Is Customer Satisfaction a Valuable Lag Innovation Metric?

The ability to stay ahead of the curve and develop new products, services, and processes can make or break you.

But where should you start when it comes to measuring innovation? According to a 2008 McKinsey Quarterly survey, 13% of organisations use customer satisfaction with new products as a lag innovation metric.

But is this really the best way to measure innovation success? Let’s take a closer look.

The Five Levels of Innovation Maturity

When it comes to measuring the success of innovation initiatives, there are five levels of maturity that need to be taken into consideration.

First, there’s the Reactive Level – an organisation with no clear strategy or process for innovation.

The next level is the Active Level – an organisation has some plan or process in place, but it isn’t necessarily well-defined or consistent.

Then there’s the Defined Level – an organisation has established structure and process for innovating but still lacks clear metrics for measuring success.

The fourth level is the Performing Level – an organisation has put together a more comprehensive approach to managing and measuring innovation efforts, including specific metrics for gauging success.

Finally, there’s the Pervasive Level – the highest level of maturity and involves having a consistent, measurable system in place across all areas of the organisation, from R&D to customer service.

Customer Satisfaction as an Innovation Metric

So what does this have to do with customer satisfaction being used as a lag innovation metric?

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Well, depending on what level an organisation is at in terms of its innovation maturity will determine whether or not customer satisfaction should be used as a metric.

For example, if an organisation hasn’t even reached the Active Level yet, then it would be premature and potentially damaging to start tracking customer satisfaction at this stage because they don’t have any real structure or processes in place yet, so they wouldn’t know how to interpret any data they get from customers anyway!

On the other hand, if an organisation has reached the Performing Level, then they may find value in tracking customer satisfaction as one way to gauge how successful their innovations are with end users, but it shouldn’t be seen as the only metric by which their successes should be judged since there are many other factors at play here such as time-to-market, cost savings/efficiencies achieved, etc.

Ultimately, whether or not you choose to use customer satisfaction as part of your lag innovation metrics depends on where you are on your journey towards Pervasive Innovation Maturity!

At its core, using customer satisfaction with new products as a lag innovation metric can offer valuable insights into how customers perceive your products and services, but it shouldn’t be seen as the only measure for determining success.

As we’ve discussed above, each organisation’s journey towards Pervasive Innovation Maturity will vary depending on where they are currently at in terms of their own internal processes and structures so it’s important that companies understand these nuances before making decisions about whether or not they should use customer satisfaction as part of their measurement framework.

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Ultimately though, having access to detailed data about how customers feel about your products can help you refine your strategies moving forward, so why not give it a go?

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