How do you measure success? Was success yesterday? Is success today? Is success what happens tomorrow?
Real success is certainly a combination of all three, but in reality you are only as good as tomorrow. That’s why it’s so important to measure the customer experience – it gives you that glimpse of tomorrow. Traditional (behavioral) measures show us the past while customer satisfaction tells us what consumers are likely to do in the future. To get the most complete picture of how your company is doing, you must continuously capture the voice of customer and measure customer satisfaction so to weave them into the fabric of your corporate strategy.
Look back, look forward, and always listen to the voice of customer.
Over the next few weeks, expanding on concepts I shared in my book, Managing Forward, I will guide you through specific ways to help you determine and implement smart business strategies based on better knowledge of your company and your customers.
Most experienced companies have the right ideas, but the key is to use actionable, intelligent, customer-driven data to turn those ideas into the right actions.
Stage One: Identify Objectives and Determine the Role of Each Channel within the Organization
Sound basic? It is – but maintaining a consistent focus on the true role of each channel is difficult. Here are two examples:
A media company is naturally made up of different channels, so understanding the role of each channel is critical.
Traditionally, a newspaper’s primary channel was print, customer service was based on some form of call center, and sales were driven and managed by people.
Today the landscape is very different and much more complicated with the rise of the multi-channel, multi-device consumer. Almost every newspaper has a website. In reality the website serves many purposes: as a media distribution channel that will drive revenue based on ad-sales and online subscriptions, as a marketing and sales channel for traditional print and print/online subscriptions, and as a customer support channel providing a cost-effective way to provide support to millions of customers. The site has three primary objectives as well as secondary objectives like promoting investor relations, recruiting employees, etc. The addition of mobile channels requires that mobile objectives must be determined, too.
Retailers face a similar challenge: in-store sales, web sales, mobile channels, contact centers, etc. You also have marketing layered into the website and mobile channels, and customer service handled across all channels. In short, multi-channel retailers deploy a complex set of touch points, each based on similar and different objectives.
We cannot manage what we cannot measure, and we cannot measure when we do not have a defined objective. Once we define the objectives of each channel we can define the experiences our consumers should have with each of those channels. Those definitions form the basis of your strategy as you begin managing forward.
Now that you know about identifying and determining objectives of each channel of your company, next time I will discuss the second stage of managing forward: Measure Intelligently.
My book, Managing Forward: How to Move from Measuring the Past to Managing the Future, is available on Amazon (click here for the Kindle version). You can also visit our website to learn more about ForeSee. If you are already a ForeSee client or partner just let us know and we will send you a copy of the book.