KSM Method

A KSM factory client: “We’ve looked into all kinds of things in recent years, and we also register the details of our customer contacts. We have a ‘to do’ list of improvements. Yet we’re not making progress. So what are the smartest improvements we can make, with a measurable effect on our customers’ experience? How can I show that customer experience can earn the organization money? And how do I get my entire organization to think and work from the customer’s perspective?”


Rendering customer experience truly steerable
These are issues which challenge many organizations, and which form the basis for development of customer signals management. A method by which customer experience is truly steerable along two axes: customer satisfaction and cost reduction. That was the ambition of dr. Zanna van der Aa, initiator of customer signals management: rendering customer experience initiatives properly measurable, to give organizations insight into their ROI. This is after all the only way of structurally embedding customer experience in the organization, because organizations are subject to financial control. If you are unable to prove the financial benefit of positive customer experience, nobody will claim that customer experience is unimportant, but there are very likely to be other priorities when it comes to investment time. And rightly so. After all, customer experience can easily be translated into financial benefits.


“The KSM method for customer satisfaction provides concrete justification of our investments and improvements. It’s infectious and inspiring to see the oil stain spreading throughout the organization.”

Hugo Aalders, Director WPI Municipality of Amsterdam

Maximum impact investments
The great weakness of many customer experience processes is their woolliness. 40 improvement points are defined after working through the customer chain steps, but then the system stagnates. Organizations have no idea which improvements will have the most impact on their customers’ experience. Customer signals management designs your survey in such a manner that you know precisely which knobs to turn to influence your customers’ experience most effectively. It is so specific that we can say, for example: if you have 100,000 Euros to spend, investing it in improving turnaround time will be 6x more effective than investing it in website improvement. Scarce resources (both time and money) can therefore be deployed in precisely the right improvement points, for maximum improvement of the customer experience.

Cost reduction and happier customers
Many customer experience advocates believe cost reduction to be a curse. Yet there is enormous potential for a win-win for both customers and the organization when it comes to avoiding unnecessary customer contact. Who wants to call an organization 3x if a single call can suffice? The organization can save costs by avoiding such contact moments. Customer experience is improved, with simultaneous cost reduction, thanks to a combination of channel steering and process improvement from the customer’s perspective.

“The First Time Right program worked its way through the entire customer chain to find solutions for unnecessary customer contact. Besides a significant 25% decrease in contact volume over 3 years, an equally important legacy is the impassioned conveyance of all ins & outs surrounding Customer Experience management, the sparring partner for me as a manager and source of inspiration, always ready to take the next step. Thank you!”

Maud Martens, Manager Customer Contact Center Delta Lloyd

End-to-end customer journey
The end-to-end journey is a central framework within customer signals management: which steps does the customer take when passing through your organization? That is always the basis around which we organize the rest. The customer satisfaction survey, customer contact moments, channel steering, continuous improvement. All of these revolve around the end-to-end journey and its detailed journeys. There are a number of reasons for doing so. It removes a great deal of complexity from all kinds of internal procedures and working instructions. It makes everyone in the organization aware of the real meaning of customer-centric thinking. It unites people in the organization throughout the journey, who often do not even know each other. It creates awareness of everyone’s role in optimizing customer experience in the entire journey. And it has been proven that surveys designed on the basis of the detailed customer journey result in extremely reliable models, giving precise insight into which aspects have great or little impact on customer experience.