The One Metric Customers Care About
What metric is your organization most focused on today?
Stock price and shareholder margin?
Labor matrix, FTEs, or overtime?
Profit margin, EDIBTA, or contribution?
New customers over last year or “churn”?
Being a technology leader? Or first to market with innovation?
ROI? Market Share? Or operating productivity?
While those measures are important, if your missing the mark on this one essential metric, you might as well be dead in the water and give way for your competitors to pass you by.
Is your key metric solid 100% unadulterated customer satisfaction?
Solid customer satisfaction is being able to meet and exceed every customer’s needs, based on their experience. It is not adulterated by your internal data, customer surveys by the 20% that fill them out, or by testimonials from your key clients. It is merely, and superbly, being able to have your customers claim that you’re the best in the industry and worthy of their business.
Here are some difference from poor versus solid customer service:
- An internet service provider who upon upgrading a service with “new technology” shows no new speeds to their customers, and whose service hotline does nothing to acknowledge the real issue
- The online retailer whom when asked why their deliveries are repeatedly damaged or incorrect points out their accuracy fill rate as a measure that things are alright
- The supermarket when questioned why their produce is always substandard and shoppers go elsewhere responds that they are getting new seasonal items and that they check as much of their shipments daily for defects
- A store that has long check-out lines but only 2 live cashier and 8 self-serve checkout kiosks, some of which are not fully functional, and claims to their customers that they actually have 10 lines available for check-out
- The dentist who texts appointment reminders 30 and 7 days ahead, then calls each patient the next day for follow-up, and after every difficult appointment multiple follow-up calls are made
- A contractor who was called for a bid on home repair who could not answer the call while on the road, but was in the neighborhood and stopped at the house within minutes before the homeowners could call a second contractor
- A car dealership that meets their customers in the parking lot with the keys to a loaner car, calls during the repair to ask their customer for approval if anything extra is needed, and has the car properly fixed, vacuumed, and cleaned with a thank you note
Metrics don’t matter to your customers – period. They don’t want metrics or policies given as excuses, priorities, or as anything else. Your customers want their needs met in the best way possible and feel they’ve been given a fair shake.
If your other metrics have become the goal, then perhaps your company has taken it’s eye off the ball, and maybe that’s the reason you are needing to focus more on margins, costs, and productivity. In my experience, putting your focus on top-line revenue via solid customer service has always been the cure for well-stewarded profit margins and shares.
Make your customers’ satisfaction your number one metric. It is surely theirs.