In my first management position at work, I was tasked with improving systemic processes around Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable.
The first thing we had to do was build a dashboard of key performance indicators. I think we developed about 18 in total. We went back and got the figures for as far back as we had records so that we could quickly see exactly what was going on. The off I trotted to the region’s CFO.
He denied everything. Despite the body of evidence that clearly showed what was going on, he said that it simply wasn’t the case. When you have all the proof you need but get presented with someone who denies it with no evidence to the contrary and just ignores you, you begin to wonder what the point is (until you go to his boss).
And so it emerged this week that the National Trust will no longer ask visitors if their visit to one of the Trust’s sights was “very enjoyable” amid a declining number of people saying “yes”: only 56 per cent this year, compared with 67 per cent three years ago.
Apparently they’re going to be moving away from visitor enjoyment as the measure of customer experience. Instead it says it will focus on “service, and emotional and intellectual engagement” when asking visitors for their feedback (because most visitors seem to want more facilities such as car parks and toilets).
It kind of feels like burying their heads in the sand, but also sad that where the car is parked can have such an impact. I hope it’s not a reflection on the modern world.
Before I started work… In fact, about 6 years before I started work (like, proper work, not my “lawn mowing business”) one of the few things I can remember my English teacher telling me was about rating something by how well it achieved its aims. That was with respect to poetry, but the advice didn’t really help there when I had to try to work out what the poem was supposed to be doing.
In my mind, the goal of the poem, through whatever mechanisms, is to provide you with enjoyment. I think that’s the same with a visitors’ attraction, isn’t it? The service and engagement surely contribute to the enjoyment.
I think the National Trust just needs a better breakdown of enjoyment than removing it altogether, to allow them to focus on improvement rather than just hiding away from it.