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Why KPQs Are the New KPIs

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Business leaders have largely focused on key performance indicators (KPIs) over the last several years when making decisions to shape their companies.

KPIs are certainly not going away or losing importance, but there is an increasing trend toward key performance questions (KPQs). Whereas KPIs are metrics related to specific business outcomes, KPQs pose broader questions that help executives gather information to make more informed choices.

As you’ll soon see, the best approach is to realize the value of both KPI metrics and KPQs. Here are some reasons why decision-makers are paying more attention to KPQs while not casting aside their KPIs.

KPQs Help You Create Highly Focused KPIs

A key performance question can often aid companies in figuring out which aspects to examine as they identify the needs that directly connect to business outcomes. For example, you might create a KPQ that asks, “How well do our current call center practices satisfy customers?”

The associated KPI metrics may be “average customer satisfaction score,” “number of customer calls escalated to management due to unresolved concerns” or “percentage of customers who said they would recommend the telephone support to friends.”

Besides steering you in the right direction with KPIs, thoughtfully posed KPQs can help you identify where or how the company falls short with achieving its underlying goals. Even if your KPQs and KPIs only relate to call center satisfaction, how people feel about your company could carry over into other parts and affect your profits.

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KPQs Ensure You Use Data in Actionable Ways

Many discussions in the business world center on how companies can use all or most of the data they collect. That’s because even as many executives give the go-ahead for their companies to invest in information-gathering, they aren’t prepared to take action by utilizing the compiled data.

However, KPQs can determine what the company should do with the data it has. Let’s go back to the KPQ of “How well do our current call center practices satisfy customers?” It encourages the business to dig into its data and pull out the insights that directly relate to customer satisfaction in the call center.

KPQs Determine Whether Your Actions Match Strategic Objectives

Some business leaders want to take any actions they believe will result in positive outcomes. However, that’s a highly disorganized approach that often leads to too many resources spent in the wrong places.

However, Durham Constabulary, a police force in the United Kingdom, uses KPQs to ensure all efforts connect to strategic objectives. One such aim is to tackle criminality, which may seem like an overly broad focus. The organization stays adequately specific, though, with the help of KPQs and KPI metrics.

For example, one of the KPQs is, “How well do we prevent people from becoming criminals?” Then, relevant KPIs to track relate to reoffender rates and the percentage of offenders in the overall population. Try taking the same approach to ensure maximum impact.

KPQs Improve the Structure of a Campaign Performance Report

Your employees, stakeholders and other relevant parties understandably want to know how a campaign turned out and whether it accomplished the anticipated results. Another benefit of KPQs is that they can help you adhere to an effective structure for those formal reports.

Consider KPQs as the agreed-upon goals set forth by the stakeholders involved with the campaign. Relate each KPQ to an activity associated with it. This information is the first segment of your campaign performance report, and it gives a broad view of the desired achievements from the efforts.

You should also incorporate KPIs and put those underneath the associated KPQs. Choose KPIs that are as specific as possible, making it easier to link them to the matters posed in the KPQs.

The last component of your campaign performance document includes success benchmarks. Describe the data-backed results of your campaign. Think about adding graphs to help people reading the report see and appreciate the changes over time.

Taking that three-pronged approach to building a campaign performance report can help you feel more empowered and less overwhelmed as you strive to communicate clearly with your audience.

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Let KPQs Complement — Not Replace — KPI Metrics

This overview should clarify why more business leaders are becoming interested in key performance questions. You should strongly consider creating some, too.

While doing so, maintain your recognition that KPQs can support and inform your KPIs. Take the preferred approach of using both KPQs and KPIs to make smarter decisions and prioritize your efforts.

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