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Perspectives

How I found my perfect fit at Quantum Metric.

January 25, 2022 By: David McBride

Sometime in the 1970’s, my parents took me to see Disney’s Fantasia. One segment, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, gave me nightmares. 

Mickey Mouse, a sorcerer in training, is instructed to clean while his master is away. Mickey seeks to automate the task of fetching water by casting a spell on a broom to do the work for him. 

Antics ensue as Mickey’s lack of magical expertise results in an imperfectly cast spell and too much water. The sorcerer returns to find his workshop flooded. He cleans everything up with the wave of his magical hand. The sorcerer’s angry eyes were enough to scare any young child. But I was more frightened by the fact that Mickey was unable to fix the problem he created.

You might be wondering what this anecdote has to do with my joining Quantum Metric. 

Let me explain.

The flood of customer data. 

Several years ago, I worked at a company that decided to commence a Voice of Customer (VoC) program. The aim was to better understand customer attitudes and behaviors–a laudable objective. 

After implementing the VoC technology, we sat back and watched the customer feedback start to pour in. The CEO was ecstatic. It was direct feedback, after all.

But the trickle of feedback soon became a flood, like the one Mickey accidentally created.

This flood of customer information changed my daily routine. I would wake up, grab my phone, and scroll through an email with a long list of customer feedback, mostly angry. 

Before getting out of bed, I knew there would be fire drills to run. What I didn’t know was which message would have the most executive emphasis that day. Or how I would get my other work done. 

There was good news–I wasn’t alone. The new stream of information helped establish a culture of teams across the enterprise coming together to make decisions based on customer data.

But there was bad news, too. We lacked a method for bringing order and priority to the influx of potential opportunities represented by this customer data. 

At the time Quantum Metric did not exist. Sure, we had other technologies to measure our digital properties, but they did not help us assess the impact of the feedback we received in real time. 

We were able to empathize with individual customers, but we had no way to prioritize issues. The flood of information left us helpless. We lacked the insight (or magic powers) to clean it up. 

Coming together to grow in retail.

Fast forward a few years, and I can say I have found the magic. 

I recently joined Quantum Metric as VP of Retail Strategy. Early in the interview process, I was taken by how easily the platform quantified the impact of customer struggles. I knew from past experience that using technology to quantify business opportunities was possible, but I had not seen the action-imperative compiled so eloquently. 

Then I learned about Continuous Product Design, or CPD. The methodology shows how teams across the enterprise can leverage technology to come together and make decisions. CPD presents brands with an opportunity to shift their culture from disorganized or even hostile, to one of collaboration around a shared dataset and shared ambition. 

CPD is a powerful framework that helps teams develop quantified empathy. The methodology is made even more powerful when applied to industry-specific objectives. For retail, this typically involves marketing channel ROI, improving conversion rate, and growing revenue and margin, all relative to the same period last year. 

Retail decision makers need accurate results about the past week’s campaigns first thing Monday morning in order to make decisions for the coming weekend’s promotions. 

How have recent campaigns performed relative to the same week last year? Which acquisition channels are over or underperforming? How were our Units per Transaction trending? What was our conversion rate? Or our Average Dollar Sale? If there was a technical issue with a site, app or promo code, how do we fix it?

The answers to these questions (and others), and the “why” behind the answers, are critical to decisions about the coming week. But first everyone onboard needs to align around reliable data.   

Breaking down silos. 

Legendary management consultant Peter Drucker has stated, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Winning the hearts of customers means using technology that fosters a culture of collaboration and rapid action.  

Having worked in retail as a practitioner, product manager, and consultant, I have seen how silos slow down progress. 

Conversely, gathering around a real or virtual whiteboard to solve problems together can be truly magical. Admitting that we have a lot to learn from our co-workers can be a super-power. Using data data and analytics to solve customers problems at scale ensures that our actions have a positive business impact. 

The Quantum Metric platform isn’t magic, but it sure can help retailers use customer data to address, quantify and prioritize solutions for their customers with speed and confidence. 

How can we help you improve your customer experiences? 

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