CUSTOMER SERVICE THAT ASTONISHES focuses on the critical role of employee engagement and exceptional customer service as a competitive advantage in the business landscape.

Great customer service built on a foundation of high employee engagement isn't a revolutionary concept. More companies are recognizing just how important a deliberate and intentional customer-focused culture is, but few companies do it well.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Do you have a Balanced Scorecard?

Back in 1992, Robert Kaplan & David Norton introduced the concept of a balanced scorecard in the Harvard Business Review and their follow up book The balanced scorecard: Translating strategy into action. One of their points was that “hard” financial data was a lagging indicator, while the “soft” human performance data was a leading indicator. Specifically, identifying issues on the human side allowed companies to take action before sales started to drop off as a result of the problem.

I’m going propose a different kind of balanced scorecard.

If we generally agree that that happy employees = happy customers = improved business results (I have heard this referred to as the 3-legged stool of great customer service), then would it not make sense to measure based on those 3 categories.

Rather than hard and soft data, why not employee, customer and business data. If each of these 3 measures (made up of a couple key indicators) are healthy, then business is good.

When any one of these measures starts to show weakness, you can be sure there is a problem with the others.

However, often employee data is owned by HR, while customer and sales data is owned by sales or marketing and operational data is owned by operations.

I would suggest that these measures should be the responsibility of one department. I don’t mean compilation, I mean measuring, analysing and reporting. I think only when the full view is owned by one department do we get a clear picture.

I realize that this may require re-thinking how data is gathered and shared, but given that the employee is usually the closest to operations and to the customer, tracking their data by a department that has limited experience to either doesn’t make sense.

In the past I have worked with organizations that have a single team (Information & Insights) that manages all of this. This team must also have the authority to work with all aspects of the organization to identify changes needed to improve the employee/customer relationship.

Let me know what you think.


Bill's passion is branded customer service that exceeds expectations. He works with clients to activate a “customer-focused” culture where engaged employees internalize the brand promise and deliver an intentional Branded Customer Experience -- internally and externally.

As well, he is a dynamic, results-oriented speaker on the importance of a customer-focused culture, either as a guest speaker or acting as a facilitator of a group discussion/workshop.

For more information please contact (905) 841-3191
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