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Measurement Analysis

What vs. Why

We’ve previously talked about how most businesses attempt to track why customers contact them and how they tend to be flawed because we rely on our staff to track the reason for us.

Time and time again, we see organisation creating codes that attempt to track ‘why’ customers contact them, but end up tracking ‘what’ the contact was about. 

I’m not sure of the reason for this. Perhaps it’s because ‘what’ is something infinitely more tangible to us and therefore appeals to our sense of logic better. But I’d argue that ‘what’ is nearly useless. It’s ‘why’ that provides us with some insight as to the reason for the customer contacts. 

Here are some examples from a previous client of mine in Telecommunications: 

The code they used (ie ‘what’)/The code they could of used instead (ie ‘why’)/
Promotion QueryI didn’t understand how the promotion worked
Account EnquiryThere were unexplained items on my bill
CoverageI couldn’t find information about coverage on your website
Bill EnquiryI don’t understand how the pro-rata charges work

Knowing that we had 11,256 contacts about an ‘Account Enquiry’ isn’t very helpful. It’s the sort of thing you see on management reports and everyone nods their heads sagely and goes ‘ah yes, account enquiries’. But no action is taken because no one knows why we have those Account Enquiries. 

It doesn’t tell us anything, really. 

But if the report said we had 11,256 contacts because people had unexplained items on their bill, well that might focus the conversation a little differently. 

Perhaps we may even go looking into why there are unexplained items on the bill and what we might be able to change to mitigate the problem, address the customer need and reduce the contacts into the business. 

Just a thought…