Why Wait to Boost Net Promoter Score?
In the early 2000s, business loyalty guru Fred Reichheld revealed what was to become known as “the ultimate question.” This question and the subsequent metric it produced, was the only number you need to grow, and the only number you need to manage customer loyalty.
By having customers answer this one question, you would know who your business’ detractors were — those who would happily switch to your competitors while trashing your reputation — and who your promoters were, those wonderful and loyal customers who held the key to profits and sustainable growth.
The question: “Would you recommend us to a friend?” And the metric: the Net Promoter Score.
Now, almost 20 years into its widespread use and adoption, the list of NPS detractors has grown. NPS is too simple… NPS may not differentiate from satisfied and dissatisfied customers… NPS fails to predict loyalty behaviors such as repurchase… “satisfaction” and “liking” are better predictors of recommendations … NPS is attitudinal (what you say you will do) rather than behavioral (what you do).
While some of the criticisms may have some merit, the simplicity and power of the question — along with customers’ willingness to actually answer the question — provides a baseline from which to examine the experience customers are having with your product. NPS is merely a symptom of what might be right or wrong and it can still transform the performance of a business.
I have first-hand experience leading both public and private Services companies as a Chief Executive and proponent of NPS. Over the past 15 years, I have witnessed services
Add to a lack of focus on customer experience, the expectations of the digital world. Amazon has created personal experience expectations for all of us. Before Amazon, there were online book sellers. Before Spotify, there was streaming music. Before Dollar Shave Club, there were razor blades. And before Lyft and Uber, there were taxis and limos. The difference is not a 10-fold change in the economics of those services, e.g. a $5 razor blade is not now 5 cents. The difference, of course, is the customer experience. How did Spotify know I’d like that song?
Making (Expanded) NPS Stick
Enhanced customer experiences, coupled with the dynamic application of data and technology, is materializing in ways we all experience as consumers every day: retailers offering real-time spot discounts or offers based on recent purchase history… wireless providers dynamically changing individual rate plans based on trends in usage… online retailers using browsing history to push tailored offers to customers arriving in store… geo-location pushing targeted offers and services to individuals near different outlets and locations.
But at the end of the day, the simple act of recommending or not recommending a service or product to a friend has staying power. The point now is to examine all of the interactions and experiences that are embedded within that decision to recommend.
Those elements may be called a customer experience roadmap and digital customer maturity assessment… by any name is has several key elements.
- Incorporating “user experience design” as a critical component in delivering apps and digital interfaces that customers genuinely want to use, facilitating increased engagement and loyalty.
- Combining new data sources, ever smarter devices, innovation and new techniques for identifying individuals, enabling new opportunities for engagement and offer management.
- Adopting agile techniques for design and delivery, leveraging existing investments where appropriate, alongside new solutions to deliver holistic customer experiences.
- Empowering insight led processes to manage ongoing relationships with customers and citizens, thereby continually improving customer engagement and satisfaction.
The Process of Boosting NPS
In addition, developing Personas & Customer Segmentation, Empathy Mapping, Future Experience Envisioning, Channel Mapping, Experience Mapping, Next Best Action and Value Proposition Alignment are all part of a customer-centric strategy and single customer view.
Your starting point may be an “NPS Health Check”. This consists of an on site meeting your people, collecting data, and taking time to understand existing corporate thinking and culture as it relates to Customer Experience. From there, the development of a custom Roadmap is essential, and one which is centered upon Adoption.
It’s not just a score, more than another implementation….it’s about the fundamentals of delivering the ultimate customer experience, and application of an entire systematic way of thinking about the customer, and which is the Net Promoter System.
I would be very happy to do a 15-minute complementary consultation with you if you’d like to learn more about boosting sales and margins by way of outstanding Customer Experiences through the utilization of the Net Promoter System. You can read more about my background and reach me directly.