Customer satisfaction is an essential factor in the success of the Messer Group. By measuring customer satisfaction, the services provided can be monitored, and the effectiveness of measures carried out can be assessed. This enables us to continually raise the level of customer satisfaction and improve the long-term commercial success of the Messer Group. In 2017, more than 14,000 Messer customers in the countries were surveyed about their satisfaction with the services received. That represents an increase of 57% over the previous year. The rate of customers completing the entire questionnaire fell year-over-year (10.9%) to 6.4%. There were exactly 879 customers in all. The number of customers partially completing the questionnaire also fell, from 478 to 447 customers. Messer’s overall performance in Europe was given a total rating of 8.49 on a scale of 1 for very dissatisfied to 10 for extremely satisfied. This represents a slight decline compared to the previous year, when the score for satisfaction with general performance was 8.51. The online customer-satisfaction questionnaire comprises between nine and 21 questions. Satisfaction is measured by analysing whether customers are generally satisfied with the services, whether customers see a benefit in being supplied by Messer, and whether they are willing to recommend Messer to others. The focus of the questionnaire is based on the importance of 15 services, with the customers then assessing Messer’s performance of these.
The results for overall satisfaction should not be compared with one another, as the mentality applied in assessing satisfaction differs from one country to the next. By performing analyses of customer satisfaction on a regular basis, however, we can observe trends in satisfaction within any given country. This is why customer-satisfaction analyses in each national Messer subsidiary should be repeated every two years.
The survey was repeated in the Messer subsidiaries in France, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands and Slovakia. With the exception of France, where general satisfaction fell slightly from 7.7 to 7.4, general satisfaction in other countries held steady or even improved. French customers viewed availability, the quality of the gases and packaging as very good, but they also saw potential for improvement in the invoice overview and in the punctuality of delivery.
In Austria, where the score was 9.1, the high level of general satisfaction seen in the past was maintained. Very positive marks went to the quality of the gases, the conduct of transport staff and order management, whereas interest in, as well as the assessment of, online services were significantly weaker.
In Bulgaria, too, the customers were very satisfied with the overall service in 2017, giving it the highest rating to date: 9.4. In 2015, the general satisfaction stood at 8.9. The safety standards observed, the quality of the gases and the conduct of employees were viewed in a very positive light. The quality of the data sheets and brochures provided, on the other hand, were deemed areas to be improved.
In Romania, customers’ satisfaction level increased from 8.8 to 8.9. Customers took a very positive view of the quality of the gases and the general services provided, but the handling of business with the gases centres was seen to be in need of improvement.
Satisfaction with services in the Netherlands improved slightly as well. The previous survey, conducted in 2014, resulted in a score of 7.7; in 2017, the satisfaction level rose to 8.1. This particular survey was aimed at new customers who had purchased gases with competitors in the past. Satisfaction with delivery times and completeness of delivery held steady and was very positive; the availability of back-office and field sales staff, on the other hand, was viewed as in need of further improvement.
In Slovakia, overall performance was again assessed with a very high level of satisfaction of 8.9, representing further improvement over the 2015 assessment (8.3). The survey asked customers about their satisfaction with order management and transport performance. The result was very positive, particularly where completeness of delivery and availability of the sales office were concerned.
In addition to customer satisfaction, satisfaction of the gases centres was surveyed as well. Gases centres are external companies that sell industrial gases to our customers in our name within defined regions. Cooperation with the gases centres is very important, as it is the gases centres that maintain direct contact with our customers in the regions. For the first time, our survey asked about satisfaction with our cooperation with the gases centres in France.
In Spain, this survey has been conducted for several years. 292 gases centres in all were contacted; 43 filled out the questionnaire in its entirety, and 13 only in part.
The online questionnaire consisted of nine questions. Along with questions around general satisfaction, the survey also asked gases centres to assess the quality of service provided by the various departments at Messer.
In France, general satisfaction of gases centres in this first-ever survey stood at 7.0. Positive ratings were assigned for availability, the frequency of visits and the quality of the gases centres’ advisors, as well as the presentation of the driver. Gases centres in France see particular room for improvement in matters of punctuality and completeness of deliveries.
In Spain, the general satisfaction score of 6.6 registered in 2016 increased to 7.6 in 2017. While the quality of gases as well as compliance with safety standards were rated very highly, gases centres there complained of a lack of punctuality and completeness of deliveries, and about the quality of the gas cylinders and valves.