When organisations make measurement the goal they miss the opportunity to translate data into real customer experience improvements. That’s the view of Qualtrics co-founder and CEO Ryan Smith.  

Speaking during the company’s virtual Work Differevent event, Smith argued that instead of focusing on actions to improve customer experience, many companies just get obsessed with measurement. 

“All measurement does is tell you how many times you need to apologise,” he said. “Measurement is not the goal, success lies in taking action”   

Smith recounted his discussions with two CEOs, well before COVID hit, who were replacing their Voice of the Customer programs because all it had done was measure their decline. 

He argued that companies need systems in place that enable them to listen and take action on experience data. 

“Do not measure your way to the bottom, you need to focus teams on delivering exceptional experiences. You need a system of action, not a system of measurement. 

“A system of measurement, like most current customer experience programs, it just leads to chasing scores and organisational bureaucracy. A system of action actually creates behavioural change and cultural change where employees hunt down and close experience gaps.”  

Qualtrics provides software for experience management, a category it launched in 2016. The products are designed to make it easy to communicate with customers or employees and take action on the feedback. 

SAP acquired the company for US$8 billion in 2018 but last month announced the company would be going public via an IPO to continue to grow its customer base in the experience management category.

Smith argued that in times of disruption, like the current pandemic, consumers actively seek out different products and services, and customer preferences change “lightning fast.” 

“Disruption leads to opportunities, especially for those who are prepared to provide better experiences to their customers.” 

“Never has quick action to improve experience mattered more than today. Speed matters right now. If you have a competitor that’s updating their experiences daily and you’re not, you’re toast.” 

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