The essence of all business relationships is data. That includes quantitative (numbers) and qualitative (feelings) to build a complete picture of the relationship. Most businesses, the large included, focus on just one. However, both are required to tell the story of the customer's relationship with the offer and doing business with you. Later on, when we discuss how to gain the customer’s support for improving the offer or creating a new one - this is essential.
Given a methodology for designing a data based measurement system for customer relationships, create an unique model that fits your organization and customers that completes the picture of business performance. The goal is to measure CUSTOMER ENTHUSIASM.
EPISODE 29: Summary
This is one of the more significant decisions you will make for the business. Your goal is to get it right early, both in what you are going to measure and how the data will be collected and organized. In 5 years this data will become a very valuable resource and has a positive impact on the businesses valuation.
The best place to start is looking at how you are measuring internally and asking the question - what don't we know? For example you measure how long it takes from a sale to delivery (Dock-To-Dock), the measure the performance of each step in the process for cost and quality (Takt Time or actual performance to schedule which inludes quality). Your quality metric is internal - what does the the customer think when they receive and use the product / service? Does it meet their expectations for promise - results, ease of use, ontime and budget?
EPSIODE 30: Quantitative Data
When we talk of Quantitative Relationships, it is about the skeleton - the numbers. There are three basic types of data collection tactics. The first is a Point of Sale Survey - what happens when they buy? Moving up the data collection ladder are Periodic Surveys to sample the customer over time. The last is a yearly Organizational Assessment using all the information collected to understand the state of the relationship given how you responded to earlier survey data. Now that you have a skeleton, time to hang some muscle on it.
EPSIODE 31: Qualitative Data
The Qualitative Relationship is to capture comments and opinions from your and the customer’s front line personnel. This is a series of questions driven by Point of Sale Surveys. Next is occasional Focus Groups where you propose changes based on collected data. You want to know if it is working. Finally, at the top of the data collection ladder is the Executive Advisory Groups, where you report on the relationship, what you have fixed, and the impact. This provides two critical opportunities: demonstrating changes made to improve the relationship and a chance to probe for new opportunities.
EPISODE 32: Building a Working Model
The first decision is what mix of these 6 approaches fits your business and the nature of customer relationships.. The minimum is the ability to produce a 'State of the Relationship Report' annd work backwards from there. You must at least 1 quantative and one qualitative source.
The second decision is to build your own or buy surveys and assessments. If you are concerned only about accuracy, you can build your own and then test with the client to ensure it is valid (measures what it is supposed to measure) and relaible (everybody interprets the questions the same way).
If you are interested in purchasing existing surveys and assessments, IBGR has a full suite that will provide a great place to start.
Next Show/Chapter 11: The Promise Gap
How to apply today's show to your business:
Bill, I thoroughly enjoyed listening today. Saddens me it's taken so long for me to check out what you're doing. Solid material.
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