Tough Environment, Changing Challenges
Our business has been getting tougher for many years and it will soon face unique and unprecedented challenges. The rewards always go to those who know what is working and what is not in tough business environments.
In a challenging business environment, an understanding of what is working and what isn’t, is key to success. More than that, a deeper understanding of what a successful customer journey looks like is imperative to innovate around it.
Why Traditional Audiology KPIs Could Be Misleading
The measurement of the business and the people employed within the business has been based on traditional KPIs for many years. KPIs like conversion rate, pre-fit cancellation rate, post-fit cancellation rate and ASP (average sales price) are familiar to everyone.
They are the stable KPIs that inform management teams of all organisations no matter how small or large about the performance of the business and the people who work there.
Those KPIs are not the whole story, they never have been. The real problem arises when those KPIs actually mislead us. Let me explain what I mean.
I was discussing a theoroetical outline of two dispensers within a fictional audiology organisation with some people recently and it was fascinating to see them give me the stock answers I expected. The story goes
Dispenser A has an initial conversion rate of 70%, however, he has a post-fit cancellation rate of 20%. When I asked people about Dispenser A, they all replied that he was pushing too hard and needed training resources centred on his consultation process and possibly his technical skills.
Dispenser B has an initial conversion rate of 50% and his cancellation rate is 0. When I asked people about Dispenser B, they all replied that Dispenser B was obviously excellent technically but he needed training resources centred on his consultation process for conversion.
These are both acceptable answers and no matter who I spoke to, the initial answers were the same across exceptionally experienced industry professionals. The problem I see is that we are basing those answers on typical KPIs that organisations accept as the gold standard.
Those KPIs don’t really give us complete visibility of what is going on, I don’t believe they supply us with the answers that we need. Let me add another layer of information to make it clear.
Processes and Effect
I then told all of the same people that, Dispenser A routinely as a matter of course undertook speech testing and QuickSIN during his consultation, however, when he fit hearing aids he undertook no verification or validation.
Dispenser B never undertook QuickSIN during his consultation, however, on every fit he took time in Validation and Verification utilising speech mapping to visually assist the consumer in their understanding of what the hearing aids were doing for them.
Broader Information Leads to Different Outcomes
When another layer of data is added, we come to very different conclusions. The answers from everybody after this added data were probably the same as you are thinking to yourself right now.
Dispenser A needs training on verification and validation and needs to be encouraged to do it as a matter of course. Dispenser B requires training on QuickSIN and also needs to be encouraged to do it as a matter of course.
However, we would never come to those conclusions unless we had a more comprehensive view of processes undertaken.
Incomplete Data Has Financial Implications
Right now around the world management teams are making decisions based on incomplete data that cost businesses money. Organisations are applying training budgets based on incomplete data. Not just that, they are also missing vital understanding that can have a dramatic effect on the bottom line.
The clearer understanding of what effect processes are actually having on the customer journey could ensure that Dispenser A continues to enjoy a 70% conversion rate while reducing his cancellation rate to 0.
It would also allow Dispenser B to increase his conversion rate to 70% while continuing to enjoy his 0% cancellation rate. I know that nothing is that simple and this is a hypothetical happenstance, however, I believe wholeheartedly that large organisations are getting it wrong every day.
That is why the conceptual thinking around Primus Business Analytics from Audidata excites me. For the first time we have a better visualisation of processes, and when integrated with other more traditional KPIs we have a deeper understanding of the effects that those processes can have on business.
Would You Make a Business Decision Without Key Information?
Don’t bother answering that question, because the simple truth is that every audiology organisation from small multi-practice businesses to global enterprise level businesses have been for years. Now you don’t have to. In a challenging business environment, data is key, the really important element is getting a visualisation of the right data.