“There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
–Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli by Mark Twain (although the origin is disputed)
Things are not always what they seem to be. It can be dangerous to sit in a corporate office and take CRM/SCRM/customer service metrics as gospel. Here are two examples:
Example #1: Several years ago I purchased a lawn mower at Sears. When I went to the merchandise pick up, I held my receipt under a scanner until it read the bar code. Then I noticed my name and order were displayed up on a monitor along with the merchandise of several others ahead of me. We watched as a customer’s status would be changed to “Delivered,” on the screen yet it would still take 10 minutes before the actual product was turned over to the customer.
Last Summer I took that mower back for repairs at a different store in the same chain and experienced the same thing. Someone at Corporate may be thinking those orders are being cleared in 10 minutes. Yet the reality is that it took an additional 10 minutes to get the order delivered to the customer. Are employees gaming the system or is Corporate measuring the wrong thing? Either way this early “closing” led us to believe our delivery was imminent and when it took an additional 10 minutes to deliver, we were disgusted.
Example #2: When you go to a restaurant like IHOP, you usually want fast service, right? There’s a metric for that. IHOP servers are measured on how fast they open and close a ticket.
But each IHOP has a room in the back where they allow organizations such as my Toastmasters club to meet. Last week our regular server (who is outstanding) requested that we place our money by our plates after we received our meal so that he could close out the tickets sooner. It seems that we had been waiting until the end of the meeting (which in my case was usually 75 minutes) to pay up. This was contributing to a longer ticket closing. Someone up the line analyzed the metrics and thought there was a problem. There’s not. Unlike regular customers, we really don’t want interruptions every few minutes as our wait staff come in to collect the money. The reaction to this metric is detracting from our customer experience.
Speaking as someone who works at the corporate level, let me say that sometimes metrics don’t present the entire picture. I try to get out to the front lines and observe how metrics may impact performance. Sometimes the impact is different than we expect or want.
Do your metrics tell the whole story or are they giving you an inaccurate picture?
You’ll increase my “followers” metric by following me on Twitter. I’m txglennross.