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Weighing the cow doesn’t make it grow any faster – measure with a ‘why’

Technology & Data

Weighing the cow doesn’t make it grow any faster – measure with a ‘why’


Vexed at having missed out on many a CX insight over the years, and now armed with new measurement tools and innovations, companies can be guilty of running too far and wide when it comes to collecting data and intel on customers. David Blakers explains why it’s time to slow down and take stock. 

David Blakers 150 BWCustomer experience (CX) has rocketed up the priority list for many brands and companies alike as the penny drops that in fact, CX is the holy grail and key to business success. It’s also one thing, knowing what your customer would like and how to give it to them, but the steps taken to get there is quite another.

While a good chunk of experts have been beavering away in the CX realms for some time, it’s only in the last couple of years that now wide-eyed clients have woken up to the sweet smell of CX and what it can offer.

However, with such enthusiasm and interest, a measurement mania seems to have developed alongside the fervour. Vexed at having missed out on many a CX insight over the years, now armed with new measurement tools and innovations, companies are having a look at it when it comes to collecting data and intel on CX. From checks and measures to customer surveys and all manner of tracking and observing, the beady eye is well and truly on.

Undoubtedly such enthusiasm is commendable and the eagerness at embarking upon a CX strategy impressive, but it’s only pleasing if there is actually a worthwhile business goal or action at the end of it. Otherwise what is the point? What has the impact been? Why measure in the first place?

We know that the pressure to know what your customer wants and subsequently working out how, when and where to give it to them has never been more intense than today. As that battle for eyeballs and attention heats up, getting a customer to engage is one thing, let alone getting them to share their views in a 20-question feedback survey.

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The ‘why’

It is here, at the ‘why’ question, that companies looking at CX – be that within B2B, B2C or even when looking internally at employee experience – need to stop and take stock of what they are about to do. What question are you about to ask and why? What’s the relevance and what will that end answer ultimately do for the business? 

Every measurement move should beg the question, ‘why exactly are you measuring these things?’ Particularly when it comes to customer surveys it is imperative to remember that the quality of data and feedback you collect is in direct response to the quality of the questions that you ask.

Have you found yourself scoffing or huffing and puffing at a paltry and somewhat beige answers customers have left? Instead of blaming them, perhaps it was the question you asked and the way you asked it that left you feeling underwhelmed with your puddle of un-actionable data?

On digesting results from a popular yet simple 10-question survey; have you looked back and felt pleased that three of the 10 questions have given you some great intel to act on? If this has been the case, a pleased feeling is not what you should have as you made those so-called valuable customers waste their precious time answering seven questions that have answers only fit for the bin.

In addition to wasting their time, it wastes your time. And for all you know, it may have pushed that customer over the brand loyalty edge for wasting their time on questions perhaps even they felt were redundant or poorly crafted.

If there’s no clear purpose or action to take as a result of the answer, then don’t ask the question. Don’t try and measure something that is not important. It’s that simple.

Can’t make a cow grow

As one speaker at one of our recent events so aptly put it, “You can’t make a cow grow, just by weighing it”.

At times it seems many organisations spend a lot of time focusing on the wrong things, rolling out endless metrics and weighing elements of the business (the cow), when instead, if they really want to grow the cow, it involves taking action and doing something inside the business.

That’s why, when it comes to implementing a CX strategy, you don’t just jump in feet-first with the measuring stick and folder full of questions; but instead, have clear message, a clear intent and, of course, a clear and actionable goal.

Put simply, action over measurement is the real path to CX success, not measuring anything and everything with no clear action as a result, in sight. 

David Blakers is APAC MD at MaritzCX

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