Socializing insights and driving actions that improve business outcomes are key criteria for success in customer experience (CX) programs. As brands reach for higher levels of CX maturity, driving action becomes a foundational layer of a CX program. Effective dashboards and online reports can drive better business outcomes by empowering individuals in the organization to act.
In a soon to be released study by the Insights Association, a majority of respondents who use CX dashboards indicated that broad dissemination of information across the organization was a key benefit of dashboards.1
So how do brands succeed in creating CX dashboards that improve business outcomes?
Start by designing metrics for action that are proven to impact business outcomes. Too often brands look at information on CX dashboards for information purposes to show significant changes in trends even though there is no action necessarily associated with the metric. Why draw attention to metrics that don’t lead to action?
So the starting point is leveraging data sciences techniques to analyze structured and unstructured data to identify the CX metrics that most influence business outcomes. This involves the integration of first-party and third-party data such as: customer perceptions metrics (e.g. NPS, CSAT), descriptive metrics (e.g. call center hold time, number of clicks to complete a web transaction), and customer outcome metrics (e.g. purchase made, upsell and cross sell transactions, contract renewals). Combining behavior and belief data is a powerful way to reveal insights that are not evident when looking at each source independently.
When developing a reporting and dashboard strategy, focus on role-based reports. Make the dashboards relevant to each role in the organization that can drive action. That means that the views provided to the CEO are going to be significantly different than the views provided to a regional manager. But all of the role-based reporting should be derived from the original analysis of business outcomes allowing everyone to complete actions that support the improvement of business outcomes. The ultimate goal is to provide the right information, to the right people, at the right point in time to help inform business decisions.
Finally, apply good information design and user experience techniques for the design of the dashboards and reports. Renowned dashboard design expert Stephen Few puts this issue into perspective when he writes, “Most dashboards fail to communicate efficiently and effectively, not because of inadequate technology, but because of poorly designed information displays.”2 The best way to design good dashboards is to rely on experts in information design and user experience. Good design work is not an opinion or having good taste, it’s a professional discipline grounded in academics.
Fundamental considerations in good dashboard design include attention to the skill level of the target audience, colors, graph types, proximity, line length, the principle of enclosure, consistency, focusing the user on the metrics that matter, and many others. Putting all of that together simply and in an aesthetically pleasing form is challenging!
In sum, dashboards and online reporting – when done properly – are a powerful component of a CX program. Building on a foundation of analytics to provide everyone in an organization with a customized view of relevant information will drive and socialize actions that improve business outcomes.
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1 Insights Association’s survey on dashboards will be released at the IA Next conference June 13-14.
2 Few, Stephen. Information Dashboard Design: Displaying Data for at-a-Glance Monitoring. Analytics Press, 2013. p. 1