Performance Management

Tuesday 9th January 2024

Performance Management

Performance Management

This is the final in our series of Signal deeper dives into the four capability pillars that FS leaders need to focus on to enable success in communications transformations. Here we focus on the fourth of those pillars – building a performance reporting foundation for customer communications.

Customer Communications and the measurement gap 

To meet customer need in communications, and empower teams to own communications outcomes, brands require an effective measurement and reporting foundation. Yet for many regulated firms the measurement of operational customer communications has been patchy at best – with firms scrambling to align communications risk policy with the Consumer Duty regulation. 

Setting up an effective performance foundation

To deliver Consumer Duty best practice across the complete customer communications lifecycle, communications teams need to constantly assess what’s working, gather regular insight, respond quickly to change using real-time measurement, and have the data to make effective planning decisions. There are four key steps to deliver on this:

  1. Understand Key Objectives and Business Priorities: A structured objective mapping process is an important starting point for firms uplifting their communications capabilities: a process that captures core objectives, critical success factors, dependencies and critical data points for activity tracking. Utilise the customer harms insights gathered when preparing for Consumer Duty - ensuring objectives align with risk policy and exceed the requirements of Consumer Duty. Core objective should be to ensure communications journeys are well understood and lead to the right customer outcomes – with comms owners in Product understanding customer behaviour and potential behaviour well enough to judge which communications are most critical to preventing harm. With visibility and controls across all customer touchpoints. 
  2. Define which measures to track against Objectives: Define and map access to the metrics/data that evidence that the best customer outcome has been achieved. Ensuring target audience testing is robust and comprehension based – so that insights show you actual understanding (not just perceived). Ensure data points are available to provide ongoing visibility and monitoring of comms/journeys - enabling teams to be proactive and not reactive to detrimental changes in customer outcomes. Define the best customer outcome for each priority communications journey and the core measures needed to inform this – this is the ‘hero’ KPI and will be product dependent (e.g. persistent debt metrics, product maturity indicators, etc). Then define the supporting positive customer indicators such as complaints and customers actions at specific touchpoints. 
  3. Reporting Data Preparation, Architecture, Tech, Design & Development of Wireframes: A reporting database requires production data feeds from CCM/Email/SMS systems, as well as reporting data feeds from other systems to support journey and touchpoint KPIs including comprehension testing scores & heatmaps. Use AI tools for checking alongside traditional testing for comprehension. Integrate the reporting database with front end tools. These should include an integrated journey management platform (e.g. Quadient CJM) and a platform for core communications reporting/ dashboards (e.g. PowerBI, Tableau).
  4. Establish governance & controls to ensure the right information is delivered to the right recipients whilst ensuring adherence to best practice data handling. This needs to cover data use, people, QA and escalation. List who (internally and externally) is involved in data report build, development and consumption – as well as the meetings and commentary that needs to accompany reports. List QC checks and balances to ensure reports and dashboards are right first time. Finally, document escalation processes for managing result anomalies, misreporting or adverse results.

Empowering your Communications experts to stay ahead of Consumer Duty 

Ultimately a well architected and managed reporting foundation is crucial in enabling communications experts to take ownership of meeting member needs in communications journeys and the touchpoints within them – and truly grasp the nettle as CX professionals. And in doing so evidence proactive and sustainable best practice to the business and the regulator.