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Creative Metrification - A Technique to Improve

Some things in business are relatively easy to measure ? these are the "hard" metrics such as sales volume and profit, production per man-hour, time without an accident, shipments without error, number of customers served, on-time delivery, etc. Other, "soft" metrics, are more difficult to quantify, but with a little creativity, measurement can be made of just about anything.

It is a process I call "Creative Metrification" but before I tell you more about it, I have to first issue a disclaimer. It is important to note that "soft" metrics are often not exact measurements that would satisfy a scientist or an engineer however "soft metrics" are much more precise than a "gut" reaction or a "hunch."

As an oversimplified example, let's say the goal is to increase sales by increasing "Customer Satisfaction," to increase sales to returning customers and / or decrease defections - about as "soft" a metric as there is. Is "Customer Satisfaction" measurable? Yes, if you create Creative Metrics.

As an example, one way we can measure "Customer Satisfaction" is by creating a metric I'll call "Customer Dissatisfaction Rate." The measurement will be the number of complaints you receive each month. We also keep track of the reason for complaint (product quality, errors in order picking, late delivery, staff attitude, price, etc.). From this data we can create a prioritized action plan to eliminate or significantly reduce the number of complaints and therefore the number of dissatisfied customers.

If the action taken to reduce complaints is working, over time the number of complaints, and therefore dissatisfied customers will decrease. All things being equal, as Customer Satisfaction increases, sales revenue should also be increasing. Other ways of measuring "Customer Satisfaction" are the number of referrals, responses to telephone or mail surveys, returning customers (and perhaps time between sales to returning customers also).

Is this an exact process? No, but the final measurement is whether improvement is being made and goals are attained. For many business actions, the only way to measure improvement is by using Creative Metrification.

Larry Galler, a Coach and Consultant, works with Owners and Managers of small and mid-size businesses to substantially increase sales volume and profitability through creative marketing strategies and streamlining or eliminating "administrivia."

To learn about ways Larry helps businesses acheive their goals visit http://www.larrygaller.com

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