Customer anecdotes and executive decisions

Jun 26, 2024

Executive decisions made on customer anecdotes

As an executive, you’re constantly figuring out how your business performs and where to focus your attention. Whether you’re obsessed with John Doerr’s Measure What Matters or not, you’ll probably have a couple of key metrics you check weekly or even daily. Revenues, sales funnel growth, product analytics—these should give you a good idea of your business’s health. However, these metrics alone don’t provide the full picture.

In his interview with Lex Fridman Jeff Bezos emphasized: "The thing I have noticed is when the anecdotes and the data disagree, the anecdotes are usually right. There's something wrong with the way you are measuring it."

Where do you turn when you can’t trust your NPS scores, or when you can’t explain a sudden drop in revenue for a specific product? You could pressure your sales leaders more and see if it fixes things (rarely). Or you could ask your Head of Product for a deeper usage report.

Rarely do executives tap into the most truthful anecdotes: customer support conversations. And it makes sense. You don’t have time to sift through thousands of messages. Even your support team doesn’t have a reliable method to highlight trends, let alone search for specific issues. The pile of data is just too big.

There is a way to bridge the gap between data and anecdotes, to transform countless customer support conversations into actionable insights.

Conversational intelligence solutions give you the power to distill valuable information from customer interactions with remarkable speed. The technology can alert you of themes within those conversations, as they happen. When you see a drop in revenue on a certain product, you can see what your customers say about it within minutes.

A weekly update on the most common issues can highlight a surge in complaints about a recent software update. Before it impacts revenue, you can bring it to your tech team to investigate and address the issue. Conversely, positive feedback about a new feature can be shared with your marketing team to highlight in promotions and case studies.

While traditional metrics like revenue and sales funnel growth are indispensable, they don’t tell the whole story. The next time you can’t rely on the data, look at the anecdotes. Not only do you gain a deeper, more nuanced understanding of your business’s performance. It also puts you in a customer-first mindset that drives long-term success.

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