Maximize Your Performance Measures

Here are some excerpts from a recent article written by Polaris Vice President Lucy Klausner for Competitive Advantage, a publication of the American Society for Quality, on ways to get the most out of your company's performance measurements:

Gain staff commitment.

Start by ensuring that management and staff understand the purpose of measurement program. Try to and educate and engage them and help them see the big picture. Schedule meetings that will actively solicit their input and expertise about the customer experience and use that information in your measurements. Finally, try letting measurement be the team's idea and ask them to help develop which measurements will have the most value to your organization.

Choose the right measurement tool.

Each methodology (phone, mail, IVR, Internet, focus groups, in-depth interviews, etc.) has pros and cons associated with it, and as with all marketing research, you need to be aware of any potential biases. Key elements that will drive your methodology of choice should include, length of survey, audience, anonymity, confidentiality, timeliness quotas or forced representation, cost and accuracy. Choosing what is right for you will depend upon your specific situation.

Carefully tie performance incentives to measurements.

The most effective performance measurement programs almost always use measurement as carrot not a stick! They are sensitive to people's needs and clearly communicate what is going to be measures, how it will be measured and what can be expected based upon results. A successful program is one that is communicated -- before and after the fact. Think about communicating results with your customers as well. To promote a team atmosphere, consider tying results directly to department performance rather then just to the individual.

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