Cook’s 5 Ways to Innovate: 3. Customer Metrics

Cook's 5 Ways to Innovate
|| 2. Learn from Surprises || 3. Focus on Customer Metrics ||
|| 4. See Things Differently ||

Andy Taylor said that "the success of a business is when your customers are happy and tell their friends about it". Cook suggests that we ask our customers, "would you recommend this product to a friend?". Our goal should be to create lots of "promoter customers" who actively recommend our brand or product.

1. What & how to Measure. "Customer delight" is an old cliche. Peet's Coffee has found an innovative way to simultaneously generate, measure and broadcast customer delight with their Peet Polaroids – instant photos of happy customers with a little note from each of them – that are publicly displayed at each Peet's store along with a polaroid camera for adding your own feedback polaroid to the board.


While not every enterprise may find this feasible, what it accurately captures is the true level of customer satisfaction, evidenced by their behaviour, rather than just going by what they tell you. What percentage of "promoter customers" does a Peet's store create every day? A quick count of the polaroids compared to the total number of bills will reveal the figure. The challenge for firms is to measure the customer attutude and behaviour post-purchase.

2. How to set targets. Peter Drucker created the concept of Management by Objectives. He said that objectives should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Drucker famously said: "It's just another tool. It is not the great cure for management inefficiency… MBO works if you know the objectives, 90% of the time you don't."

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