When you introduce a KPI dashboard, you can expect to see some deer-in-headlights looks from your employees. They can only imagine two uses for tracking their data – you’re judging them based on it, or you’re micromanaging them with it.
Fear of data is understandable. The truth is, most of us have been burned by data (in the hands of bad managers) in the past. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, introducing a data-driven framework can actually make it easier to promote engagement, productivity, and yes – even happiness within your organization. Do it right, and your team will appreciate data as the wonderful tool it is and enjoy their work more.
Taking Instagram photos is my hobby. In this series, I post a few photos on Friday that I recently took.
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Squeaky wheels. They tend to get more grease than the rest of us. Even if the other wheels are more effective, the squeakers are attention-grabbers. And in business, it’s often those who grab attention for their efforts who gain recognition (and raises and promotions), leaving humble types quietly toiling away without due reward.
In a competitive job market, you need to differentiate yourself from your peers to get ahead, but that doesn’t mean you have to start squeaking louder. Nobody likes a braggart. It’s much better to have your praises sung for you, and there’s no better way to do it than by having the value of your work proven by data.
Being Data-Driven Can Transform Your Perception – and Performance – at Work
Whether you manage a company, a department, a team, or just yourself, using KPIs or OKRs to track progress is an effective way to stay motivated and prove the efficacy of your efforts at the same time. KPIs – key performance indicators – change depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, but most importantly, they are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively you’re achieving your goals. Most often, KPIs are also SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound.
And each one is a stepping stone towards your larger goal.
OKRs – objectives and key results – are similar, but a little different. This is a technique for setting and communicating goals and their results to get each person in a team moving together in the right direction.
Use one or both, but either way, you’ll be adopting a system of setting specific, measurable, realistic and deadline-driven tasks that align your team with the company (or even just aligning yourself).
They also provide clear direction, so everyone involved knows exactly what to do next.
The other perk of instituting simple data gathering and analysis is that it allows you to figure out what’s working well and what isn’t, so you can adjust your strategy or even find ways to help the company as a whole.
But the real magic comes after you’ve been pursuing these KPIs and OKRs for long enough to track your success rates.
Anyone can talk a good game. Most people do, at least in front of the boss. But few are able to back up their claims by showing a data-based trajectory of success.
And, when you have a suggestion, management will listen when you can justify your idea with numbers, charts or graphs. You’ll become the authority on the topic!
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a complex business with many different ways to approach it. One aspect of CRO that hasn’t been discussed nearly enough is the potential for images to increase views, clicks, and conversions — in addition to customer success and net promoter scores (NPS).
But discussing what you can do with the right images isn’t helpful unless you know how to find or create these images quickly and economically.
A crash course in the power of pictures
To get to the root of how images improve conversion rates, we first have to look at the series of events that creates conversions.
According to Dr. Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence, people…
- Feel obligated to reciprocate – give them something, and they’ll want to give you something
- Honor their commitments – if they say they’ll do something, they’ll likely do it, because they’ve established that goal as an integral part of their self-image
- Believe the word of their peers (which is why user reviews are so powerful) and copy behaviors they see
- Follow authority figures.
- Buy from people they like
- Act faster if they perceive scarcity (On Sale Now for a Limited Time!)
Our brains are hardwired to believe what we see over what we hear or read. Images have a way of driving straight to our emotional centers.
Based on Cialdini’s research, some of the ways images can be used for influence include:
- Giving away a high-value infographic or set of high-quality stock photos that anyone can use (all they have to do is sign up for your newsletter)
- Creating a series of motivational images that encourage viewers to keep the goals they’ve set for themselves (which your product can help them do)
- Encouraging users to submit photos of themselves using, wearing, or enjoying your products (or, if you’re selling a service, including images of actual customers next to their reviews or testimonials)
- Using professional photos and/or high-quality stock images on your website
- Creating funny, personality-rich images, videos, or GIFs for your social media posts and emails
- Thinking of creative ways to visually represent scarcity — maybe by making a GIF of a warehouse as it goes from full to empty, or by creating an image that expresses the disappointment someone will fill if they miss out on an opportunity
Companies are also using images to delight existing customers and help them become more successful (which improves net promoter scores and leads to increased upsell opportunities). A customer success team, for example, could create GIF screencasts in response to help tickets or even stock an FAQ page with visual demonstrations of how to solve the most common customer support issues.
As a Customer Service or Support manager, your performance is most likely based on a few key metrics, like:
- First call resolution
- Average call handling time
- Customer satisfaction
But you’re also on the front lines of improving metrics you don’t have total control over — retention and Net Promoter Scores — which are central to profitability and growth for your entire company. To say your job is important doesn’t begin to cover it. You’re a vital function. But with limited time and resources, there’s only so much you can do.
What if I said you could give these KPIs a vitamin shot (and I mean that in the Russian Olympic Team sense of the word). We’re talking seriousperformance enhancement.
Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe and completely legal.
And, your customers will love you for it.
It’s so simple.
Why GIFs, Screengrabs & Video are the Customer Support Tools of the Future
Live chats are good. Live chats with screenshots are better. But sending your customers custom-made GIFs, screengrabs or short videos to personally answer their questions?
They won’t see it coming, and they’ll be absolutely delighted.
Sending GIFs, images or videos in response to customer support tickets has an astounding effect on core support KPIs, like first call resolution, average call handling time, and, of course, customer satisfaction.
It’s not just the element of surprise, it’s that visual communication is so much easier to understand than written instructions. If someone has a functionality issue, walking them through each step so they can see exactly what they need to do is so much more helpful than verbal or written instructions alone.
But these visual methods aren’t just advantageous for the customer — they’re more efficient for your team, too. Screengrabs, GIFs and videos can be created in seconds or a few minutes, whereas composing an email could take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, and live chats could require even more time (depending on how ‘chatty’ the client is).
And, once you have a screen grab, GIF, or video, you can even use them to populate your FAQ page. Nobody wants to read an FAQ page — but watching it?
There’s a huge desire for that. Why do you think there are so many “How to” videos posted on Youtube?
Visual customer support methods also come with one more very important perk:
When you create a great experience via GIF, your customers just might want to share how amazing you are with their 1001 friends on Twitter, driving up referrals along with your customer support KPIs.
Fast, Easy, Integrated
CloudApp lets you capture GIFs, HD screen recordings and screenshots and convert to shareable links quickly. But did you know that CloudApp also integrates with customer communication apps like Zendesk and Slack?
Check out these use cases with Zendesk and SoundCloud for more ideas on how you can use the power of visual communication to give your KPIs a performance boost.
Do you know your worth to your company? Do your bosses know? What if you had metrics that showed, in black and white, just how much value you bring to the table? What if you brought those metrics into your next performance review – you know, the one in which you ask for a raise?
Forget the “what ifs.” Let’s make this into an “if/then” scenario.
If you bring in real numbers that prove the value you bring to your company into your next review, THEN you’ll get that raise or promotion you’ve been hoping for. Numbers don’t lie. The only trick is in tracking them.
How to Get Numbers that Prove You’re Worth Every Penny of that Promotion
Measuring ROI isn’t a new concept for customer success – metrics are an integral part of the job description. Since customer success is a relatively new field, success managers are typically eager to demonstrate the value of their department to the company, which means the metrics you need most (for when you’re sitting across the table from your boss) are ones you’re probably already tracking.
So let’s talk about the best metrics to tap into.
These metrics are the common ways to measure the core work of customer success as a whole, and your worth in particular.
Your first step is simple, but it might take you a while to come up with the list. You need to quantify all of the things you do. All of the activities, the health checks, the number of companies onboarded. It’s important to know how much you actually do, even though activities can be difficult to measure in terms of impact.
Now let’s look at the classic measure of the efficacy of customer success:
Whether you’re using Google sheets or Excel, spreadsheets are an incredible tool – versatile, robust and necessary for every business and every analyst. But today’s business landscape has shifted dramatically from when Excel was first designed. Even though there are added features, computations and capabilities that help close the gap, the tool still falls short of the needs of most business users.
Plus, it’s boring.
It’s Not Easy to Love a Spreadsheet
You know why spreadsheets don’t exactly excel in the user-friendly department as well as we do. But this has to be the worst: The Terror of the Blank Page (not just for writers anymore!).
With no template, no starting model, not even a hint of what you should (or could) do, the basic blank grid of a spreadsheet is intimidating. And even when you make it over that hurdle, you’re faced with an insurmountable obstacle: it’s nearly impossible to make an Excel spreadsheet look good. Sure, there are table, chart and dashboard functions, if you’ve been trained how to use them, but even then every spreadsheet looks the same.
It doesn’t reflect the nuances of your business.
But it’s not just the looks of the thing that make the program dated.
Functionalities we’ve come to expect in other programs, like collaboration and commenting features, just aren’t there.
You have to explain every little thing. Intuitive it is not.
And, we’ve all been at that meeting where the presenter is referencing numbers from one Excel doc (or a previous version of an Excel doc), while everyone else is looking at numbers from a completely different document. Confusing much?
Hey, Excel isn’t the enemy. And neither is Google sheets. But they’re not exactly our friends either. Collecting, storing and displaying data are vital functions…but there has to be a better way.
I could watch Patrick Stewart facepalm all day. Through the wonder of GIFs, I’ve actually done just that, going into giggle-fits on every rotation.
Looped hilarity aside, GIFs are quickly spreading beyond Reddit and Tumblr and into mainstream marketing, and for good reason. They’re highly effective at achieving the KPIs every marketer wants: Better open rates, more views, and higher conversions. Also, people love ’em.
Email marketers can especially benefit from adding GIFs to their campaigns. In this post, we’ll cover exactly what you need to know about using GIFs to make your email marketing more convincing — and more fun — than ever before.
Nichole is the most passionate, hardest working, fastest learning, fiercely loyal person I’ve ever met. Period. If you get the chance to work with her, not only will she deliver amazing results in whatever she’s doing for you, you’ll never be the same (in a great way!). When Nichole speaks (or writes, or shares curated content, etc.) you’ll listen if you know what’s good for you.