Nobody operates a business in a vacuum. It’s pretty obvious you should at least be keeping an eye on your competitors. Benchmarking is a great way to evaluate your own practices by comparing them to industry standards and the best practices of your competition. Think of it as a mile marker in a race. If you don’t know where you are on the course, how can you adjust your pace? Here are 3 ways in which benchmarking can help you hit that stride in your customer experience efforts.
1.Know Your Strengths… and Weaknesses
Success, like pretty much everything else, is relative. You set goals within your own organization, and you should be setting them within your industry, too. It is sometimes hard to be objective when we judge ourselves, but data doesn’t lie or pull any punches. When you compare yourself to others in your industry you might be surprised at how your practices actually stack up. Like the old saying goes: you don’t know what you don’t know.
Taking a look at your peers will reveal the ways in which you’re excelling and can provide insight on how to stay ahead. It will also show you where you’re coming up short of the average. Defining both of these areas through an objective lens will make it easier to establish a new direction and let go of any practices that may have been detrimental.
2. Learn from the Best to Be the Best
If Tiger Woods offered you some pointers on your short game, you’d probably take them. Right? Emulating the best in the biz certainly wouldn’t hurt. Taking a look at what industry leaders are doing might help clear up some roadblocks you’re hitting when it comes to innovation. Finding new and creative ways to solve problems is a collaborative process, so looking for pieces of the puzzle wherever possible will help that big picture come together. A benchmark is an excellent place to start.
Seeing the trends in best practices from those at the forefront of your industry can also act as a compass when you’re strategizing or kicking off a new program. It’s very important to formulate standardized processes to stay on course. You can use a benchmark as a template for helpful metrics to keep you moving forward.
3. Winning New Business
Better practices translate to a better bottom line. I think we can all agree on that. But knowing where you stand in your industry goes so much further. Your managers and team members will be better educated in the competition and have a better direction for business development and customer experience. This also instills a company-wide dedication to improvement and excellence. Think of it as a sort of scoreboard that motivates your team and unites them in achieving a common, tangible goal.
If you’re a franchisor or multi-location business, being able to articulate how you stack up in your sector, where you’re aiming, and how you’re going to get there is crucial to growth. The same is true for customers in many industries. If you can show prospects how your brand measures up and that you’re diligently monitoring and improving your practices, that will go a long way towards winning referrals and inspiring loyalty.
At Listen360, we absolutely love benchmarks and the deep diving data that helps us all be better at what we do. Right now, we’re working on a very exciting benchmark report using data from thousands of businesses and millions of customers to shed some light on customer experience best practices. It will provide some great insights, and we want you to have it! We’ll be releasing more about it soon, so stay tuned!