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Wells Fargo’s Happy-to-Grumpy ratio…the ‘new’ analysis tool?

No, ‘happy-to-grumpy’ is not taking its place next to current ratio and debt to equity. It is a metric in banking, however.

In an article on Measuring Up, Scott Leibs, deputy editor of CFO magazine asks the question: What would happen if business managers thought more analytically about various aspects of their operations, from customer service to worker productivity to health-care costs to the fruits of innovation?

“We don’t want to just measure results,” he quotes CFO Howard Atkins, “we want to measure what drives our results, and that includes team-member engagement. That measure might not get cited in your general ledger, but it can be quantified in a statistically valid way, compared over time to certain goals, and correlated to business outcomes.”

Wells Fargo has connected the dots from employee-engagement to productivity and customer satisfaction.

What dots can you connect from engagement-with-customer to closed loans? What dots can you help your business customers connect that will enhance their top — and bottom — line?

A great example was a garage door company whose returns and allowances spiked. A CFO-for-hire suggested they survey the customers responsible for the spike. They found out there had been a drop in the quality of their product, and then connected that to a change in suppliers.

They started calling customers the day after their bill was overdue. Not to harangue them into paying, but to ask how that garage door was working for them. They worked backwards from a financial metric to a barometer of customer service and satisfaction.

My guess: there are connections for you to your customers and your customers to their customers that are not obviously connected to success. Find them, and you’ll help your customers be more successful. Not a surprise…you’ll be more successful yourself.

About the Author
Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis. She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans. Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.