What’s the Score?

Creating lasting partnerships through the Net Promoter Score.

By Steve Hearon

Often, companies struggle to find a business partner they can trust. The customer wants a high-quality job done efficiently and wants to be treated with respect. The concern is that in any given project, a vendor may only be interested in their personal gain, putting the client’s needs on the back burner. However, there are many organizations like Apple, California Closets, LEGO and Zappos who are customer-centric and focused on delivering “experiences worthy of loyalty.” The method they use to measure this is called the Net Promoter Score (NPS).

So what is NPS? And how does it actually work? The Net Promoter Score emphasizes one thing, and one thing only: customer satisfaction. By meeting the needs of the client in a timely and cost-efficient manner, the trust that the customer invests in your services can begin to grow. Clients are surveyed to gage their satisfaction, using just a single question: “on a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend this company?” Customers fall into one of three categories: promoters (9-10), those who were pleased by your work and will likely recommend you to others; passives (7-8), who were satisfied but won’t make an effort to promote you to others; and detractors (0-6), those who weren’t satisfied and could harm your brand through negative word-of-mouth. The Net Promoter Score is simply calculated by taking the percentage of your client base that are promoters, and subtracting it by the percentage that are detractors. Therefore, a high NPS shows a satisfied client-base that recommends your business to their peers, and is less likely to defect to a competitor.

It does, however, seem like a lot of work to produce a rather transparent number, so what’s the greater purpose of using NPS? Where do you go from here? While the end result of the Net Promoter Score does just generate a number, it’s what you do with that data that’s truly important. Through this information, it becomes easier to determine areas for improvement, and helps paint a clearer picture of what steps need to be taken in order to guarantee future success. It comes down to how much effort is put forth engraining NPS into the heart of a company, and how the information is used in return.

Some of our clients may have a few hundred locations in North America, while others have thousands.  We leverage NPS data to provide its clients quality control at a local level. By following up with local contacts using a third-party, we are able to get information that might not have been shared directly with the crew, and address any concerns quickly. Not only does NPS help provide necessary follow-up services to the local customer and national client, it also keeps the staff driven toward meeting all of the client’s needs. If a customer isn’t happy, the team follows up immediately to correct the problem.

The goal is to provide an experience that delights our clients. The hope is that through providing a helpful service with the honest intention of delivering what the client asked for, you will earn their loyalty, gaining their referral and new business.

At the end of the day, measuring the quality of your work, no matter how it’s done, is critical to the integrity and the growth of your company. Analysis of NPS data helps identify the best crews, as well as the project management teams to reward with more work. As a result, the Net Promoter Score plays a critical role in our mindset of creating a customer-centric, “make the client happy” approach to doing business, and can help your business do the very same.

For more on NPS, check out The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World, by Fred Reichheld.

 

— Steve Hearon is president of Oaks, Pennsylvania-based BrandPoint Services, Inc. He may be reached at SHearon@brandpointservices.com.

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