When it comes to business dashboards, let the metrics drive

Published 2017-08-24, updated 2023-02-01

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Summary - Are you metrics-driven or driven-by-metrics? Versature's Tyler Cooper believes there's an important distinction between the two.

I hear the term ‘metrics-driven business’ all the time. This trendy little buzz-phrase is often used to describe forward-thinking, agile companies that understand the pace at which business operates today, and how crucial data is to overall success.

The important distinction to make with this phrase is that there are two types of metrics-driven businesses: those driving behaviors for specific metrics, and those who use metrics to drive behaviors.

For the sake of this post, I’ll separate the two types of businesses as: metrics-driven and driven-by-metrics.

The classic example of metrics-driven is setting a sales goal and tracking your progress towards that goal. The sales staff is driving the car and the metric is the destination. You can absolutely use Klipfolio for this, but that would be like driving a Ferrari and never taking it out of 1st gear.

Klipfolio’s true power lies in the driven-by-metrics strategy. In this scenario, results are a product of the processes created by good data.

To elaborate on the example above, instead of driving towards a sales goal and hoping for the best, the data is pointing us in a direction that will make the sales goal inevitable. Metrics are driving the car and pointing it in the right direction; we’re just along for the ride.

Like many Klipfolio customers, dashboards have become an integral part of our daily operations within our Sales and Marketing departments. Where Versature differs from the traditional ‘dashboards on the wall’ business is that we use Klipfolio on our Client Services side of the office to drive behaviours in real-time.

A video from Versature's office

Dashboards for Customer Support

At Versature, we pride ourselves on answering every call to our Support line. We have a very ambitious SLA (service level agreement) that is based on creating an exceptional client experience. Prior to using Klipfolio, we would review our call centre statistics weekly to determine if we were meeting our own high standards.

Now, historical data isn’t a bad thing, but it didn’t allow us to adapt to the moment and it didn’t give us insight into our live customer experience.

With Klipfolio, we’re now able to monitor our call centre with a single dashboard that’s visible to the entire team. We are immediately notified when our service level drops below our goal and can make operational adjustments on the fly to improve it.

For example, when we have an abandoned call (caller hangs up before our Support Team answered), our big, beautiful yellow line chart immediately displays how long they waited before giving up. When we have multiple abandoned calls in a day, we can compare the average time callers waited to the current week and month.

This strategy allows us to use historical data (past week, month) as a benchmark for our current day’s service level, and make real-time adjustments when needed.

And that’s just the tip of the service level iceberg.

For a complete overview of the client experience, we track our service level, abandoned rate, available agents, average hold time, average handle time, and average answer speed all on the same dashboard.

Since we have multiple call queues (support, billing, sales) we use the user input control feature to view each queue’s stats independently.

Our second Support dashboard displays relevant case data from Salesforce to determine which accounts need attention. Every new case appears on our Support dashboard with its age displayed.

Note: here's a sample Klipfolio dashboard using data from Salesforce:
Klipfolio Salesforce Dashboard

Using Klipfolio’s indicators, our agents are warned when a new case has been untouched for too long. We use the same system to watch open cases that require follow-up from our agents and escalated cases that are being worked on by our Network Operations Team.

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Dashboards for Onboarding

Rolling out new clients is one of the most important aspects of any SaaS product. While our tried-and-true processes have been very successful, our management team was spending copious amounts of time sifting through various reports to determine how the team was doing as a whole.

Combining all of our data into a single dashboard was all we needed to ensure our new clients were being onboarded efficiently and without delay.

Our average rollout takes about four weeks, meaning that once we started looking at the previous month’s sales, we could get an accurate forecast of the amount of work that was to be expected.

Seeing the monthly progression of newly billed customers increase day-in and day-out has given our Onboarding team a new sense of motivation, and has created some friendly internal competition with our Sales team.

Perhaps the most valuable part of our Onboarding dashboard is the fact that there is relevant data for every department. For example, our senior staff can see how many clients have gone live each month as well as the average number of days it took to get them there, while our junior agents can focus on granular activities that need attention.

Our Onboarding manager can easily see how many customers each agent is currently working with as well as the value of each account. Combining this data with more detailed information, such as the current stage of each rollout, allows him to make better decisions when assigning new clients.

This ensures a balanced workload for each agent and a higher quality client experience.

Dashboards for Customer Success

If your business doesn’t have a Customer Success department, you’re probably battling high churn numbers and struggling to determine the root cause.

If you have a Customer Success team, but aren’t directing your team’s actions with data, you’re probably reactively fighting fires rather than proactively driving value to your customers.

A high-performing customer success team is only as strong as the data that is driving their decisions.

The versatility of Klipfolio allows us to display high-level metrics related to renewals, upsells and churn, in conjunction with granular account activity that can highlight red flags, or point out opportunities for growth.

Our Senior Management, Team Manager and Customer Success Managers all have relevant data, coming from multiple sources, displayed in one place.

We’ve discovered that dashboards are extremely useful for shaping behaviours that translate to desired business outcomes and that sharing our accomplishments spreads positivity throughout the entire company.

When a member of our Sales team can share our negative churn rate or average answer speed of 22 seconds with a prospect, it shows the cross-departmental value of our dashboards.

On the flip side, if we’re struggling with a specific aspect of our service, simply publicizing that struggle on a dashboard helps kick teams in gear.

And when our Support agents compete to answer calls quicker than their peers to increase our SLA percentage, it’s proof that the metrics are driving and we have no doubt we’ll get where we want to go.

Tyler Cooper is the Director of Client Services at Versature, a Canadian telecom company that offers industry-leading Cloud-based business communication solutions.

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