A control panel or customer dashboard is an essential business intelligence tool for the success in achieving the objectives of any current commercial or marketing strategy.

We live in the era of the digital revolution, in which everything happens and changes very quickly and in which commercial and marketing actions are very dynamic. Businesses run their campaigns in near real time and timely information is needed to assess performance and act on it very quickly as well. Digital signage in retail – Learn More About This

However, many companies still use methodologies that do not facilitate agile decision making, either because the information obtained from customers is static (it is not updated) or because the vision is not focused on the customer.

A customer scorecard can be the solution, although once the decision to implement it has been made, this cannot be done in any way. It is necessary to create specific indicators to analyze the behavior of customers (who they are, how they are and what are their buying habits or the process they follow until it is specified). And it is necessary to align that data with the needs of the business. 12 principles of agile methodology in project development

In other words: when preparing a scorecard, we have to define the KPIs or key performance indicators that will give us the tool to know how to create or launch a campaign, or even optimize it when it is already underway to ensure some good results.

As those in charge of defining the marketing and commercial strategy for our company, only by acting in this way will we be able to answer business questions with well-founded data, leaving aside assumptions or trends. When asked why have my sales dropped? ” a scorecard may be able to generate a response of the type: “The segment of adult foodies is not using the web channel with the same frequency as expected  . ”  

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Here are some keys to facilitate and optimize the implementation of a customer scorecard .

Customer dashboard: main features

To begin with, we must make it very clear what we are referring to when we talk about a customer scorecard: it is a very clear, and mainly graphic, representation of interconnected information that can come from different sources and that allows us to know a look at how customers are and behave . Specifically, the representation of a set of specific KPIs or performance indicators, along with their related metrics. Keep in mind that a KPI must always be associated with a context that gives it meaning and calls for action. Data architecture: the basis of a differentiating strategy

On the other hand, the purpose of a customer scorecard must also be taken into account when it is designed, which is none other than presenting relevant information about our customers to a specific audience. So, a different table will have to be prepared depending on whether the person for whom it is intended is, for example, the commercial director or the marketing director.

For this reason, the same scorecard usually has different levels of users: executives, managers, members of the management committee, etc. All of them will have access to the customer dashboard, but they will see different graphs with a higher or lower level of integration depending on who they are. The future of data processing: blockchain and big data

They may also see different KPIs, which depending on the level of management will be more or less relevant. For example, if the one who is viewing the customer dashboard at a given moment is a manager, it will be interesting to know the bounce rate of a specific email. But if those who are consulting you are members of the management committee, they are more likely to want to know, for example, the total ROI of the communication activity.

Defining the KPIs of a customer scorecard

To design an effective customer scorecard, you have to start by correctly defining the KPIs, which should be fed from quality sources and in real time if possible. In addition, they must be dynamic and allow the analysis of past, current and future activity. This means that they have to be willing to incorporate not only descriptive elements of the activity, but also predictive and prescriptive elements . The latter is achieved especially by feeding the dashboard with the output of machine learning models. Ultimately, a customer scorecard must only present relevant and practical information for the target audience. 5 ‘big data’ solutions at the service of your business

In this case, the KPIs must have a customer focus, that is, they must answer questions focused on them. Thus, for example, they must show that customers of a certain age segment do not perceive a product as adapted to their needs. In any case, to define them, these basic principles must be taken into account :

  1. Define and understand the measurement objectives very well.
  2. Identify the indicators that allow us to measure the evolution and management of the activity (eg number of campaigns in progress with respect to the calendar) as well as if we achieve the expected results (eg ROI achieved, number of promotions redeemed in campaigns A and B, etc). Then select the most relevant KPIs and assign them to a manager who can carry out actions based on the behavior of the indicator.
  3. Align the KPIs with the company’s strategy and with the objectives of the teams that manage it. Establish the periodicity with which each measurement will be carried out. Depending on the nature of the dashboard , it can even be in real time.
  4. Involve management in the development of the scorecard, with the aim of guaranteeing the strategic vision and the commitment that they will use it.

Customer dashboard layout – clarity and readability

The design of the framework in which the dashboard data will be displayed should focus on keeping it simple, clear, legible and compact . In addition, it must lead to the performance of some action.

It must also be taken into account that, since many users will access the information that you present through the web and mobile devices , it must be designed taking into account the specific characteristics for these devices and with exhaustive user control. For this reason, it is advisable to develop versions of the control panel with a design adapted to tablets and smartphones , and that are light.

On the other hand, to guarantee the clarity and readability of the dashboard, it is advisable that the CRAP ( contrast , repetition , alignment & proximity ) principles are taken into account in its design .

The first of these principles states that you must use the contrast of colors and fonts so that the most important information is underlined. Repetition seeks to repeat the same colors, fonts, or graphic elements when similar concepts are indicated. Finally, the principles of alignment and proximity point to the use of colored grids and backgrounds to be able to align and group related data.

Apart from the design of the scorecard itself, a functional prototype must also be developed so that different users can access it and make suggestions for its improvement. At present, dashboards are developed with agile methodologies . In this way it is possible to advance prototypes that work, and that even in their first versions are already critical for the business, before their final design. Suggestions and new elements can also be progressively incorporated into the dashboard without having to wait to be able to use the final version.

The control panel must allow users to interact with its components, for which it must have filters and various drill-down elements . Thus, for example, the graphs should allow access to a report in which the information that feeds them is reflected.

It is important at this point to emphasize that, when necessary, the information that appears on the dashboard must be updated in real time. For example, when you want to monitor a marketing campaign in which you want to make changes based on a specific indicator. It must also have alarms to trigger actions. On the other hand, the existence of action protocols in each case will further improve the functionality of the customer control panel.

Business Intelligence technology tools for customer dashboard

For the development of customer dashboards, specific tools can be used, or the company may have the ability to build its own ad hoc, based on its own knowledge and needs.

As we said, there are specific software for business intelligence and data visualization such as Qlikview, Tableau or SAP BusinessObjects, among others, that allow the creation or implementation of analysis tools in a simple way, which will help to visualize and, above all, to understand and manage data from a proper way . Everything, with the aim of making informed decisions regarding the business.

When choosing them, it will be necessary to take into account their ability to integrate with their own sources of information, as well as what needs they will cover.

On the other hand, the main CRM and marketing automation tools on the market offer functions for the creation of dashboards with a high degree of automation. For example, the Salesforce dashboard development utility . However, in many cases the CRM and ERP tools of large companies offer reports rather than dashboards. Therefore, it is possible that in order to design a customer scorecard as such, it is necessary to have specialized tools such as the ones we defined above

You can also turn to third parties to develop the scorecard, since specialized providers offer both the necessary experience and technology, and know the best practices in different sectors and company sizes. The options for creating a customer dashboard are multiple and the goal is always the same: to design a useful, simple and clear dashboard .

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