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Develop a Killer Metric to Drive CX Action

How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer Journey Mapping BookAs our book gains traction, readers tell us they appreciate our focus on starting journey mapping by targeting an identified business problem and using this to drive customer-focused change.

We interviewed dozens of CX leaders on how they did this, including Mark Smith, formerly of Element Fleet Management Corporation. Mark spoke on multiple topics, but my favorite was the need to develop a Killer Metric.

The Killer Metric isn’t NPS, Trust, or Customer Satisfaction. It’s one business KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that you use to rally the team to focus on meaningful change. He discussed how Amazon uses contacts per order – the more people call or chat, the worse the experience (in Amazon’s world – notice that Zappos, owned by Amazon, has a very different philosophy). Delta uses canceled flights, which has the biggest impacts on their customers.

Mark’s Killer Metric was avoidable contacts. They didn’t want to stop all calls. Element manages automobile fleets for companies, and if a driver’s car breaks down, they want them to call. Instead, their Killer Metric was “avoidable calls,” which are generated by confusing emails or unclear processes. These calls are clearly a bad thing, costing the driver time and Element money.

The right Killer Metric varies by company and by the business problem, journey, or customer type. For software companies focused on onboarding, it might be number of logins per user. For B2B2C companies (those selling through independent agents) it might be the percentage of agents with 0 or 1 orders. For manufacturers, it could be share of wallet, percentage of orders delivered late, or calls per order, depending on the business problem.

The “right” Killer Metric for your competitor might not be right for you. Stakeholder interviews are a great way to get a hypothesized Killer Metric, but as you get into the initiative, you may discover that your initial Killer Metric isn’t quite right – perhaps, instead of number of logins per user, it should be the number of users with zero logins. Be open to learning and adapting as your journey mapping progresses and you learn more about your customers.

If you’re struggling to get the attention of your business partners, this is a good place to start. Schedule individual lunches with your leaders and ask what they’re trying to drive. They probably haven’t developed the idea of a Killer Metric yet and bringing this to their attention will show you’re thinking about their business needs. Once you’ve found your Killer Metric, add the Voice of the Customer, and use them both to drive action. That’s how you get the business’s attention and increase your impact.

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