If the customer experience profession can learn one thing from Moneyball it should be that tracking the wrong metrics can be expensive and lead to the wrong result.
Part of the Oakland A’s success arose because they turned away from conventionally accepted activity-focused metrics (RBI, stolen bases, and batting average) and turned towards achievement metrics (slugging and on-base percentage).
What metrics are you tracking that are misleading you into a false sense of security? Here are a couple to get you started…
- Mean Time to Repair and Average Speed of Answer – Many companies track trends in ASA. The reality is that such a measure may lead to behaviors that are inconsistent with a quality customer experience and interaction (e.g. answering quickly but immediately placing a caller on hold). What matters more is experience consistency. So companies would be better served to achieve smaller variance around their average. Once they tighten the bell curve, then entire experience can be improved. First make the experience predictable. Customers hate surprises as much as any company does.
- Call Duration – Zappos put an end to the fallacy surrounding this metric. Their philosophy was to develop customer relationships (to achieve loyalty). By shortening call duration, they realized they were limiting the likelihood of a meaningful relationship. A more appropriate metric would be some sort of customer satisfaction measure, like NetPromoter. Basically, “did we meet your expectations/needs?” Not “did we get off the phone fast enough?” The first question addresses a customer need while the second meets a corporate need for efficiency.
The pivot point is that, like the Oakland A’s, by adopting a ruthlessly self-critical look at the metrics we track, we can improve our winning percentage while reducing payroll costs.