Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

Delivering Business Value Metrics

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Hand putting check mark with green marker on excellent customer service evaluation form.

Hand putting check mark with green marker on excellent customer service evaluation form.

Are you tired of creating endless reports that are barely even glanced at by your boss? Phil Gerbyshak recently joined us for a webinar and gave us some great advice on how to focus your metrics into something useful and meaningful to the business and to make sure your time and efforts are not wasted.

Phil starts off with an example from Comcast—a recording of a call between a customer and an agent recently went viral as the agent spent 20 minutes attempting to prevent a customer from cancelling his services. Comcast has since released a statement saying the agent was only doing what he had been trained to do. Clearly customer retention was thought to be the most important metric for this person—listening to and respecting the customer’s needs were lost. So, what you should really aim to deliver is business value metrics. What are these? The answer—anything can be, as long as it is one of the following:

  • Metrics that matter to the business
  • Metrics that help the business be more efficient
  • Metrics that help the business be more profitable.

Phil identified that a common reason for a lack of interest in reports is that they lack context and meaning and are often just a series of numbers. If the numbers have context for the business, they will be reflective of the service the business is delivering and therefore help to highlight areas to improve on. Better service equals better customer satisfaction.

Another tip Phil shares is to reduce the number of reports. Discuss what each person actually wants to know about and what they do with the information, and cut the amount of reports to only these. Less is often more. It is better to only give five reports that will all be used than to give 10 that are not reviewed. Make reports tell stories. Try thinking about how you would explain the information without using numbers. A problem often faced is not having the right visibility into the business to provide reports that really matter. A good way to tackle this is to speak to the people you are reporting to, but keep in mind, your reports will often need refining to reflect the changes of the business.

Another approach Phil uses is the “metrics triangle.” Think of this as an equilateral triangle with ‘customer satisfaction’, ‘employee satisfaction,’ and ‘employee productivity’ along each side and ‘business value metrics’ in the middle. The significance of the triangle is that all the sides are the same size, and your focus should reflect this. Treat all sides as important as the other to help you stay aligned. For example, many people will want to measure employee productivity, but this should not be controlled at the expense of customer satisfaction, such as in the case of the Comcast phone call. Above all, customers should be at the centre of your processes.

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