One of the big issues involved in coming to grips with improving Customer Engagement in your company is the difficulty of measuring it in the first place. This has been clearly highlighted by the Economist Intelligence Unit report where a whopping 47% if Chief Executives made this statement.
Have no illusions, you are trying to assess a complex relationship. And you are seeking not only to measure it but to understand where it is imperfect and what you can and should do about it.
There are some measurement schemes that attempt to reduce the relationship to a single parameter value. That’d be about as meaningful as attempting to rate your marriage partner or significant other on a scale of 1 to 10. You can get to a number, but what does it mean? And what happens after a period when you repeat the measurement? You may find that the number has changed, but why? Or is has not changed, but the shift in the nature of your relationship over the time can certainly make it feel different.
We all love simple metrics. That’s one of the reasons that sports are so popular. A game or race starts, and by the end there is a result. Someone wins the cup, and those who wager on the result win or lose. Simple, but beguiling, isn’t it?
If you have ever been involved in sports training at a competitive level then you will be aware that getting to that single result comprises an enormous complex of skills analysis, game strategy, opponent analysis and game planning to mention but a few aspects.
Look beneath the skin
For business purposes the overall results are, at base, financial. If your company does not make sufficient sales at a sufficient margin then it will cease to exist – simple isn’t it? But to be able to work on improving those financial results, and so building a profitable future, you need measures that can do much more than a simple metric can accomplish.
You are trying to assess the strength of the relationship between your company and your customers. It is a relationship with many strands and aspects. You are seeking to reflect the relative importance of each of those strands .
When seeking information about real value and quality of your customer engagement then the measurement must encompass all aspects of the relationship between your customer and the whole enterprise. It is not sufficient to limit it just that shown by a series of single interactions with your service centre and then aggregated. This demands inquiry and analysis on an altogether higher plane.
Your ‘face to the world’
The ‘face’ of the organisation that your customer perceives is not just your sales people or Customer Service department, nor is it your delivery vans or shop front, but it is determined by actions and attitudes right through the organisation. Front Office, back office, internal support activities management capabilities and your organisation’s strategy each have a role to play in determining those subtle messages that customers spot subliminally and that so accurately project your firm to the outside world.
So what’s the message from this analysis? The measurement must be tripartite. It must take account not only of your customer’s views but also measure that against what’s happening internally. Inside your organisation there are two elements to be taken into account; your employees (who deliver what your customer perceives) and your Top Team who drive the strategy and attitudes. The customer’s views can then be matched against the two internal views and so meaningful messages can be drawn out. Messages that lead directly to actions you can take to build that Customer Engagement Index™.
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