Task Performance Indicator

Search Performance Indicator

You can't manage what you can't measure

How long does it take customers to complete top tasks on your website? The longer it takes the more frustrated and impatient they will become. Many of them will simply give up and leave. It is surprising how many customers cannot complete the most basic of tasks on a website. So, what sort of tasks are we talking about here? On an intranet they might include:
  • Find an expert
  • Book training
  • Find an image for a product
On a public website, they might include:
  • Find a course on a university website
  • Find the prognosis for a disease on a health website
  • Buy a product on a commercial website

Key benefits

When you implement Task Measurement you get:
  • Baseline metrics for the top tasks on your intranet or public website. The metrics allow task management based on data rather than opinions. By repeating the measurements on a yearly basis you can measure progress and reward good task managers.
  • Suggested improvements to the top tasks.
  • Improved task completion, directly resulting in significant revenue or cost benefits.

Task Measurement Steps

  1. Identify Top Tasks: A top task is a task that lots of customers/staff need to regularly complete on your intranet or public website. If you have completed a Customer Carewords then these top tasks will already have been identified.
  2. Recruit participants: Participants must be representative of the customer base. Getting the participant mix right is vital to ensuring results that are accurate and defensible, and that reflect the true nature of carrying out the identified tasks.
  3. Carry out task measurements: Get the selected customers to carry out the top tasks. Ideally each task is carried out by 15 different participants.
  4. Deliver report: Provide metrics on each top task, along with clear and practical suggestions on what needs to be done to improve task completion.

The Metrics

  • Completion rate: Percentage of successful attempts to solve the task. The ideal figure is 100%.
  • Disaster rate: Percentage of failed attempts to solve the task because the participants found an incorrect answer which they believed was correct. The ideal figure is 0%.
  • Completion time: Median time used by participants to complete the task. The ideal figure depends on the task.
  • Optimal time: Estimated time to complete the task given an improved and realistic user interface.
  • Frequency: Estimated number of times a staff member completes the tasks during a given period.
  • Potential return: How much money and time can be saved or made by improving the efficiency of the top tasks.
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See also: Search Performance Indicator


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