PLYMOUTH, MINN. — Buhler, Inc. plans to open a regional customer service hub in the Caribbean, expand warehouse capacity to carry a greater number of spare parts and introduce a support hotline after reviewing its 2010 customer satisfaction survey, the company said Jan. 4.

“We believe deeply in the value of the customer satisfaction survey process started back in 2007, which we now consider our primary measure of success,” said Rene Steiner, president of Buhler. “These surveys are absolutely critical to ensure that we understand our customer’s needs and that we can continue to improve our ability to deliver value on a daily basis.”

Satmetrix Systems, Inc., San Mateo, Calif., conducted the survey, which was comprised of more than 1,300 individual contacts of which 265 completed the survey. Overall, Buhler had a customer satisfaction index score of 8.11 on a 10-point scale where 10 means extremely satisfied. The 8.11 score marked a slight decrease from 8.48 in 2009, but it was above the national average score of 7.8. Buhler received the highest ratings in the areas of understanding customers’ requirements, understanding customers’ operational processes, consulting competence, valid proposed solutions and project management.

Buhler will open its Caribbean customer service hub early in 2011. The company has added four members to its field service team. The warehouse expansion will allow Buhler to carry 300% more spare parts than it could carry in 2007. The North American automation department will introduce the local 24/7 support hotline for all automation related inquiries.

Also in response to survey results, Buhler will issue a visit report after every customer visit, and engineering will implement a project review three months after completion to ensure projects are meeting customer expectations.