What Every CEO Should Do at Least Once – Please!
It’s depressing. It can be demoralizing. It will most likely be frustrating. It will certainly be enlightening. It can also be one of the signature events in a CEO’s tenure. What is it? Read below…
The Unfortunate Necessity of KPIs
As executives move up the corporate ladder the data they receive on the financial and operational success of their business becomes more and more aggregated. This is a simple necessity. While managers are immersed in the day-to-day activities, leaders need to see the big picture in order to set the strategic direction of the enterprise.
An unfortunate by-product of data aggregation is its sanitization. In order to combine information from disparate systems it is often distilled into key performance indicators (KPIs). An entire industry has developed to help companies build arrays of dashboards to provide visibility to business performance metrics. One company’s radio advertisement touts how the CEO of a growing company can “manage his business on a cell phone”.
All of this data visibility has been a tremendous boon to corporate efficiency. Context, however, is often lost.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, businesses are adept at using KPIs such as rating averages, Net Promoter Scores, and various constructions of Happiness indicators. These are necessary constructs to evaluate what happened at different locations and time periods.
What is lost in the sea of data that describes what happened is the “why it happened”.
A great approach is to use more advanced tools such as word clouds and versions of sentiment analysis that try to extract coveted “actional insights” from the data. While this is a tremendous advancement over simply reporting that Customer Service scores moved from 4.1 Star to 4.2 Stars last year, it isn’t quite a true understanding of the customer experience.
Now, The Recommendation
Set the review or customer feedback tool used by your company to send an email with the full contents of every 1-Star review to the CEO of the company for an entire week.
- Not a report that summaries the comments – This report can be set aside to be reviewed later
- Not all the reviews received – This will set the focus to what the company already does well.
- Not assigned to someone else in the company to make recommendations – Understanding needs to come from the top.
- Not organized into an email folder that can be reviewed later – They need to come into the inbox and the attention of the business leader in real time.
One by One.
Throughout the Day.
For a Week.
The CEO will experience in gory detail every circumstance where the company failed to live up to the expectations of its customers. I promise this will be an enlightening experience for any executive brave enough to subject their inbox to this torture.
This process doesn’t generate a sanitized report. It unfolds like a messy, real-world story that can unlock insights capable of transforming companies of every size and maturity – and it can start with just a single week.
Do you have the courage to try?