Tom Feeney: Listening to clients — Three key tips to implementing a successful customer service metric

Companies use customer service metrics to gauge how customers view them. But that’s not enough — not if you really want to delight customers.

Successful companies listen to what customers are saying and use it to drive operational change. Feedback isn’t just analyzed at the corporate level, but throughout the entire organization.

When we rolled out an updated customer service survey, we implemented three key things to ensure each person understood its importance and their role in it.

Make it more than a score

In the past, we used the Customer Service Index as a measure. We had great scores, but that’s all they were — numbers. They didn’t give us a way to understand the customer experience, so we introduced the Net Promoter System.

Based on the fundamental perspective that every customer can be divided into three categories — promoters, passives and detractors — it asks one question, “How likely is it that you would recommend Safelite to a friend or colleague?”

Customers respond on a 10-point scale and are categorized as follows:

  • Promoters (score 9-10), loyal enthusiasts who keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8), satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6), unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

To calculate your NPS, take the percentage of customers who are promoters and subtract the percentage who are detractors.

This allowed us to change our vocabulary and actions. Satisfaction was no longer good enough. We needed to delight customers to earn a promoter. We can dig into the data to show what experiences create a promoter or detractor. This metric has become a part of our daily conversations.

Share scores directly and in real-time

In a service organization, such as Safelite AutoGlass, there is typically one person the customer interacts with — the technician. As the faces of our company, it’s essential that technicians embrace customer service views.

Technicians set goals for their scores, and each week, store managers provide them with the customer service survey results. They review negative comments together and discuss ways to improve.

This real-time information is key because technicians remember the specific customer and situation that led to a low score, allowing better understanding of what might be done differently.

Align scores to rewards

To stress the importance of customer service performance goals, they are tied to rewards for everyone throughout the organization. For example, a field staff member who gets a written customer compliment receives an Excellence in Service Award. Those with a high number of Excellence in Service Awards are recognized in the lobby or our headquarters with a framed photo and call-out.

Celebrating together encourages a continued goal of customer delight.

While there is much more to creating a customer-centric culture, finding the right tool to listen is key. You may have to try several metrics to find one that works best for your organization. Ultimately, what you do with the feedback is more important than how you collect it.


Tom Feeney is the President & CEO of Safelite AutoGlass®. In his 25 years with Safelite Group Inc., Tom has been instrumental in establishing Safelite AutoGlass® as a national company and a well-known brand.

Since 2008, he has set the course for growing Safelite’s profits by 200 percent through two core principles: People Powered and Customer Driven. Tom is the recipient of the 2011 International Service Excellence CEO of the Year Award, the 2011 1-to-1 Media Customer Service Champion, the 2013 Columbus CEO Customer Service Award and many more. For more information, visit

Learn more about Safelite AutoGlass at:

Twitter: @safelite