The Customer Perspective

Recent management philosophy has show an increasing realisation of the importance of custoemr focus and customer satisfaction in any business. These are leading indicators: if customers are not satisfied, they will eventually find other suppliers that will meet their needs. Poor performance from this perspective is thus a leading indicator of future decline, even though the current financial picture may look good.

In developing metrics for satisfaction, customers should be analysed in terms of kinds of customers and the kinds of processes for which we are providing a product or service to those customer groups.


Lead indicators refer to behaviours that the organisation must consistently demonstrate in order to achieve the strategic objectives. Lead indicators are forward thinking and focused. Lag indicators, on the other hand, are often past performance focused, meaning that an analysis is performed against past performance and new decisions made to enhance current performance. Typically a balance of both lag and lead indicators works well for an organisatoin, where lead indicators are the key strategic measurement.

Coaching Exercises

Here are some questions to ask about your business. There are many more to be asked, so this is just a starting point.

  1. What are your high-level customer objectives?
  2. When do they have to be achieved by?
  3. Is there a particular order in which they need to be achieved?
  4. How are you evaluating these as important?
  5. How are you measuring these objectives? In other words, what data and reporting mechanisms do you have in place?
  6. What strategies do you have in place already, or which could be designed, to address each of the objectives? In some cases, there may be more than one strategy required to achieve the desired outocome?
  7. For each strategy, do you have any dates identified to achieve them?
  8. For each strategy, what are the measurement criteria and how specifically are you going to collect the data?
  9. Who is responsible for each strategy? What reporting do you need from them?
  10. For each objective, and for all stakeholders related to the achievement of that objective, what learning and devleopment objectives must also be met? These may also link to the internal business process objectives and the financial objectives.
  11. For each objective, what internal business process objectives must also be met? These may link to the financial objectives as well.
  12. If you have already been measuring certain customer objectives, and have been able to identify that one or more of them is underperforming, which related financial, customer, internal business process and/or learning and development objectives are also underperforming? This information may help you in identifying root cause of the problem, and from this awareness, you can explore new choices and actions to implement to correct the issue.
  13. If you’re unsure about the objectives, the data, causes of problems or opportunities to improve the situation, whom wihin or outside of your organisation could you be turning to for assistance? This is potentially part of your own learning and development.

As always, if you need any further personal support in response to any of these coaching exercies, please consider using the service.

All the best,


Noel Posus – Master Coach