The Customer Has Spoken: A Decade of Appraisals

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In 2004, EnergyPoint Research first set out to discern which oil and gas equipment suppliers and service providers work best for their customers and to quantify their experiences. A decade of collecting and analyzing the relevant data has established EnergyPoint as the resolute voice of the oilfield consumer and the only curator of independent customer satisfaction ratings in the industry.

EnergyPoint started its surveys with the assumptions that customer focus drives best practices and satisfied customers feed growth. Those facts held steady. And as we culled more industry wisdom from end users, we shared with our readers and subscribers a clearer picture of the critical variables companies can focus upon to create satisfied repeat customers. We also offered insights into how customers can influence the performance of their suppliers. Continue reading “The Customer Has Spoken: A Decade of Appraisals”

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M&A: Customer Friend or Foe? – Part 3

1+1=3

In Parts 1 and 2 of this article series, we examined the role customer dissatisfaction can play in the failure of M&A transactions, as well as the impacts various types of mergers can have on customers.  In combination, we’ve presented what we hope is a cogent argument to reconsider — for the sake of both customers and shareholders — corporate combinations as some industry participants’ seemingly go-to means for achieving growth.

That said, we are not so naive as to assume our two posts will forever slayed the forces that make M&A such a popular strategic option in the industry.  More combinations are inevitable.  With this in mind, below are some tips for oilfield suppliers on the acquisition trail that want to maintain a customer satisfaction focus and, at the same time, an awareness of potential customer-based risks. Continue reading “M&A: Customer Friend or Foe? – Part 3”

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M&A: Customer Friend or Foe? – Part 2

1+1=3

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how customer defections and dissatisfaction can play very real roles in the under performance (or outright failure) of even the most highly touted corporate combinations. In this Part 2, we’ll look at the different types of M&A transactions and the impacts on customers that tend to arise from each.

When it comes to M&A, understanding the legacy attitudes towards customers and customer satisfaction that exist at an acquiring company — relative to those at a company being purchased — can go a long way in predicting a deal’s eventual impact on customers.  Below is a discussion of four different types of M&A combinations and the risk (and opportunity) they can pose for customers: Continue reading “M&A: Customer Friend or Foe? – Part 2”

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A Matter Of Expectations

Customer Expectations

A lot of life is about expectations — when they are not met, we tend to react negatively. Business is the same way. While it might feel good to make lofty claims concerning the reliability, value or benefit of our products or services, if doing so leads to unrealistically high customer expectations, we’re doing ourselves and our customers a disfavor.

One of the questions EnergyPoint gets most often concerning its survey results is why certain oilfield suppliers perceived as having strong technology fare so modestly, or even poorly, in our annual customer satisfaction rankings of oilfield suppliers. The answer has to do with who’s setting the customers’ expectations around the technology — the company or the market place? Continue reading “A Matter Of Expectations”

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Thanks, But It Misses the Point – Part 2

Missing the Point

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed how restaurants’ practice of constantly refilling iced tea glasses without first asking can actually leads to a diminished customer experience for some.  We also hinted that we thought customers of oilfield suppliers could relate to this lesson.  We want to use the second part of this article to explain how.

When an organization decides it wants to address customer satisfaction, the process it follows can have a big impact on whether its succeeds.  When management does not think through and get involved in the process — opting instead for vague directives to “better serve our customers” or “create greater customer intimacy” — the results can prove ineffectual and even counterproductive. Continue reading “Thanks, But It Misses the Point – Part 2”

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Customers & Investors – The Ties That Bind

Ties that Bind

The evidence that customer satisfaction deserves full consideration as a key metric for understanding, managing and anticipating the performance of today’s global oilfield suppliers continues to mount.

Recently completed analysis indicates the strongest ties yet (statistical significance levels are now well over 95%) between publicly traded oilfield suppliers’ customer satisfaction levels as measured in EnergyPoint Research’s independent surveys and the subsequent stock-price performance of these same companies. Continue reading “Customers & Investors – The Ties That Bind”

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Ditch the Price-centric Mindset

Price Tag

Bottom-line pricing may be important to some customers, but misconceptions abound in terms of understanding the specific relationship between pricing and customer satisfaction in the oilfield. In short, most people and organizations overestimate the impact pricing has on overall customer satisfaction.

A company’s customer satisfaction level relative to that of its peers — what customers and suppliers should both be focused on — is a function of completed acts. That is, how did the supplier and its offerings perform for customers compared to expectations? Continue reading “Ditch the Price-centric Mindset”

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Thanks, But It Misses the Point – Part 1

Missing the Point

I like iced tea.  In fact, I like it a lot.  Over the course of a hot Houston summer, I bet I drink a thousand glasses of iced tea, each with just the right amount of self-administered artificial sweetener.  Because I eat out a lot, and tend to frequent the same places on a regular basis, most of the eateries in my neighborhood are familiar with my voracious thirst for the stuff as a customer.

Over this most recent summer, I took note of a practice related to how some restaurants handle the refilling of my iced tea.  Their approach is illustrative of how companies’ policies and practices, many meant to better serve customers in one way or another, can actually cause more problems than they solve. Continue reading “Thanks, But It Misses the Point – Part 1”

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It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Oilfield

Mad Mad Oilfield

North American shale continues to rewrite the books, and its potential seems destined to spread globally. Simultaneously, new horizons are being forged offshore — from the ultra-deepwater of the world’s great oceans, to the lower-tertiary depths of the Gulf of Mexico, to the vast unknown of the Arctic. And operators are always looking to squeeze more from existing assets everywhere. All the while, the industry’s ingenuity and resolve is being both tested and showcased.

Given the clamorous state of the industry, maybe it’s not surprising EnergyPoint’s customer satisfaction ratings of oilfield service suppliers are, as they say, “all over the board”. After all, no one contends the demands of this brave new world are easily met. They are not. Everything from the far-flung and nomadic nature of today’s operations to the “big-crew change” lurking in the background suggests plenty of challenges. Continue reading “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Oilfield”

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Deciphering the Real Needs of Customers

Deciphering Customer Needs

My father’s friend tells a funny story about when his recently engaged son asked what it was like to be married. In paraphrase, here’s what he told the wide-eyed young man:

“Years ago, your mother gave me two neckties as a gift on Fathers Day. As I got ready to go out to brunch later that morning, I decided I’d wear one of the ties to show my appreciation for her thoughtfulness. When I walked into the living room to show her how nice the tie looked, she looked at me, immediately burst into tears, and then ran out of the room. Both surprised and concerned, I followed her to Continue reading “Deciphering the Real Needs of Customers”

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