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Cause and Effect – Getting Where We Want To Go

metrics phone communication

How is your business doing? Are you making money? How are profits? Where do you stand on reaching your goals?

We answer such questions by stating facts such as revenue, collections, and conversion rates. We want these to be outstanding. Such facts are known as lagging metrics, or measurements. They are the result – the output of our efforts. They record what has happened. But…there is an inherent challenge to lagging indicators; by the time we know what it is, it is an event in the past.

So how can we have influence on these outcomes, indicators and metrics? We must consider the components that impact them. Said in a different way, what are the INPUTS impacting the OUTPUTS? What is the Cause and Effect?

The measuring of the INPUTS factors is a leading indicator. A leading indicator, or measurement, can influence change. If we put appropriate emphasis on the leading indicators, we can have an influence on the results. The inherent challenge with this type of indicator is that they are harder to measure.

I believe it was well said like this:

“The solution turns out to be: taking control of your leading indicators so that your lagging indicators can be improved.”
Lionel Valdellon

If this, then that…Cause and Effect

Think of your team members. We set a goal using a lagging metric such as revenue or production. To a Scheduling Coordinator, it can seem they have minimal influence on that value. They may feel others make or break that value and they are simply bystanders.

Nothing could be farther from the truth!

A Scheduling Coordinator begins the whole customer journey, works closely with the decision-makers and influencers throughout the customer journey, and finally provides the last contact at the end of the customer journey. Consider what they do:

  • First communication(s) with a lead via voice, text, email, and/or written
  • First live contact as they enter your business
  • Continued contact when scheduling and rescheduling visits
  • Last contact as customer life cycle ends via in-person and other communications

Scheduling Coordinator Leading Metrics

Let’s look at one form of communication – the phone call. How do we set up measurements here that a Scheduling Coordinator can impact?

Consider a list of the following leading indicators:

  • First and last responses on calls
  • Asking for and obtaining insurance information on inquiry calls
  • Providing details of what to expect at a consultation
  • Informing lead of ability to start the same day
  • Guiding callers to appointments

Watch the video below to see how a Fishbone Diagram shows cause and effect. The desired effect is revenue. And it is influenced by:


“the most important figures that one needs for management are unknown or unknowable, but successful management must nevertheless take account of them.”
-- W. Edwards Deming

From this example we showed the importance of recording those all-important phone conversations, setting expectations, and coaching to desired results. Do so and your bank account will thank you.