Every business in every industry has its own unique needs and challenges. Because of this, the metrics that one business tracks will be different from those that are important to its neighbor, even if they’re operating in the same industry. For instance, a business with a strong company culture may be less focused on metrics related to employee engagement than one that struggles to retain its employees. Similarly, a business might prioritize operational excellence over the guest experience precisely because operations have a significant impact on service and product quality.
It almost goes without saying that identifying which metrics are worth tracking is key to ensuring your business runs smoothly. After all, without knowing how you’re performing in certain areas, it can be almost impossible to improve. And when a business can’t improve, it struggles to retain its customers and attract new ones. Consider the following quote from Forrester:
“Metrics are the method by which businesses can evaluate their health and success, but according to Forrester research, only 21 percent of businesses model their metrics on desired business outcomes. As a result, only 26 percent of businesses say they deliver a good customer experience.”
There are three areas you should focus on when determining which metrics to track: Employee engagement, the guest experience, and operations.
Employee engagement doesn’t often receive the attention it deserves. This is because it isn’t usually seen as a revenue-generating area of the business. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. It has been shown, time and again, that disengaged employees are not invested in their tasks and, in some cases, may actually be working against the company’s best interests. As a result, productivity suffers, service wavers, and the business’s reputation falters.
Some business owners will want to address systemic, engagement-related problems by starting at the ground floor. This may involve an overhaul of the company’s culture. Think about some of these questions when determining whether your corporate culture needs to be refreshed:
- Are employees hitting targets expected of them, or are they consistently falling short?
- Do employees receive a lot of feedback from management, or just once per year during performance reviews?
- Are employees empowered to resolve guest issues on their own, or do they have to get management to help them out every time?
- Are employees recognized when they do good work, or are they passed over by management?
If you answered the latter for most of these questions, then chances are, your employees aren’t very engaged at work. In this case, you should be focusing on getting them excited about what they do on a daily basis so that they’ll be more productive and help you bring in more revenue.
Your guests don’t just want to buy a product from you. They also want to buy an experience. So what can you do to build them a better one? As this article in Entrepreneur points out, the guest experience is about totality and tonality — as in, the experience must be consistent throughout single and multiple visits, and the attitude of staff is as important as the brand’s atmosphere and the product offerings.
Employee engagement plays a role in this, but there are other factors involved as well. Asking your team to treat your guests with courtesy is just the bare minimum of customer service. Consider the following questions:
- Does your brand reward loyal guests for their continued business?
- Do you regularly ask your guests for feedback? More important, do you listen to their feedback?
- Do you hold yourself accountable when something goes wrong, and do you publicly acknowledge and ameliorate it?
- Are you sending your guests offers that are relevant to their preferences?
Your guests don’t want to be blasted with generic marketing emails, and they want to feel that their concerns are being heard and their needs are being met by the brand. Personalizing their experience and acknowledging their opinions about your brand will win their loyalty and bring in repeat business.
Operations are the machinery behind a smoothly-running business. Oversights in the supply chain, for example, can affect product quality and the guest experience. Imagine, if you will, that a guest has ordered fish tacos at a restaurant, only to learn that the restaurant is out of fish. Already, the guest has had a bad experience with that brand — all before they’ve even purchased a product! Keep the following in mind when thinking about operations-related metrics to track:
- Do you have enough of each product in stock to sell to guests without running out?
- Is your restaurant clean around the clock?
- Is your service up to par every hour of every day?
- Are you able to identify how your guests feel about the quality of your food?
Pinpointing issues with service, food quality, and cleanliness can help you resolve them quickly to enhance the experience for current and future guests.
Find out how Loop can help you improve employee engagement, enhance the guest experience, and increase operational efficiency.
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