Most benchmarking reports use analogies drawn from medicine or war to highlight the relative state of their specific topic. I struggled with finding a hook that didn’t come from Sun Tzu or Dr. Spock (or even Dr. Phil), so I settled on gardening. Yeah, I know, exciting, right? But in a lot of ways, knowledge-sharing practices are like really tender vegetation. They require care and feeding over time to bloom (I mean, produce results).
Want to know perhaps the simplest, most powerful measure that aligns every customer-facing department with the customer? Time to Customer Value.
Here is how to calculate it.
Time to Customer Value = Time to Value (before sale) + Time to Value (after sale) + Time to Smile (after interruption).
Measured in days. If your Time to Customer Value is zero or even negative (days), you are doing really well.
Let’s break this down.
While support executives have made great strides in making sure our teams think about the customer first, this way of thinking runs smack into reality when we reach across internal departments to get an issue solved for a customer. The further away you get from people who interact with customers on a daily basis, the more likely you are to go from a personal, emotional connection with a customer and their issue to an ‘escalation’ (read: interruption from my ‘real’ job) that has to be dealt with.
A working group made up of representatives from several industry-leading companies and professional associations has wrapped up its discussion this January of a new framework for customer support. The result of a series of meetings is a framework that focuses on five high level metrics. The chart below reflects the working group’s current thinking. For those of you who have been following these conversations, the group combined the financial health and value KPIs into one, “Business,” to simplify the conversation and reflect the different perspectives among externally facing customer support, internal support, professional services, and public sector/non-profit organizations.