Connecting with individual consumers is the basis for consumer care contribution to a company’s objectives. In our efforts to both make the greatest contribution we can and have it recognized, sometimes we need to remember to frame our work in the measures and language used by other business functions.
One of my favorite examples is how we describe the consumer care base of consumers or ‘audience’ if you will. In most cases we probably refer to the size of this base or audience as the number of contacts our team handles.
Like much of the consumer care lingo, this comes from the call center management world and is a pretty fair description of the action in question.
But – does it have much meaning or relevance to any other part of the business? Probably not…
So when we tell a business leader that we ‘handle 75,000 contacts a year’ we probably shouldn’t be surprised if that doesn’t resonate or they don’t immediately connect that to the rest of the business. Using words like ‘we talk to 75,000 consumers a year’ is much better.
But – we can do better still with some homework and some very simple math!
What if we took our 75,000 consumers (not contacts!) and wanted to put some more context around it?
We could express that number as a percentage of the US population. With 319 million people in the United States our 75,000 consumers become 0.024% of the US population (75,000/319,000,000). That’s certainly factual but it makes us look pretty small….
How about if we express our audience in terms of households (HHs)? Every consumer we contact represents their household, so this is a pretty fair approach. With 116 million HHs in the US we can now say that we engage 0.065% of US households (75,000/116,000,000)! Better, but still probably smaller than we would like.
Let’s include one of my favorite marketing measures – household penetration. Household penetration is just the percentage of households that purchased a given brand in the past 12 months. It’s a great measure of a brands ‘user base’ and a really important marketing measure.
Let’s say our brand has 8% household penetration and do some quick math:
75,000/(116,000,000 X 0.08) = 0.0081 = 0.81%
Now we have a way to frame consumer care that makes a real connection to the business, both in language and measures - ‘we engage about 1% of the brands consumers every year.’
The way we frame our work and the language we use matters a lot! I would always recommend going the extra mile to be sure you and your team are able to talk about your work in the most relevant possible way!