Stat of the week: What does success look like?

Posted by Linda Ireland

Aug 9, 2010 10:51:00 AM

Previously, on 'stat of the week'

We've covered some provocative stats pulled from the Aveus study Finding the Performance Payoff in Customer Experience. I shared that whether (or not) an organization has a well-understood definition of customer experience is such a strong indicator of performance that we used it as the primary distinction in the findings. For fun and for clear reference, I called these groups “Haves” – those that have a definition that everyone in their organization understands – and “Have Nots” - those that, well, you get it.

What does success look like?

This week's stat is all about outcomes.  We asked leaders to tell us the metric their organizations most often point to as evidence of success.

It seems logical – even obvious – to assume that profit or shareholder return in some form would be any organization’s definition of success.  Yet the "OF COURSE it's profit" reaction I expected to have when looking at these findings didn't match the reality of what I saw.

Haves were singular in their measure of success. The distance between profit and customer service as #1 and #2 choices was substantial.

Have Nots are different.  They use revenue growth and profit as outcome measures on an equal basis.  Since we learned earlier that Haves are twice as likely to beat their profit targets, this bifurcated focus for success seems to drain more than it strengthens performance for these organizations. Ow.

The back domino

The primary outcome for which an organization strives is just that – it is an outcome.  Organizations don’t do profit.  They make decisions and take actions that one by one over time result in profit.

An analogy is helpful here:  imagine a line of dominos, stood carefully on their ends in a defined line.  An organization’s primary desired outcome is its back domino, falling when movements in front of it are done well.  We call this result metric “the back domino.”

What's your back domino?

Topics: Customer Experience


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