As we head into the close of the first half of the year we have been talking a lot about the metrics we use to manage the company. We use most of the typical ones for finance, sales, operations and service and track most of them on a weekly basis to help see where we might need to provide added focus and support to each other to ensure we are successful. Another term for this is KPI, or Key Performance Indicators, which we organize into what we refer to as a Scorecard. This Scorecard has all of the KPIs we are each responsible for on it and we self-flag any that we have missed in a given measurement period as red so the entire team knows it and we can discuss how to come together to improve it. A very important KPI for us is client satisfaction. Our first value is Service First so we want to ensure we are delivering on that every day. So I thought I would take a quick minute to explain how we measure Client Satisfaction and why.
We measure Client Satisfaction in two ways. The first and least formal are the questions we all ask clients “Is there anything of concern. Is there anything more/better we can do. Are we meeting expectations” or something to that effect. We do this in almost all interactions we have but specifically we would do this with the main contact at our clients. Normally during our QBR, Quarterly Business Reviews, or some other business level meeting. This measures “overall sentiment of satisfaction”, we say that because our key contact(s) are normally hearing the direct feedback from one or more of the users we serve daily in their business. This is a big picture pulse of things. It is good for ensuring we are overall on the right tract or at least know if there is a current issue that is top of mind we should be addressing quickly.
The second way and more specific and measurable is a survey at the bottom of each service/project ticket we close for an end user. We have had a number of versions of this over the years. We have had long fill in the blank ones, ones based on Net Promoter Score, and even ones that were just a “contact me” link. Today it is a simple “smiley face” system with three values; Happy, OK, Unhappy; which once clicked from inside the ticket records the result. No need for further work on the end user’s part unless they want to leave more feedback on the page that the click presents. These results are a more imperial measure of active feelings people have about our service. We review the overall results on a daily basis within the Service Department and send these results out to our key contact prior to our QBR meeting so they can to see where we stand with their end users and have this measure to consider as we plan for improvement and the future of the relationship.
In the first month of using this system we have gotten over 100 responses. This is out of over 300 tickets. So about 30% of the time someone takes the time to let us know how we are doing and in those results we have gotten 99% positive results. Is this good? Is this bad? So I would say 99% “Happy” is pretty good. But we will need time to build trends to know how to measure this in the long term. Which is one of the hardest parts of putting a system like this in place. But we have some luck in that the service we use is focused on IT Service Providers and they take all of the results across all of the clients and let us measure ourselves against others based on a number of factors to help us. Their benchmarks are a 38.5% response rate and 92.1% positive responses. So we can see we are head of the positive and a little behind the response rate.
Now that you know what we measure and how we measure it the question is WHY measure it. So as the title of this post, what gets measured gets managed. The greatest thing we have is our experience each and every time we interact with clients. So we need to measure that to ensure we are meeting everyone’s expectations and more importantly when we aren’t we work to correct it. We want to truly know when we didn’t meet expectations so we can correct and get better. Our team is full of highly motivated and passionate people who all love to solve problems, work on technology and most importantly help people. So we hate to let people down but also want to know when we do. As a group we don’t seek to assign blame to each other but to hold ourselves as a group accountable to achieving goals that we have agreed to and that we know we can’t reach as individuals. The most important of those is satisfied clients.
So please tell us what you think each and every time you receive one of the ticket closure emails, don’t assume that someone else has or that your voice isn’t being heard. Did I mention we send out weekly emails to the entire company with the comments left. We need you to help us continue to be better for you with each email, phone call, and face to face interaction. So what do you measure in your organization or life? For me I have even used a spouse scorecard in the past to help me focus on what my family needs from me; but that is a post for another day. As always feel free to email or comment with thoughts and questions.