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End-User Engagement Is the Best Proof of Progress
To assess whether an enterprise is making significant progress, leaders usually depend on critical performance metrics to reveal the truth.
Key Performance Indicators, OKRs, and related outcome measures confirm if the team is on track and making real strides toward the enterprise vision. But internal metrics don’t tell the whole story. Great leaders know there is one set of metrics that stands out when it comes to assessing organizational effectiveness.
The strongest proof of progress is always user experience.
If the user experience is not enhanced, elevated, or amplified by the improvements and changes directed at them, it really doesn’t matter what the internal metrics say. Strong indicators will fall out of the sky in a matter of time when users disengage or become dissatisfied. As the user experience changes, so goes the health of the enterprise.
Leaders and organizations who understand the power of the user experience go to great lengths to measure how users interface with the organization. They invent all sorts of indicators and metrics that capture how users interact with and experience the services, products, or processes critical to the enterprise.
User metrics offer a trend line that quickly allows leaders to diagnose a problem and make corrections or to recognize a user reverberation and to double down on a recent enhancement. As important as it is to achieve key financial objectives and increases in team productivity, it is how users respond to changes and enhancements that best predict future success.
Great leaders listen deeply to users. Through a variety of feedback processes, leaders can learn how users think about and engage the organization at every touchpoint. Direct feedback from users through surveys, interviews, focus groups, user support interaction, and interactive forums will give leaders a more textured understanding of how users are responding to the organization’s efforts.
Because leaders can’t manage what they can’t measure, quantifiable indicators of the user experience and outcomes are also essential. Seemingly, the list of end-user metrics is limited only by the imagination: retention rates, churn rates, user satisfaction, repeat sales, response time, frequency of contact, actions taken, bounce rates, conversion rates, time spent, return rates, reemergence rates, graduation rates, user awareness, customer lifetime value, cost per user acquisition, revenue per user, activation rates, session duration, task completion rate, error rates, referral rates, emotional connection rates, social shares, daily or monthly active users, net promoter scores, average session duration, enrollment rates, course completion rates, time on a page, average attendance rates, click-through-rates, average grade, among many others.
Why do great organizations track so many varied and unique user metrics? Because at the end of the day, it is users that determine how successful an enterprise is and will be. Take a hard look at the user metrics in place in your organization. What other user metrics would give you a more accurate picture of effectiveness? Get inventive.
The more you understand users and their experience, the more likely it is you have a finger on the pulse of continued success. It is worth remembering that progress never occurs exclusively inside the walls of an organization. Great leaders look outside, to users, to understand how effective the organization really is.