Ballmer Asks Microsoft Partners To Weigh In On Satisfaction

The Redmond, Wash.-based company invited those customers and partners to complete the poll, conducted by Harris Interactive, in an e-mail issued on Monday. Ballmer said in the e-mail that the survey would take less than 20 minutes to complete.

Several years ago, Microsoft implemented a Customer-Partner Experience (CPE) metric designed to compensate many of its executives and sales staff, in part, according to the satisfaction levels of customers and partners, in that order. Previously, Microsoft employee compensation was based almost exclusively on meeting sales quotas.

"Since I became CEO of Microsoft six years ago, a top priority has been doing more to consistently satisfy our customers and partners. We've made important progress in these areas over the last few years," Ballmer said in the e-mail. However, he added that the company has more work to do to please its two top constituencies. "Still, we've only begun to tap the real potential of computers to help you communicate, find answers, solve problems and be more productive,” he said.

Ballmer also noted that the survey provides invaluable feedback to Microsoft. "Once a year, we ask a select group of customers and partners to participate in our annual satisfaction survey. The feedback we receive directly shapes Microsoft's products and services at the global level and how we work at the local level with customers and partners in nearly 100 countries," he said in the e-mail. "Only if we get candid input from you can we better meet your needs. ... I can't underscpore enough how important your input is to Microsoft."

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Harris Interactive will be contacting customers and partners in the next several weeks about the survey, Ballmer said. Microsoft's relationship with Harris Interactive is detailed at