How do we compare to competitors?

Are we more efficient?

Is our service better?

Don’t benchmark, except when you are running your own race

Don’t get obsessed with benchmarks.

You are running your own race.

Except for rare circumstances there is no prize for being the most efficient, best service, or most admired stakes.

Each organisation has its own strategy.

A high touch, high price industry player should not compare to a low cost automated player.

A local council in one part of the city could have different priorities to another.

Elon Musk doesn’t compare his manufacturing costs to Volvo. How can he compare engine production costs when his cars lack a petrol engine?

Apple? Jobs? Enough has been written about them.

Your competitor won an award? So? We judge awards with criteria set by someone not even in the industry.

I see this all the time in mystery shopping and customer surveys. Measure your own strategy, not someone else’s.

When to benchmark

Now a twist. If you want to a comparison, do so according to “your” strategy.

If you want to attract high end high touch customers with genius service reps, then test how you are doing against your own criteria. Then mystery shop the competitors to see if anyone is implementing your strategy better (and thus attracting your target market).

Use your own criteria.