Why the best time to start measuring is now

Organizations put off measuring experience for any number of reasons, stating for example that the time is not right, or their customers aren’t ready.

Organizations put off measuring experience for any number of reasons, stating for example that the time is not right, or their customers aren’t ready. HappySignals’ Pasi Nikkanen and Sami Kallio have a clear message to all companies hesitant to measure: turning a blind eye to how your employees and customers feel is a surest way to ensure you make poor decisions.

Watch the discussion, episode 3 of HappyToday Podcast with Sami Kallio and Pasi Nikkanen.

Nikkanen and Kallio concur that when it comes to measuring experience, there is one rule of thumb that applies to every company: starting as soon as possible is the best thing you can do.

“We all know that gut-feeling discussions are rarely fruitful. When you're measuring, you have hard facts to base decisions on,” Nikkanen says.

“If you want to make your end-users happier, you have to start by understanding where they are, and then take your actions one-by-one,” Kallio remarks and underlines that measuring boils down to enhancing transparency and building trust.

It reveals trends and discrepancies…

Kallio and Nikkanen affirm that measuring is always best when it is continuous, because that way you see both the big picture and nuances.

“You might be doing quite well, overall, but have certain problem areas. Continuous measuring shows you where you are doing a great job and where there is room for improvement,” Nikkanen says.

A real-life example from a HappySignals’ customer proves this point: continuous measuring revealed that at the turn of each month, employees used the ERP much more than usual. Simultaneously, feedback always took a severe turn for the worse. This enabled the company to proactively react to the situation.

Both men emphasise that one-off assessments of happiness or productivity can be affected by unexpected events.

“We had a customer who had a security breach that impaired their productivity results for a while, and another customer in the transport business which saw happiness results plummet for a few days due to snow storms. Continuous measuring is the only way to see patterns and ensure that you are going in the right direction,” Nikkanen reminds.

“Although if you absolutely must only have a one-time survey, and you’d like the most relevant results this kind of measuring can give, call us,” Kallio says with a laugh. “Based on benchmark data we can tell you what month and weekday to choose to get the most expressive score.”

…and helps you justify your case

Measuring experience not only provides direction, it also helps explain and rationalise actions to others. Justifying IT spending is an obvious example, but measuring can also ease communicating to employees and customers.

Kallio and Nikkanen share a telling tale about how measuring made communicating change much easier for one HappySignals’ customer:

From an IT perspective, the company’s portal was a much more efficient communication channel than email – but the company feared that closing the email service would displease customers.

Once the company started measuring, it saw that customers also liked the portal much more than the email. This made things easy. The company closed the email and stated it was doing so because customers were happier with the portal.

“Sure, the change benefitted IT as well, but the end-users were probably much keener to adopt to a change that was done for their benefit,” Kallio ponders.

And let’s face it: ignorance is not bliss

If Kallio and Nikkanen could drive one message through regarding measuring feelings, it is this: ignorance is most certainly not bliss and postponing measuring is never beneficial. Whatever you are working on, measuring will help you do it better.

“Measuring only shows what people are already experiencing. They feel it nevertheless, whether you measure it or not, so why not find out and make the most of the information?” Nikkanen encourages.

Kallio reminds that measuring is not about throwing out one number and calling it your result or your goal.

“The main point of measuring is understanding what you should be doing better. It also helps you stop simultaneously pushing things toward many different directions,” Kallio concludes.

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