June 25, 2009

Metrics Can Kill Your Business

Promises Promises

You want to take your significant other out for a nice dinner. Maybe you’ll check out that new steak joint? They had those cool commercials on the radio. There was also that direct mail piece and a billboard downtown touting the best Kobe beef this side of Tokyo. Decision made. Reservation for 7:30.

Fine Print Irrelevant

What they didn’t tell you in the advertising was that there is a mandatory $10 parking fee. A bit annoying and scam-like. Still not fazed, you head inside. You are met at the threshold with a line-up. Not a bad thing, it means this new place is doing well and you’re not worried, you have a reservation.

Service On Hold

At 7:45, you inquire with the snappy dressed guy at the front if your table is ready. He doesn’t take his eyes of the calculus that is the restaurant floor plan and barks that the kitchen is busy, they are new and all reservations are 30 minutes behind.

They Won't Make A Fuss

It’s a nice night out, why spoil it with complaints so you go back to the bench and wait quietly. Several minutes later a woman approaches you with two white cards. On one side is the restaurant’s logo and on the other is a questionnaire.

Survey Says

They want to know your demographic, how you found out about the place, how many times you go out for a meal each month, how much alcohol you consume in a year and for your trouble your name is put in a draw for one free dessert on your next trip - if you go to their website and register.

It’s 8:05 and burgers sound good about now. Almost an hour of your life not to return and it was all about them.

Potential Is A Dangerous Word

Before getting caught up in metrics and cost per point, number of impressions and average quarter hours, surveys and coupons, be careful people don't walk out before you get a chance to help them as customers.

knealemann at gmail dot com

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