Bringing Data to the Front Lines

restaurant owner, business intelligence, big data

It’s hard to miss….Talk of Big Data, BI (Business Intelligence) and CX (Customer Experience) are pervasive across almost every industry.  Companies that specialize in integrating, organizing and analyzing data are becoming increasingly more effective with data management.  However, the ability to deliver data to the front line teams is still dismal – stuck at about 20%.

Ironically, it is the frontline employees that can make the biggest difference with this data. Information presented in the right way can prompt specific actions that improve the customer experience, raise productivity and increase sales.  So, how do you get the right data to the “front lines” in a way that inspires and empowers employees to take action?

Not enough data at the front lines. 

One of the biggest challenges with head office analytics is too much data.  Executives and senior managers are awash in business metrics.  It’s difficult to interpret all that data and make product and marketing decisions that work across all locations.  

Location Managers are in the best position to understand the cultural nuances and act on customer and team insights at the local level.  However, according to a recent survey by International Data Group (IDG), analytics dashboards and data alerts are barely trickling down to frontline workers.

Why? Contrary to industry norms, one size BI doesn’t fit all.  Asking a store manager to use head office analytics is like asking someone who speaks English to read Inuvik. They can learn it, but keeping the doors open and restaurants running smoothly trumps learning something new.

As a result, frontline managers typically only look at POS and margins reports in their day-to-day management.  And, the primary drivers of sales such as customer and team engagement and marketing ROI are often overlooked.

Help store managers turn analytics into actions.  

    1. Make it easy for them to understand what specific actions they can take to make a difference. Being able to predictably control customer experience and sales outcomes are empowering and becomes addictive.
    2. Try speaking their language – how about, “How Happy Are My Customers?” instead of C-Sat ratings and NPS scores?  Don’t get me wrong, C-Sat and NPS scores have a direct correlation to sales growth and profitability. However, they can be delivered in a way that makes sense to someone who isn’t well versed in analytics.
    3. Deliver live data in real-time to empower managers to resolve customer and team issues when they first arise, not after the fact. Managers that are able to acknowledge and respond to customers before they leave the business, require less reputation management support at the head office level. Good reviews can very quickly exceed poor reviews on social media when they are published as part of a guest feedback management process.
    4. Flip the organizational chart upside down to transform it into a customer-centric organization with accountability for the customer experience driven from the bottom up.

Engaged employees have 23% higher productivity.

Great managers and visionaries like Richard Branson, intuitively know that “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers.  It’s that simple.”  Perhaps the fastest path to higher productivity and keeping good team members is regular communications and acknowledgment.

Most noteworthy, “The engagement level of employees who receive recognition is almost three times higher than the engagement level of those who do not,” according to the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute.  So, acknowledge and reward teams for customer service excellence part of your operational management systems.

Finally, according to Bain and Company employee satisfaction has a direct correlation to customer satisfaction.  So, find out what team members are proud of and what frustrates them. Give them an opportunity to be heard and make a difference. Create an early warning system that alerts you when a really great employee is about to leave, so you can act to keep them.

In Summary

Ask yourself the following 3 employee empowerment questions:

  • What is my team satisfaction score and how does it impact customer satisfaction?

  • Which of my employees are driving customers away and which ones are bringing customers?

  • What would get teams more engaged in delivering amazing customer experiences every day?

If you can answer those questions, you are way ahead of your peers. If not, give us a call… we can help.

For more information, book a consultation.

Article by Dale Dubberley/CEO

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