True or false: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it?
The quote in the title of this blog was allegedly made famous by management consultant, Peter Drucker. I say allegedly because some of the internet trolls will tell you that it actually wasn’t Mr. Drucker, but another mystical business economist. There’s also an ongoing debate about if it was indeed quality and process control guru W. Edwards Deming who challenged Mr. Drucker by saying “It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth.” On both sides, you will find streams of arguments that are either in support of Mr. Drucker’s quote or aim to debunk it.
I stand firmly by this quote, and not just because I’ve spent 16 years building a CX company that is underpinned by the measurement philosophy, but because it just makes sense! How can you improve on an offering if its success cannot be tracked? If you don’t have a clear metric in place to measure your progress, all you have is guesswork and we all know that assumption is the mother of.
A lot of business leaders we chat to, who still aren’t yet sold on the power of CX (wakey wakey), will tell us that if sales are looking good, there’s no reason to invest in ‘costly’ metrics and deeper insights. Yes, this is what we have been told, in the age of data and tech, we STILL get businesses telling us that measurement is not a financial priority right now. The real issue, however, is not the investment in the metrics, it’s managing the data. They aren’t quite sure what to do with it. So, our job then becomes one of educating businesses on what managing the data actually looks like and highlighting the return on this investment.
If you’re one of these businesses that are on the measurement fence, here’s a little crash course in what measurement can do for you:
Track client satisfaction – figures on the sales chart only give you half the picture. Just because your new product is currently moving, this does not guarantee repeat or long-term business. Customers can be fickle. It doesn’t take a lot to turn their heads and move on to the next supplier. Those handsome sales figures can start to look very different in only a few months. Understanding what makes your clients tick will go a long way in gaining their trust and loyalty. This will not only assist client retention but help with acquisition too.
Incentivise clients to use your product or service –by measuring the success of your product or service, you can structure a rewards programme that adds continuous value to the lives of your customer. By this, I mean finding the win-win. Let me use the Discovery Insure programme as an example. By tracking their client’s driving behaviour, they can improve on their rewards programme in a way that incentivises customers to keep driving with the tracker. Drive well and get a free set of tyres (customer win). Good tyres and responsible driving habits equal lower insurance claims (business win).
Hold employees accountable – by tracking data and measuring client satisfaction, a business can identify where the cracks are in the system. This can then be looped back to employee performance and KPIs.
Lower your operational costs – insights into what’s working and what’s not enable you to change your approach. If you discover that an expensive digital system you’ve put in place is actually not serving your customer, you can re-assess. We’ve had clients that have used customer insights to cut operational costs dramatically, just by being able to identify unnecessary process or systems in their business. Customers can be amazing ‘tools’ for business growth, you just have to listen to them.
Ongoing value offering through agility – a well-oiled machine is what you’re after. If you can commit to regular measurement and tracking of progress, you can become agile. Today’s customer insights are not going to serve you in 12 months’ time. It’s an ongoing process and one that keeps you adaptable and ahead of your competitors. All because you consistently add value to your customer.