I missed posting yesterday, so Happy Belated CX Day!
I joined J.D. Power a little over three years ago and finally feel like I get what we are trying to do...we are helping to celebrate excellence. We spend the entire year talking to customers, asking who is doing it best. We look at the best companies and identify what they are doing. We synthesize that information to create insights for clients who are looking to achieve excellence. Finally, we promote that excellence through the well-known trophies that our clients proudly share.
Some people categorize what we do as "benchmarking" and I used to do that as well. One issue that I’ve observed with the concept of benchmarking is that too often it becomes an excuse for managers to say "we are better than average" as if the mission is "We strive to be more than mediocre". We’ve all sat through internal meetings, especially during budget season, where we plan for next year’s resources and are asked “is that expenditure really necessary? We are currently spending 3% more than average for companies our size.” If you are like me, you are left feeling a bit empty – is that really what we are trying to achieve? To be 3% better than average? Isn’t it so much more engaging, and fun even, when you are working in an organization that says “we want to be the best” or “we want to be great”?
Internally, we’ve talked about a concept of ‘Gaps to Great’ and I find that approach to be so much more motivational. Instead of benchmarking to the average, we want to look at who is the best and identify the areas where there is room to achieve that level of performance. It’s an approach that fends off the tendency to stagnate, to say that what we are doing is good enough. While I find that it takes lots of corporate energy to get into a mode of continuous improvement – that energy is often felt by customers and also employees. The environment is different at companies who have a growth mindset. You can actually feel it.