Do You Have Lost Luggage? Metrics that Matter.

Almost every firm that I walk into has a balanced scorecard where they are measuring hundreds of micro metrics. Many of them also have a macro metric that sits above all that they do – think NPS, Customer Satisfaction. The problem with both of these scenarios is that most of the time, neither of them actually afford the organization a view into what really is happening with their customer base.

Now – before you all you NPS lovers go nuts on me. Hear me out. NPS has its place. Customer Satisfaction has its place. Neither of them give you a targeted goal that is clear for all of your employees to help with, or to be a part of.


I am a firm believer that Customer Experience practices are a meld of cultural change and of business transformation – and key to that Cultural Change piece is the requirement that you help every employee be a part of the change.

I started using the term “Lost Luggage Statement” to describe the metric that matters after I heard a speaker talk about work that his airline had done in the 1990s. They had identified that even though they had a great safety record, outstanding staff and were known for on time arrivals, what was missing was that they lost luggage.

They learned that even though all these things were important – losing luggage was even more so. They created a metric that mattered around lost luggage. They made that metric a goal on every single employee’s annual performance plan. They compensated every single employee on that metric.


Guess what happened?


They stopped losing luggage.


I’ve learned that if you can figure out what the metric is that matters to your customers, loyalty, likelihood to recommend and satisfaction will follow.  I use a mix of voice of customer data, trends and frankly, a little “spidey sense” (aka, intuition) to identify that metric for each company that I work with.

Once we’ve identified the metric, then we create a “lost luggage statement”. It is the statement that every employee knows and understands. It is a statement that we can tie a very limited number of questions to and it becomes the most important metric in the house.


Companies that can crack the code of what their lost luggage statement should be are the ones who have the most success – and, the most loyal customers.


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