This post is the first post in a series of posts called ‘Designing and Building Great Customer Account page’.The idea of these posts is to introduce some high-level best practices when designing, building and implementing Customer dashboards for your business. Much of what is discussed here is common sense and has been covered by other authors and commentators, however, I thought it would be useful to distill all the good information out there into an easy to follow series of articles that step through the most important elements of successful Customer dashboard design.
And that’s because the distinction between eCommerce sales and customer satisfaction isn’t as joined at the hip as salespeople fondly imagine. Simply put, when it comes to customer service and customer satisfaction, the business might be leaving a lot on the table. Which is where a customer dashboard comes in.
So you might ask: Why might I need a customer dashboard as well?
The reason: your existing sales-oriented dashboard might be doing a great job of telling you how the business’s sales are progressing. But it’s probably doing an abysmal job of presenting you with a picture of how things look things from the customer’s point of view.
From a customer’s point of view, how does it feel to be buying from your business? Do you keep your promises? In short, are you a reliable trading partner, trusted to get on with the job of delivering on-time, in full, as promised?
A customer dashboard can provide answers to such questions, by highlighting your business’s performance on a number of key customer-facing metrics.
The list of suggested metrics below isn’t exhaustive, but should serve as a useful starting point:
- How many orders are overdue?
- How late are the ten oldest overdue orders?
- How long are delivery lead times?
- Which items are on the longest lead times?
- What is the current defect / quality failure rate?
- How is this trending?
- What number of invoices are disputed?
- What are the top five reasons for these disputes?
- How customer do reorder existing orders?
It’s not rocket science, to be sure, but it’s certainly a view of your business that you might not already have.
A well-designed dashboard will ensure that data is displayed in logical groups. For example, if a dashboard includes customer orders & store credit section ensure that each order displayed next to each other, with the store credit data displayed together in a separate logical group.
Grouping is often by department or functional area
- My orders
- Store credit management
Different Dashboard can have a number of different audiences. Ensure that the data you display is relevant to the users. Think about the scope and reach of your data:
Dashboards are often cluttered. Cluttered displays deflect the focus from the important messages. Some are cluttered with useful and relevant information and some are cluttered with useless and irrelevant information. Neither of these situations is desirable.
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