Avoiding false metrics – the VoC edition


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Seth Godin recently wrote a blog titled, “Avoiding false metrics.” His point is one that will resonate with Customer Experience and Voice of Customer (VoC) professionals.

The premise of his blog is that a metric should be accurate and aligned with your goals. There are many different examples of customer metrics that are neither. Consider these two examples:

  • Not aligned: A business leader adopts a metric solely because the metric is simple, or the metric was touted in a business book. Many companies are guilty of adopting a metric without doing the necessary homework to determine if the metric is aligned with their goals. It is an easy trap to fall into.
  • Not accurate: The sales representative who “cherry picks” who receives the survey, ensuring only those on the list will provide positive responses.

The problem is, finding the best metric isn’t easy. But, many customer focused leaders are enlightened (like Seth) and will invest in the right process to ensure the business is focused on the right metrics.

When working to identify the right metric, ask yourself:

  • Will this metric predict the business outcome that we are trying to achieve? In other words, is there reliable proof that the metric is aligned with the goals?
  • Will the metric engage the enterprise? Do colleagues understand the metric? Does it resonate with their role and responsibilites?
  • Does the metric enable action? Are colleagues motivated to exhibit behaviors that will have a positive impact on the metric and thus the business?

Identifying the right metric is a work of art and science and companies that invest in the work are rewarded.


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