Why We Use CUSTOMERS' Success Metrics

Posted Thursday, August 9, 2012 in Customer Experience by Ronni Marshak

For years, people (including consultants) have been struggling to come up with good ROI arguments for "soft stuff" like CX.

Years ago, we were teaching one of our first Customer Scenario® Mapping Facilitation courses to a mixed group of our clients. (Before we developed our online training course, we taught facilitation in a face-to-face two and a half day workshop.) One of the sample maps we worked on was for a FIT (that’s “Facilitator in Training” in CSM speak) from Merck Medco. The map was rather complicated—multiple layers deep, with layers for the end-patient, the employer’s HR folks, the RX benefits management company (that’s Medco), the pharmacist, and the health insurance provider.

As always, we spent a bit of time figuring out the customer’s Moments of Truth (MOTs)—the showstoppers that could derail the entire scenario. That’s when the FIT had a brilliant insight. He realized that each customer MOT was actually measurable!

The energy in the room became almost electric as the mapping team of FITs began to put customers' metrics around the MOT of my “RX refill is denied or delayed.” They quickly realized that they could measure how well folks at each layer of the map/ecosystem were doing to avoid this showstopper. And then one of them commented on how much money and time everyone would save if there were a quick, better way to ensure the refill was covered/allowed and, if it couldn’t happen automatically at the pharmacy, then the pharmacist should contact the MD ASAP.

As we worked thru this example, creating a line of sight from MOTs/dissatisfiers to the insurer and physician at the bottom of the stack, we realized that we could track two things:

  • Whether we were streamlining the process (steps, delays, touchpoints), which we now call Operational Metrics
  • Whether we were improving the business case--better patient compliance, better profitability, better patient outcomes, now known as Business Case Hypotheses.

These insights quickly led to the next-generation in the never-ending customer-driven evolution of CSM, where metrics became vitally important and actually made the scenario maps actionable! By capturing your customers’ success metrics and identifying the metrics that you (and your partners) will monitor to ensure you are meeting the customers’ needs, you can determine priorities in development, process design, policies, and company strategies.

Furthermore, by identifying potential improvements to the business case—the bottom line, as it were—we could actually begin the ROI argument for making those changes and enhancements. Suddenly, CSM became strategic ammunition in customer-centric executives’ arsenal as they went in search of funding—all based on customer priorities and dissatisfiers and supported by the metrics.

Here are some guidelines on how to provide quantifiable and realistic metrics to what customers want from your organization, how you can measure how you’re doing at meeting those metrics, and how your company can improve the bottom line by making your customers successful. Note that often your customers, employees, and partners will suggest NEW operational metrics—things you aren’t currently tracking. Therefore, the company probably won’t have any baseline metrics from which to measure improvements. We recommend that your team set “aspirational goals” for these operational metrics and then figure out how to get baseline measurements or, at least proxies, before you begin your improvements towards those goals.


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