candor, and I think that applies both within the company walls and with our clients and prospects too.
- Team commitment: Publicly sharing client satisfaction ratings underscores our need for high performance — and everyone at Geonetric is pulling for the same goals.
- Authenticity: Transparency matters as a principle. As prospects, clients, and employees think about where they are and where they want to be, we want to put information out to help them know, authentically, what kind of company they’re dealing with.
- Differentiation: None of our competitors do it (often because their clients frequently become Geonetric clients).
Finally, transparency matters to me, as a business owner, to make sure the world knows when we’re doing good work, and when we’re not.
The next 10 years are going to be a wild ride filled with creative innovation, new technologies and new business strategies for healthcare. Geonetric will be there, revolutionizing eHealth, in an open and honest way.