Every time you make a move, thousands of nerves as well as your eyes and other senses provide feedback as to where your body parts are in relation to other things in the environment. Without this continuous feedback, you would be unable to function.
Evaluation and feedback play an equally vital role for the organization. It is all too easy for people to do their “jobs” the same way each day, without knowing much about the end result other than what’s on the paper, the computer screen or the machine. The top executives of the company get financial reports, but even that is very limited. Cash flow as captured by double-entry bookkeeping, which was developed over 500 years ago, is not the most modern or only way to track an organization’s success.
A much more comprehensive approach to measurement and feedback is advocated by the authors of “The Balanced Scorecard.” This system seeks to balance over-reliance on financial data, which they call “driving while looking in the rear-view mirror,” with three other key indicators of success and progress.
They are marketing (such as customer satisfaction measurement), internal business processes (such as quality control and cycle time), andlearning and growth (employee satisfaction and learning indicators). From this system and other research, we at Lawrimore developed the five primary success factors explained on ourSolution Finder page.
Realistically, almost all measurement costs money. And a system like the Balanced Scorecard is something that typically only a large company can afford. Some swear by it, others try it and toss it because it does consume a lot of resources.
However, since marketing often represents a significant external expense, it is just good business to measure results. At the very least people who answer the phone should be trained to ask potential customers who call how they heard about the company, and record that information for management review. Customer satisfaction can also be tracked by periodic satisfaction surveys using mail or the Internet. This is especially useful for business-to-consumer companies.
If you sell business-to-business, your client may be a busy executive who is not going to take much time to fill out your survey or anyone else’s.
Other forms of measurement and evaluation include using a coupon code or special offer with advertisements such as direct mail, print or broadcast media ads. Again whoever answers the phone must at that first moment of contact capture the source of the person’s interest in calling the company.
Evaluation and measurementbest begin at the beginning. That is, we measure where we are now, using market research to evaluate customer and market perceptions and developing numeric quantifiers of the results (which is not hard since most of the data has to be converted to numbers to be tabulated). With that information as a benchmark, and specific goals based on that starting point, we can then reasonably track our progress moving forward.
To discuss how evaluation and measurement can benefit your business or organization, contact Lawrimore today using our online contact form or call 704-332-4344.