Don’t Just Collect Data, Create Value


Service Measures and Metrics are a valuable building block for service improvement. But to build a service culture, the methodology of these metrics must be uplifting for those you query and for the members of your team.

Clarify What You Are Measuring and Why?

Just because you can measure many things doesn’t mean that it makes good sense to track them all. What do you really want to know, and what action will you take with what you learn? Review this list and then decide which insights will be most helpful to improve your service now.

Customer Satisfaction: What are your customers’ perceptions and expectations of your service? How satisfied are they with what you have delivered?

Customer Loyalty: How often do your customers buy from you? How often do they refer or recommend you? What is your share of their wallet? How connected do they feel to your service and your brand?

External Service Performance: Is the service you provide sliding, stable, or stepping up? Are you hitting your performance indicators and meeting service-level agreements?

Internal Service Performance: Is the service level inside your company going up or going down? Are your colleagues providing service to each other that accelerates or impedes the performance of your organization?

Employee Engagement: How strong are the attraction, retention, and motivation of your employees? Are they connected to your vision, to your customers, and to each other? Are they just employees on the payroll, or active evangelists working with a vision?

Staff Development: Are your team members progressing as professional service providers? Is your service education making any difference? Are your employees getting bored or getting better? Are they seizing every opportunity to develop their service skills and mindsets?

The purpose of this building block is to drive new actions that create and deliver greater service value. This purpose is perfectly aligned with our definition of service as taking action to create value for someone else.

Your actions can generate positive results in many different areas: performance, profitability, market share, reputation, customer loyalty, employee engagement, and more. Understanding the data can help you track progress, identify trends, and provide a baseline for future improvement. The right measures will also help you catch problems early and avoid pitfalls before they happen.

Service Measures and Metrics are most effective when they help you prioritize what’s most important. What new commitments should you make? What new actions should you take? What can you do next, or do right now, to increase satisfaction, secure future business, or generate greater loyalty for your organization? If your current measures and methods of reporting do not achieve these goals, then it is time to review and revise.

Don’t let your Service Measures and Metrics become disconnected from the practical levers of power. Collecting data and crunching numbers can easily become a separate function or a department, fueled by the urge to gather even more data and encouraged by the suppliers of surveys, facilitators of focus groups, and purveyors of mystery shopping. I am not against any of these practices; they all have their time, place, and function — so long as they lead you to new action.

Make sure the people on your team know what you are measuring and why. Be sure they understand which numbers you are tracking, and which needle you want them to move every day.

*Ron Kaufman is a Customer Experience and Service Culture Expert and an Author. Visit his blog

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