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Business Outcomes for Customers

Regular readers of my blog will no doubt pick up that one of the threads I weave in is that an organization needs to concentrate on business outcomes and business processes to support those business outcomes. Examples can be found here and here.


How an organization defines business outcomes can tell us a great deal about the organization perceives its customers. Interestingly, when organizations deploy technology to support business outcomes, the measures are more often than not focused on internal measures: reduced costs, more revenue, reduced time to resolve issues, lower turnover, etc. Very rarely, are business outcomes defined in terms of how their customers would define business outcomes.

And when I speak of customers, I do not mean just those that are external to the organization. A customer could be in another area of the organization. For example, how many organizations would define their finance, accounting and human resource areas as primarily customer focused?

If your customers are external to your organization how well do you understand what they expect from your organization? Is your understanding (or not) of your customers’ satisfaction tied to a 10-point Likert scale? Or revenue? Or some equally easy to measure that does not tell you a great deal (even if it makes you feel good)?

Can you answer the question: What do your customers like and dislike about interacting with your organization? And what are you doing and going to do about it?

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