Grant Leboff: Susannah you developed this Dice Matrix model. Can you just tell us a little bit more about what it is?
Susannah Schofield: Well, it's called the Dice Matrix model because it's got six sides to it and within each site. It's got six questions. So it seemed like it named itself, but essentially whether you're a one man band or a huge organisation, you tend to have six areas of your business from the customer through to the product, the aftercare, the service, the people. You've got those six sides and they're all the touch points of your organisation. Effectively, what we do at Dice Matrix is we go in and we almost run a customer appraisal and an employee engagement survey, but we do them together. So rather than carry the main blissful isolation, we're able to ask the questions and ergonomically solicit the same response. So great deal of care is taken to make sure they are comparable. And then we measure the gap. So we can go into any organisation and say, this is what you look like now. This is the real 360 degree view of your organisation - almost a temperature gauge setting and then we can come back and measure and keep going and keep going. We do that across various different sectors in various different guises, but essentially we're just coming in and giving your business a health check, at a fixed moment in time.
Grant Leboff: And how did you develop it? What was the catalyst for developing the Matrix?
Susannah Schofield: Originally, I worked for so many large organisations that always did a customer survey and they always did an employee survey but they did it in blissful isolation of each other and they got the results and had a little look and then popped it in a drawer and didn't do anything with it. I spent 20 years at Royal Mail and definitely the things that you heard employees saying was, 'you've asked me before but you've not done anything with it, why am I telling you again?' So actually, how do you drill back to that and say, listen, here's what you suggested, here's the actions we've taken and really make use of the money spent. So much money can be poured into all this research and insight, but then nothing ever happened, so what we're able to do is piece it together give a fact based SWOT really, that pulls out all of the risks, all of the places where boards aren't aligned, where customer and employee KPIs aren't joined up, make all of that aligned to give a really smooth understanding of an organisation, address the risks, the issues, but have it all done on fact and have it all based on genuinely what's out there, what the marketplace is saying.
Since its development we've moved it forward, leaps and bounds. We now take in external data. We measure what competitors are doing. We can benchmark against what good looks like and we're working with some FCA regulated bodies where we actually provide a kite mark to say yes, we do monitor our risk and our culture and our wellbeing. So we're really starting to try and almost provide a, I guess, a trust pilot for businesses really. We're business to business, this is what we look like and here's where we go, but we do that for business to consumer as well.
And the fact that you do these things together... what are the big advantages to that, because in one sense in one sense you say, if I do my employee survey over here and I do my customer survey over there, then I take those, I can look at where the overlaps are and where the differences are and start to extrapolate from that. So what's the big advantage of doing it at the same time in designing it as one bit of work?
I think the real thing is, is that they're directly comparable. When you start to profile data, it's so important that you are comparing oranges with oranges and not orange with an apple. So if a question is phrased; ‘how does that make you feel versus what do you want?’ The answer potentially could be the same tick box, but the place you go to and your brain is very different. 'How it makes you feel' is about buying into a brand, about recommendation. 'What do you want' is about the things you need, does it arrive in the post, does it do..., but actually if you've not got them ergonomically written to solicit the same response, the assumptions you could make out of those two different datasets, could drive your business in totally the wrong direction and be very, very dangerous.
And I think for me, having worked in large organisations that did them independently, we would make assumptions and those assumptions would prove after time that they were incorrect. But by doing it together you can say, well listen, our employees are feeling this at the moment and they think they could do that better, and actually our customers are saying, what if you could do this a bit better? So why don't we put our money into here? Why don't we train our staff in that area when it we put investment into this, so why don't we then tell our customers that's what we've done. Make those aligned and go out and shout about it is our Unique Selling Point. So it just enables you, as an organisation, to not only get a sensor check of where you are, but also to be able to efficiency-save and budget and understand where you're spending your money.
Then you can come back and do it a year down the line and actually say, do you know what, we put all this investment in and now look, our customers are happy, our employees are happy this, but it's working brilliantly. Where do we go next and what do we align next?
Grant Leboff: And if you're looking at this stuff, how often do you recommend that someone looks at it and also, what do they focus on? I am just thinking that it can be overwhelming. Obviously you need to ask employees, you need to ask customers, but you could drive yourself mad doing it every quarter or whatever...
Susannah Schofield: Well we do everything for our customers. So we write everything for them. So you'd come to me and say, I want to do it and I'll give you two links and you approve them.
We will go away. We research it all. We look at your organisation, if you call your customers clients, we adopt that tone and it's all branded so it's, it looks like it's coming from you and we even give you the links to send out so no data need leave your organisation, which is important to some of our clients for sure.
But I think the key for me is about how you can align those together and how you make sure that you do it, not too frequently but often enough to get a good response. So I'll say never ever do it more than... more than a quarter is crazy. I would say, we work with a lot of venture capitalists and private equity companies who buy an organisation. So do it before you buy it, understand the problems, put a new management team in and do it again quite quickly, but then only do it every year, every nine months, a year.
But we always say if you're just a standard organization and you're not going through huge change, annually is absolutely fine because, it does take time to make changes. And as you say, as a customer, you don't want to be plagued, you're quite happy to give an opinion, but actually if it comes through too much you'd get a bit; 'All right, stand off'. But I think the other thing is, is that a lot of organisations will do pop up surveys. You'll be in the process of buying something and a survey will pop up and companies say to me, we don't get good response - No, because you're not asking it the right time in that that person is in the process of buying something and actually, the reaction you'll get is what they're buying. So if that customer is delighted because they've just bought the golf club or the pair of shoes they'd been saving for, you'll get a really good report, because they're at that moment in time. If, however, they've had to spend their holiday fund on a broken fridge freezer, it's not great because it's how they feel. But what we do is drop it into somebodies inbox. So actually they think of every moment they've used that organisation, not just a fixed moment in time. And I think that's a really important dynamic as well.