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Print Management Feedback – Voice of the Customer (VoC)

In today’s fast-paced commercial environment, nearly all enterprises have testimonials on their web and social media pages.   Businesses show praises to promote their services.  Many establishments also have a host of customers they call on when referrals are needed.

Happy customers are the lifeblood of every service oriented enterprise, and unless you are operating your business as a hobby, keeping customers satisfied is a must.  But how can you be assured your people are performing tasks as they have been trained?  How quickly are problems resolved? How can you know your business is doing well?

How are testimonials and referrals secured?  Typically, a common or regular business act is done and the customer offered a positive comment.  As more details were given, a testimonial began to form.  A few questions more and soon a substantial bank of happy customers willing to recommend your services took shape.

Checking the customer pulse for the value added reseller’s (VAR) managed print services offering is no different.  One must ask questions in order to learn what customers are feeling.  Following are suggestions business machine dealers, VARs, and IT providers can use to make certain their MPS program is working.


Successful organizational programs are driven by management.  Without executive support, many initiatives fall by the wayside shortly after they are implemented and that is true with VoC follow up as well.  Setting the groundwork is the best way to get the basics right.  Include the following factors in the VoC strategy:

  • Centralize the VoC program – Assign an administrator to be the VoC champion.
  • Set a VoC strategy – Define the goal to be attained as data is compiled.
  • Maintain data integrity – Keep VoC feedback details separate from other business activities.
  • Simplicity wins the day – Use targeted questions to conduct short and simple VoC surveys.
  • Make feedback collection part of the business routine – Get everyone involved.
  • Include the voice of the employee – People know or have a feel for what customers are saying.

Bear in mind — Gathering meaningful criticism depends on the person within the organization who will administer the feedback process.  Choose a person who can ensure feedback opportunities are made available to customers and one who can analyze and communicate the results to the management team.

Avoid extensive, time-consuming studies as they will get tossed aside.  Simple three to five question surveys work best.  Questions that target services offered and focus on results are best.  Be sure to engage help desk, sales service and technical staff … get everyone involved so the results obtained will be beneficial to all.

Condition customers to expect regular interaction with your company.  At Print Tracker, we check-in with each client at least four times a year to ensure their business needs are being met.  We also send quarterly newsletters to keep patrons and prospective clients up-to-date with software and company developments.  We make receiving immediate feedback on the services we offer a daily, weekly and on-going practice.

Develop Questions to Determine if the MPS Program Offered is Acceptable

To accomplish an effective managed services offering and to ensure programs are operating at peak efficiency, dealership and VAR management need feedback.  Walking by the help supply desk and “touching base” is not good enough.  Management needs to know how customers feel about their experiences.

Focus on the MPS offering the organization provides.  For supplies fulfillment , be sure all customers who receive supplies are given the opportunity to participate.  Survey questions may include:

  • What prompted the supply order request?
  • Were supplies sent prior to the immediate need?
  • Was the supply order processed promptly?
  • How long did it take for your order to arrive after the supply order request was made?
  • What could be done to improve the supply order process?

For service fulfillment, be sure to request feedback when repairs performed:

  • What prompted the service or repair request?
  • Was service performed without call-in request?
  • Was the service request promptly processed?
  • How long did it take for the technician to arrive after the service request was made?
  • What could be done to improve the repair order experience?

If equipment management is the focus of the MPS engagement, there may be a series of surveys offered to ensure each part of the process is monitored for customer satisfaction: Assessment

  • What prompted the request for the assessment?
  • What is the goal to be achieved with the assessment?
  • Over what term or timeframe will the assessment be performed?

Assessment findings review

  • Was a findings review date determined prior to the commencement of the fleet evaluation?
  • Was regular feedback offered prior to the actual review session?
  • Did the assessment review happen as scheduled?
  • Who were the participants present at the review?
  • Were the findings clearly explained?
  • Were the goals of the assessment addressed?


  • Were any potential challenges to the management of specific equipment identified?
  • What recommendations were made as result of the assessment?
  • Which of the recommendations will be adopted?
  • What could be done to improve the assessment and recommendation process?

Equipment management

  • Is all equipment to be put under contract or are there machines that will NOT be included?
  • What supplies and services are to be included in the management of equipment under contract?
  • How are supplies and services to be distributed and/or offered?
  • What is the disposition of machines not included in the contract?
  • How will supplies and services for machines not included in the contract be handled?

New machine sales: Process and placement

  • Has a process to replace machines been defined as equipment ages?
  • What processes are in place to assess the need for new equipment?
  • What processes are in place to replace non-managed equipment?
  • How often will fleet performance be reviewed?

Not all questions need to be asked and certainly others can be offered.  Surveys should be designed to focus on getting answers with the purpose of meeting customer goals and driving future business.

Distribute Surveys to get Customer Feedback

Paper surveys are easy to create and simple to distribute – Write down a few questions from the suggestions above, or create your own.  Then have surveys distributed by runners, sales staff and technicians as orders are fulfilled, services provided and/or fleet assessment and management is performed.

REMEMBER – Short surveys requiring little input from the customer are more likely to be completed.

Survey participation can be made even easier … Provide a survey link within an email sent as services conclude.  There are many on-line tools which can be used to prepare surveys.  Several FREE sites include:

Customize surveys for each service offered.  Be sure to promote the feedback process.  Have help desk staff follow up with each survey recipient.  Encourage participation from the sales department and even reception staff.  Better survey involvement provides the dealership with comprehensive performance data.

Analyze, Measure, Share and Act on the Results with the Team

Review all surveys and tabulate the results.  Simple tracking of survey data can head off potential problems.  It can provide opportunity to acknowledge good behavior as well.  Good surveys:

  • Ensure benefits to the customer are identified and realized.
  • Bring feedback to life within the organization.
  • Match discoveries to employee behavior and offer opportunity for praise.
  • Offer opportunity to close the loop on each transaction.
  • Celebrate success by sharing customer service stories .

On a regular basis, whether that be weekly or monthly, share findings with management and the staff providing the services offered.  Take corrective action as necessary and give praise where due.  Above all, be timely with any action taken.  Don’t wait for the next group meeting to correct problems, should any arise.

When warranted, reach out to customers and get clarification as surveys are returned.  Invite patrons to participate or involve them in the improvement process.  When accolades are offered, get them in writing and add evolve the website testimonials bank.

… In Summary

Customers are willing to tell you how you are doing … You just have to ask! Conduct customer surveys in every phase of the managed print and managed services offering.  Ensure that teams visit customer worksites to observe work firsthand.  Invite customers to participate in team activities and conduct focus groups with customer participation to encourage process improvement.  And finally post positive reviews on website testimonial pages. Remember – The goal should be to improve the customer experience in effort to drive new business.  Supply fulfillment and service and device management feedback is needed to ensure customers’ are satisfied.