Measuring What Matters

Awhile back, Chip Conley gave an excellent TED talk called Measuring What Matters. It’s a great talk about how he runs his business according to his beliefs about the importance of the intangible–things like customer and employee happiness. It’s definitely worth watching or even re-watching. Here are some questions for your business, inspired by this TED talk.

1. What are you measuring now? 

You might be measuring things like customer return rates, or other general statistics. What kind of data do you have available to you now?

2. How are you using what you’re measuring?

 If you’re just looking at the data and failing to interpret it, you’re not using your information to its full potential. What can the things you’re already measuring tell you about your business? About your employees? About your customers? Evaluating what you already know can provide clues to what you don’t yet know. Are there things you can extrapolate from your existing data?

3. What else can you measure? 

What other ways can you measure things like customer happiness? How can you start measuring things like employee happiness? How can you determine if your employees inspired? Conley used a survey to ask customers if they had an emotional connection with his company, but there are other ways to do this. One obvious way to do this is to ask questions. Ask some of your customers how you could improve their experience. Get ideas from your employees; oftentimes, the people handling the most customer interaction have the best insights.

4. How can you improve intangibles? 

What are some simple ways to connect with your customers? Being personal is one of the greatest strengths of small businesses. How can you harness this power? How can you create a culture of happiness in your business based on what you know? Bring the power of intangible qualities to your business.
Particularly in small business, it is imperative to have a personal connection with customers and employees. To prioritize these intangibles, it’s necessary to measure them.

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