Measures: Try Guiding, not Grading

Look carefully what separates ‘success that lasts’ from ‘yet another shiny-object-turned-failed-initiative’, and you will often find the same root cause. Measures, and how they are used. Specifically if they are used to ‘grade’ people or if they are use to guide people to do better.

This was the same obstacle we noted in the last post — the one thing standing in the way as we moved from focusing on Knowledge to Knowledge-in-Action.

If you are what you measure, customer support/service (and if we aren’t careful, customer success) is in a terrible place because most of what we measure is based on outdated phone-based call center metrics from the last century.

The problem is that our world of customers and employees is complex, and we have no way of knowing what specific thing we did caused a specific outcome. We don’t have a way to measure what is important, so what we can measure becomes important.

Even worse, we often put ‘goals’ on activities — the predictable result of which is a set of bad behaviors with poor outcomes for our customers and our employees. We end up ‘grading’ people, and no one likes being managed that way.

The best run organizations have a strategy everyone understands with ways to connect behaviors to achieve that strategy

From our point of view, that means when leaders listen to their customers, employees and the needs of the business, and apply what they learn, they provide lasting value to all. This sounds easy, but isn’t — particularly in the interrupt-driven world of customer-facing teams.

We soon realized the only way to make a difference in the industry was to open up our research and invite influential associations and leaders in our field to help create a modern, open customer metrics framework.

So we suckered asked a number of influential leaders to volunteer to come up with a modern open standard for Customer Success and Support. We spent months together, debated fiercely discussed and released Version 1 of an Open Customer Metrics Framework. Many thanks to each of the leaders for their pioneering effort.

This conceptual leap was the final piece of the puzzle that allowed us to integrate all that we had done into what we always wanted to build: software that we wished we had when we ran complex global service and support operations. Klever Insight. (The Open Customer Metrics Framework group measures are embedded into Klever Insight.)

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