Designing a Customer Flight Deck(SM) Performance Management System

Introducing a Performance Management System for the Customer Economy

October 25, 2001

Designing a Customer Flight DeckSM System can help you move your company from being product-centric to being customer-centric. This report provides an introduction to how to create your own Customer Flight Deck.


A Customer Flight Deck performance-measurement system is an effective tool to help your company move from a product-centric to a customer-centric orientation. The purpose of a Customer Flight Deck is to give employees the monitoring tools they need to improve the quality of the experience that your prospects and customers have in dealing with your firm and to correlate those improvements with increased customer retention, lower customer acquisition costs, and greater customer spending and profitability.

The Customer Flight Deck performance measurement system differs from other Dashboard or Balanced Scorecard initiatives in that it focuses on customers-the value of your customer franchise and quality of the customer experience.


Our research has shown that the companies that have designed themselves to thrive in the customer economy have also had to redefine how they track and manage their performance. To be sure, they have not eliminated the traditional (and important) financial metrics. They have, however, added customer metrics as part of their daily and weekly monitoring. In particular, they keep their eyes on:

  • What it means to build and maintain deep customer relationships and how effective they are in doing so.
  • How they're doing in meeting customers' needs and outcomes.
  • How they're doing in delivering a great branded experience to customers and prospects across interaction touchpoints, distribution channels, and product lines.

These forward-thinking companies are also beginning to put these customer-centered metrics in front of all of their employees so that everyone will be able to see at a glance how they're doing and where they need to improve. The best implementations of customer-focused metrics track the quality of customers' experience on a daily, even hourly, basis so that they can spot problems as they're occurring and take corrective action as appropriate.


A Customer Flight Deck SM is a performance-measurement system that focuses executives and employees on the key operational determinants of customer value and profitability. More than a static set of goals and measurements, it is a dynamic and adaptive system that leverages the organization's ability to learn of and respond to customers' changing desires and demands.

The companies that will benefit from the use of the Customer Flight Deck are those that have made a commitment to enact and sustain a customer-centric culture. Because such companies manage by and for customer value, they understand that improving the quality of customer experience, enhancing operational efficiencies, and increasing customer intimacy and profitability are compatible, not competing, objectives.

A Customer Flight Deck performance measurement system can also be an effective tool to help your company move from a product-centric to a customer-centric orientation. Of course, you'll want to support that tool with change management programs and with top-down commitment and resources dedicated to achieving and sustaining long-term customer profitability.

Each Customer Flight Deck Is Part of an Integrated Customer Flight Deck System

Because of the nature of the Customer Flight Deck, and depending on the differences in their wants and needs, different customer segments may merit their own Flight Decks. Moreover, you may choose to craft hierarchical Customer Flight Decks, with metrics at different levels of detail, for stakeholders with different roles and responsibilities. In particular, employees would benefit from both a high-level view of the overall customer metrics as well as a detailed view of the particular customer scenarios whose outcomes and experiences they can influence. Each of these discrete Customer Flight Decks can be rolled up into one meta-Customer Flight Deck that summarizes how the company is doing on customer value and customer experience across customer segments, distribution channels, and functional areas and/or geographic regions.

Customer Flight Decks Organize Customer-Centric Metrics

Every company tracks some customer metrics. But most organizations don't have a robust framework of metrics in place that allows them to manage their performance by customer segment and by key stakeholders (e.g., employees in different departments, geographies, and product lines; business partners, suppliers, etc.). How do we organize the metrics that we suggest you include in your Customer Flight Decks? Let's take a closer look....



  1. Customer Flight DeckSM Performance Measurement System is a Service Mark of the Patricia Seybold Group, Inc.
  2. The term "Balanced Scorecard" has entered standard parlance, but derives from a performance measurement approach created by Robert Kaplan and David Norton.

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