Keeping Customers Happy May Soon Pay Off in IT Paychecks

Looking for a fatter paycheck? If you work in the IT industry, satisfying customers may be the key.

Looking for a fatter paycheck? If you work in the IT industry, satisfying customers may be the key.

A new employee compensation report released earlier this week by NFO Prognostics, an IT customer research consultancy in Palo Alto, Calif., found that almost 93 percent of IT company executives think salaries should be tied to customer satisfaction and loyalty criteria. The report was based on a survey of 145 IT company executives and human resource managers from the likes of Sun Microsystems Inc., Pervasive Software Inc., Xerox Corp. and Tivoli Systems Inc.

The report identified a drive to increase the percentage of compensation linked to customer satisfaction and loyalty, but also found that most companies are at a loss as to how to measure such criteria. About one-third of respondents currently compensate according to customer satisfaction, while almost 70 percent said there was "no good formula" for doing so. Almost 60 percent reported the lack of "accurate, reliable data measures" to implement such a compensation method.

Tina Weinfurther, president of NFO Prognostics, said IT companies arent questioning whether they should do it, but rather, how they should go about doing it. "We have noted a major surge in questions from out IT clients on how to manage this across an organization," she said in a statement. "From what we have been told, 2002 should see major growth in customer-satisfaction-based compensation plans."