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Why Are Metrics So Important?

Type: Blog
Topic: Customer Insights

You’ve heard the old adage of “State your goal first. Then map out steps to achieve it.” Evaluating a new marketing technology is no different. Let’s say you’re trying to analyze your preference management system. You need to state your goals first. To figure out what your goals are, work with the various business units in your company who are affected by the system. This could include marketing, sales, legal, or support. Any department who has interaction with customers needs to take part. Together, decide what your goals for the system are. What would your company consider to be successful?

  • A certain number or percentage of new conversions?
  • Reducing spend in certain areas?
  • Increasing revenue?
  • Mitigating compliance risks?

Some goals will be marketing goals, some will be sales goals. Some will be goals for improving customer support. Your legal team’s goal is probably to reduce risk. But together, they all have an impact on the customer journey.

Remember, the customer doesn’t view your organization as many separate departments. They see one company. Various departments have various goals. But it’s important for your customer to have a smooth and seamless experience.

Once you have the stated your goal(s), what metrics will allow you to see success? You need these goals and metrics to produce reports that are useful to you. Those reports will help you argue for greater budget or more extensive projects. You need a way to show tangible return on your investment. Without metrics to confirm your goals, you can’t point to actual ROI.

For example, let’s say your goal is to increase conversions on your website. Your customers’ preferences show that they want a simpler website experience. You made some changes based on their feedback. Now, metrics will allow you to see 100 new website sales this month. A deeper look will show that 60 of those were repeat customers, which shows that they liked the website experience and came back. The other 40 of those sales were new (great news!), and 6 of them said they were referred by an existing customer. You’ve gotten new customers and made your existing customers happier. Now they’ve returned to give you more business, and some were happy enough to refer you!

Now, your website provides sales every month. But now that you’re looking at hard metrics, you can show specific progress in key areas. You can show that 60% of your sales were from existing customers, and 40% of your sales were new business. Next month, you can see how those numbers continue to change and grow, based on your customers’ feedback about your website.

You don’t have to have the entire process figured out at once. Even incremental progress can help you begin leveraging the data you collect.

Improving the preference management process boils down to one main concept. That concept is listening to the broader themes behind individual choices. For example: respecting a single customer’s wishes by never sending them marketing messages over text. That is a smart business practice that might save that one relationship. But on a larger scale, notice whether many customers are making the same request. If you see a large amount of similar requests, consider shifting the whole marketing matrix. Making text messages an opt-in only function represents an organizational course-correction. It could save thousands of customer relationships. That kind of customer retention can impact the entire company’s bottom line.

The most important component is the ability to collect and act on your customers’ preferences. Without it, companies fail in two areas:

1. Short-term customer experience. If a customer has a good experience, they’re more likely to be a repeat customer. Even better, they’re more likely to recommend you to someone else!

2. Long-term strategic direction of your company. You want your company to grow and expand, increasing customers and revenue. That’s a big-picture goal, but all those short-term customer experiences add up to long-term growth and success.

With preference management, companies can improve customer experience in the short term. And in the long term, they have the potential for huge company growth through customer loyalty.

About the Author: 

Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He’s a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. Check out his book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior – Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw