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A Video Conversation with Sean McDade, CEO of PeopleMetrics- Part 2 – On Collecting Data

Click here for Part 1 Transforming the customer experience through software, services and insights

Sean McDade is the founder and CEO of PeopleMetrics. With headquarters in Philadelphia, PeopleMetrics turns customer feedback into actionable insights that enables companies to improve the customer experience.  PeopleMetrics customer experience management software is used by thousands every day to increase customer retention, multiply sales, and deepen satisfaction. The company encourages its team members to embody the values of entrepreneurialism and collaboration, engendering a workplace culture unlike most typical businesses in the industry. A recognized authority on startups and customer experience management, Sean has published eight articles in academic journals and has spent time in front of classrooms as a marketing professor. In 2006, he received a Philadelphia Business Journal 40 Under 40 award. Sean and PeopleMetrics were also the subject of an Inc. Magazine feature about the company’s unique comeback strategy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj14jTkD36E

PeopleMetrics’ brand promise is to deliver “actionable insights.” What are the actionable insights based on? SEAN MCDADE: There’s a lot of data being collected around customers’ experiences. You’ve probably gotten a survey yourself, every once in awhile, perhaps after checking out of a hotel, or from a restaurant, et cetera. Companies are inundated with data, but they’re starving for insights based on that data. What we mean by “actionable insights” is an insight that’s so actionable that any frontline person can act on it and improve the customer experience right now. One of the things we do every day at PeopleMetrics is send out alerts to our customers based on an experience that their customers had. It could be that you checked into a hotel, and you had a very poor experience. Let’s say you waited a long time in the check-in line after a long flight, and there was only one person at the front desk, and there are ten people in line, and you’re very frustrated by that. You get to your room and it isn’t made up, and it’s dirty; and the restaurant didn’t have great food, and the workout room wasn’t open during convenient hours. And you tell us this on this very short survey that we had sent to you as soon as you checked out, and then what happens is that survey itself is sent to the general manager of that hotel and a case gets issued for you. We, in that alert, tell them basically what type of priority it is to follow up with you. Are you a high value customer that comes a lot? They ought to give you a phone call and something good to keep your business. Is it somebody that’s only come for the first time? Maybe it’s a letter saying, “Hey, we’re sorry about your first experience here. We would really like to make it up to you, and here’s a discount on your next visit.” There are all these different actions that we recommend based on the feedback that customers provide based on their experience. When somebody has a poor experience, we’re providing that information to our client, and we’re allowing them to react to that to reduce that customer leaving the company long term. Your clients include Christie’s, McDonalds, and Lincoln Financial. Do you have any case studies that you can share with us? We work best with companies whose lifetime value of the customer is high. So we work with a lot of telecommunications companies, financial services companies, and more higher-end services companies—so. higher-end hotels, higher-end restaurants. At first, when they lose a person—when a customer has a poor experience and that person says, “I’ve had it with you”— it’s not just losing that sale that day, or maybe the next one, it’s the lifetime value of the customer. One of the things we’ve helped companies with is identifying different levels of service recovery based on the value of the customer. So, the ones that are truly valuable are the ones that need to be followed up on right away. What we like to say is we’re going to prevent people from going onto Twitter and creating a YouTube channel based on their dissatisfaction with the experience, because we are enabling our client to do something about it before that occurs. PeopleMetrics recently conducted a study about B2B buyers. Can you share the lessons you learned? These days, in a B2B situation, meaning salespeople selling to other businesses, what’s happened is the sales cycle for that salesperson is dramatically different than it used to be. The buyer now does all the research ahead of time, so 60% of what the salesperson used to provide in terms of value, the buyer’s doing themselves in terms of going on the internet, figuring out what things cost—What are the benefits? What are competitive prices? How is the company positioned? Et cetera. When they finally reach out to a salesperson, it’s like a moment of truth for that salesperson, sitting in front of that prospect where they have to add value recall. What does that mean? It means they have to be able to answer questions and exhibit knowledge that that buyer just can’t find on the internet. They have to be able to know that buyer’s business, know what their company can offer, and put those two things together—or at least get the resources in the room that can answer those questions. So, what we thought is “You know what? Why don’t we apply what we’re doing in the customer experience world to the sales world and the prospect experience?” So, what we did is we developed a product, which we’re calling LeadMetrics, that measures the sales experience for the buyer. It’s actually measuring the value that salespeople provide to prospects in the buying cycle. ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With 120 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eight offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Northern Virginia markets, as well as the Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City metropolitan areas. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

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