Customer Satisfaction
I'm relatively new to the area and work for a DoD contractor who provides Base Operations Support for a number of military customers throughout the mainland, Hawaii and Alaska. We specialize in running range control operations (where airmen and soldiers conduct field exercises) by providing range maintenance of targets, buildings & urban villages, and roads/paths to get to the exercise areas. Think: Navy Seal training and "kicking in doors". Each base is different and the operational requirements vary widely. So, I've been asked to put together a customer satisfaction program. I've used Voice of the Customer (VOC) in the past for manufacturing but this is a different beast altogether. I've researched services VOC but haven't found much that's helpful. Military commanders and their staff don't typically have time or desire to fill out surveys and getting facetime with them is often difficult. We get an end of year performance review that covers Quality, Schedule, Cost Control and Management but I'd like to figure out how to get input throughout the year so that we can build a teaming environment with our military customers.

Any suggestions on how to create and implement a customer satisfaction program for this?

Thanks and regards,
6 Replies
Trish Borzon
841 Posts
Hi Steven Garner‍ - thanks for asking. I'm going to tag a few veterans that I know who might be able to help you on this - James Shore‍ , Kenneth Lewis‍ and Garrett Field

Good Luck!
VERY much appreciated Trish, thank you...

Hi Steven, you offer a great question. Trish's tagged veterans might prove helpful.

Your question is complex enough in my estimation that does not allow for straight forward, prescriptive response. I have in past years taught a classroom course for ASQ called Improving Customer Satisfaction. Business approaches to customer satisfaction vary widely depending on who the customer is. Customer relationships are usually categorized as B2B, B2C and B2G (Business to Government), with each requiring unique approaches. In this case I believe that B2G would include a B2DOD framework. I am sure customer requirements can vary widely from one customer to the next.

A VOC focus should be helpful and might or might not include customer surveys. In my opinion, VOC has become a buzz acronym, often viewed incorrectly as either a project or process, when in my view, should be considered a system. I may be able to provide some insights based on my experience teaching the course. If you'd like, take a look at the course outline here (Improving Customer Satisfaction | ASQ). The class is not currently available during the pandemic, but if you have questions, feel free to PM me. If I am able, I will try to assist.

Good luck!
Thank you Jeff,
As I'm sure you're aware, nothing DoD related is simple or easy. Most of our site managers have a good relationship with their military counterparts and communicate with them at least weekly. This is a great first step and now I'm trying to quantify our relationship to take advantage of both the “good” and “needs improvement” areas. To start, I've asked the managers to answer three questions:

1) How can we build a Team environment with our customer? Are they interested in this? If not, what can we do to improve relations and collect their input? (Not surprisingly, there are few customers who want to be prescriptive rather than work as a team)
2) After talking with the customer, do you understand their difference between “Wants” vs. “Needs” vs. Contractual Requirements”. Can we provide a need or want that’s over and above a stated contractual requirement without extra expense?
3) Where do our employees engage directly with the customer? How can we train them to be effective representatives of our company?

Once I get answers to these, we can dive into Quality, Schedule, Cost and Management Responsiveness and figure out how to measure Exceptional / Very Good / Satisfactory / Marginal / Unsatisfactory. The challenge will be the difference in types/complexity of service we provide at each site.

I’ll take a look at your outline and get back with you when I have questions. Any insight you can provide will be most appreciated.
Hi Stephen, looks to me like the 3 question areas should be very fruitful! Would be interested in discussing #2 and #3 with you if you have an interest.
Good luck and best regards,
Thanks for the support and yes, I'm interested. We can do this here or maybe through LinkedIn?