Does your marketing team measure what the customer values most about your product or service?
A post on the HBR blog today Call length is the worst way to measure customer service reveals that firms can obsess about the wrong metrics. Whilst they might give managers a sense of control they often have nothing to do with creating and delivering customer value.
The HBR post explains that many call centers focus on increasing the number of calls their operatives can handle by decreasing the time they talk with individual customers whereas the customer, spookily enough, wants helpfulness which might take the call operative to provide.
So what we have here is the commercial conundrum of providing customer value versus value appropriation for the firm. An optimum needs to be found. Get it wrong and either way your business suffers. Too much customer care and it costs you revenue too little customer care and it still costs you revenue because customers stop using the service.
Is there a formula for success? Probably not. There will be data that allows the firm to try out different approaches (much like a business game – if I increase my ad spend whats the impact on sales and profit). This will refine the overall approach for sure.
The point of the article however is use a metric to measure what you want to measure and don’t use a metric as a proxy for something else. Call length is call length and helpful for profitability measurement use an attitudinal measure to track the quality of your service experience.