Set the Goal That Makes Your Team Go Silent: When VAIO Tackled Customer Satisfaction


A service division of Sony, dedicated to their VAIO laptops, set a goal: improve repair-related customer satisfaction scores by 15 percent above the previous year.

“I still remember the silence in the room when everyone finally realized how challenging this result would be. Although we had communicated it numerous times, it wasn’t until we sat down and dissected every aspect and implication of this goal that the true nature of the challenge became apparent.”

Steven Nickel, VAIO Service VP


Things did not remain quiet for long. As part of an ongoing and engaged consideration of how to get there, KPI meetings took on a new energy: more voices from all areas of the division began to speak and take ownership of the goal.

Nickel and leadership empowered everyone in the division to engage by answering, often, three questions:

  • What do you think?
  • Why do you think it?
  • What would you do?

More importantly, Nickel and management became listeners when these questions were asked. Never interrupting. Just listening.


The feedback gave leadership the power to select actions that would truly drive them toward raising customer satisfaction.

15% rise in customer satisfaction score: achieved. And then some.

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