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Metrics, Your Indicator of Success

By Admin Posted in Blog

In this fast-paced world of business, metrics allow you to measure, track and evaluate the performance of your business. They help you compare your business’ performance with benchmarks you’ve set to measure your progress. Many believe that only when one can express their understanding in terms of numbers, is the understanding satisfactory and meaningful.

When a business,large or small, promises and delivers quality products, there is a good chance that customer satisfaction and retention will be high. So simply stated, metrics should be used to drive improvements and help businesses to get their people and resources to focus on what’s important. Ideally, metrics will help tell the organization:

  • Where your business has been
  • Where it is heading
  • Whether something is going wrong
  • When the organization reaches its target

Metrics to improve productivity

The marketing performance metrics you use to measure the success of your marketing processes are becoming more complex every day, as more and more parameters are set up to measure the success of the overall process. If you have an understanding of what you want to achieve with your marketing efforts, then you can set up marketing performance metrics that will guide your business towards those goals. An effective way to define your goals is with the SMART goal setting process.

Your metrics to measure success should adhere to the following standards:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time sensitive

These key indicators of performance, monitored and analyzed regularly, will ultimately help you to create an actionable list of changes to improve the productivity of the business. Regardless of the nature of your business, every business entity can benefit from using and acting on these metrics.

Applying SMART metrics to customer support

Let’s use customer support as an example of SMART metrics. One of the best ways to accelerate your support and provide exceptional customer experience is to understand what your customers want and need from your business. Tracking metrics gives an unbiased and honest representation of their overall experience and satisfaction. Your support metrics could measure three main quality points, which we’ll examine in more depth:

  • Customer experience:
    • Customer experience is often the result of the average time to first response. This is a Specific and Measurable metric.
    • Having a low average time to first response is a key indicator of fast customer support. Depending on your business, this can be the time you take to respond to a customer order or inquiry.  Your customers want an acknowledgement that someone has started the help process within a reasonable amount of time.
    • Average response time is a critical metric that a business should focus on improving.
    • Only you can determine if the current average time to first response is on target, or if it needs to be faster. Make sure your goal is Attainable and Realistic, and map out a process to reach that goal.  Don’t forget to include a date by which that goal should be met.
  • Problem resolution
    • Another key factor in customer service is the overall time it takes from the moment a case (an Issue) being opened to when it is closed.
    • A low average time to issue closure is an indication that the resolution process is fast and effective.
    • Based on the complexity of your products and their issues, it may require more than a few minutes to resolve some difficulties.
    • The number of calls to resolve issues
    • Be sure you have target goals that properly reflect the complexity (or simplicity) of the customer issues. Again, these are Specific, Measurable, Attainable and Realistic.
  • Call process
    • Be sure to evaluate your call process as you try to decrease the time required to respond to, and resolve, issues.
    • Determine where the sticking points are, what is needed to smooth the path, and then make a Time-sensitive plan to get to your goal.
    • Remember to get input from your customer service representatives!

Metrics in overall business

It is clear that metrics can play a fairly large part in the success of your business. Although you think revenue is a good indication of your business’s success, it is not solely dependent on the amount of money you make from your business.

Many businesses are not consistently improving their sales productivity because they don’t regularly track productivity gains and results. If we consider metrics such as call rate, sales cycle length, pipeline conversion rates and other similar statistics, these can be key performance indicators (KPIs) in measuring the success of the business. Using dashboards to visualize trends and gaining valuable insights into sales activities is of high importance when it comes to improving business efficiency.

Overtime, your data should make customer service, marketing, and sales decisions easier. In reality, creating marketing metrics can help you deploy “Big Company” tactics in your small business.

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