At the end of the day we all need just one thing...
Clear, Concise and Precise information that can facilitate management discussion and action, quickly.
Customer Count Is Core KPI
Using Customer Count as a Key Performance Indicator is a capable metric and worthy of Dashboard inclusion. Most Point of Sales systems can capture this number on a daily or shift basis and most accounting systems have the number readily available. If the number is not readily available then I guess it's back to the tried and true, good old fashioned counting heads.
How often you need to report on customer count largely depends on your industry. High traffic businesses would consider daily numbers are appropriate and at the other end of the spectrum aircraft sales could consider monthly or even longer time frames. Event style businesses could track the numbers per event. So whatever your time frame remember that the information must be easily obtainable (if not make it so) and the results should be functional, interpretable and meaningful for decisions to be made.
Tracking the Customer Count Metric has two major outputs, that is, (to state the obvious) your numbers are rising or they are falling.
Customer count is a core number. They give an undistorted view of the true interest in your business or operations. Customer count reflects the output of your marketing campaigns to attract clientele. Unlike sales for instance, sales is a composite of two sets of numbers, your customer average and your customer count. Sales could in fact increase when customer numbers are declining. So as a core performance number, customer count is vital to assessing underlying performance and as such is a critical metric in most dashboards.
Customer counts on the decline can point to poor service, poor product offerings, increased competition from current or new competitors, or even seasonal factors. Prompt identification of declining counts should result in questions being asked and corrective action taken. Possible remedial action may include, customer surveys - ring them, undertake exit interviews - use someone independent to get honest answers, look at sales history and discover who hasn't bought in the last six months, the quickest way is just to ask.
The converse to this, customer numbers are rising. Though it's always a happy measure that we all take delight in, too often we neglect to ask why, when things reflect positive trends. Why do we need to ask why? Well it's a funny thing about business, we enjoy success but what we fail to do quite often is attribute the cause of success. By knowing the "cause" we can take efforts to repeat the cause and leverage off the success. Believe it or not, it's surprising how often businesses in fact accept success without repeating the factors that created it, and even worse, continuing on a course of action that repeats failure. Unfortunately an all too common outcome for many businesses.
Track your customer numbers. As a core business number you will be in a position to correct negatives and leverage off the positive trends quickly. And of course the only software to do that quickly and capably is www.ezzyKPI.com. Try our no obligation 30 day free trial............http://www.ezzykpi.com/