The theory behind the Balanced Scorecard customer perspective is that you have to make your customers happy to sell them products and services—and in order to make your customers happy, you have to understand them.
To help you achieve this, we’ve outlined three things you need to do when you put together your Balanced Scorecard customer perspective.
Check out this article for a full Balanced Scorecard example.
One challenge you’ll face as you work through customer objectives and measures is in knowing what the customer actually wants. Simply saying you want to “retain your customers longer” or “increase the number of customers” is insufficient; everyone wants to achieve these objectives! Instead, describe what differentiates your products or services and identify why customers are choosing you.
For example, if you are involved in public school administration, “providing a safe learning environment” is not a valid objective. All educational institutions hope for this. But striving for “unique classroom designs that encourage learning” or “a specialized approach to teaching character” could both be unique to your school and describe the value you bring.
To place themselves in the customer’s shoes, some organization leaders choose to write objectives in the voice of the customer. For example, if your company’s name is XYZ Company, your objective might be written, “XYZ Company’s product design fits my personality,” or “XYZ Company gives me quick and honest results,” or “XYZ Company’s product makes my job easier.” By articulating what your customers want, need, or enjoy about your product, you’ll better understand their point of view.
If you’re in the nonprofit or municipal world, this exercise still applies. It allows you to better understand the value your organization holds to your citizens or the populations you serve.
Ever find that some customers tell you they’re very satisfied with your product or service and never purchase from you again—and others complain religiously and purchase from you every two weeks? That’s why you should break down customer perspective KPIs based on what your customers say and what they actually do: