1. Metric Definition
The average customer rating (internal or external) of overall technical capability of the firm (interval rating scale) in providing technical service and/or new product innovations. It can be correlated to ratings for relevant competitors for benchmarking purposes.
2. Advantages and Limitations
The advantages of this measure are based on customer feedback and are therefore based on what is important to them vs. the area being measured. It is also a good measure to assess overall technical capability vs. some quantitative output or result. As with any subjective measure, it is less objective and date-based than others. It must also be clarified if the area is being measured for proving technical service or new product innovations, as the results could be very different.
3. How to use the Metric
A rating system of one to four can be used for this measure. Regarding technical service, a rating of one could be described as an organization having poor technical service (extremely slow response time, long problem-solving time vs. expectation, and poor/failing results). A rating of four could describe an organization which provides an immediate or proactive response with extremely short turn-around time, with the problem being prevented into the future, and consistent exceptional proactive service. Regarding new product innovations, a rating of one could describe an organization whose products consist of outdated, archaic systems and technology which are difficult to use, maintain, and adapt. A rating of four could describe an organization whose products are constantly exceeding customers’ expectations in their rate of introduction, new features, adaptability, cost, and anticipation of needs, while clearly standing out from the competition.
4. Options and Variations
Other criteria could be considered for technical capability rather than technical service or new product innovation and a similar scale could be developed. These criteria could include an overall technical assessment of design capability to quickly meet customer needs, development of products which leverage existing core capabilities or competencies (vs. requiring new technologies), and ability to create products which have a significant competitive or sustainable advantage.
5. Champions and Contacts
Ellis, L. W. and Curtis, C. C. 1995, Measuring Customer Satisfaction. Research - Technology Management, 38 (5), pp. 45-48.