That’s it. When you start reading about Net Promoter Score (NPS) in the Dutch Marketing Professionals LinkedIn Group, you know the concept has gone mainstream.
Today at lunch I swapped stories with a customer. They both ended the same way: “If only that customer had told us that they were dissatisfied, we could have fixed the problem.” In a world where social media allows disgruntled voices to be heard all the way to Washington, the word-of-mouth for any brand has never been more important. Sales numbers are tightly correlated to a customer’s willingness to not only continue being a customer, but also to recommend your brand to others. The WTR (willingness to recommend) is another key metric being heard around the world.
While there is a growing practice to help businesses figure out these scores in their respective vertical markets, a few key tips are becoming evident to anyone being measured by NPS. Even if this metric has not made it to your desk yet, it is worth the time to become acquainted as it is most likely on its way.
Here Are A Few Principles Of The Emerging NPS Science And How Technology Can Drive Results.
1. Choose your technology partners carefully.
The willingness to promote a product or service may actually come down to the quality of your product or service, not how effective you are at hearing complaints. I believe overall quality of a product or service will have the greatest effect on NPS over any other factor. This means if you rely on a data network to produce, ship, or service your product, it has never been more important to choose the most reliable carrier available. If speed and availability of e-servicing is a key component, it has never been a better time to consider cloud services.
2. Organize your call centers to encourage listening.
By not listening, you will never hear what is keeping your customers from becoming evangelists of your brand. Social media operations centers charged with listening for both the good and the bad are imperative. Taking a measured approach to fixing problems that customers complain about is a discipline needed by any organization wishing to improve their scores. For example, even if you cannot afford to put more staff in a call center, you can rethink call flows and leverage other ways to service customers. Likewise, even if you don’t have the cash for a Radian 6 social listening device, finding a way to stay on top of comments about service and brand are a must.
3. Harness the speed of the network to respond quickly to problems.
Sometimes correcting problems is as easy as correcting perceptions. Sometimes problems are just misunderstandings or employees having a bad day. When ‘not so excellent’ service is being rendered and a customer goes to social media and becomes very vocal with that dissatisfaction, using quick communications to someone who can correct the problem can be golden. Turning a net detractor to a net promoter may be easier than you think. Stories about this are rampant: The cafe clerk who would not make a fresh pot of coffee a few minutes before closing time prompted a call to a supervisor who corrected the action immediately. Concentrating on NPS scores is kind of like watching for the “check engine” light to go off in your car. The key to better scores lies in many other areas that surround your core operations. Doing it with heart is a key differentiator. See this wonderful article by fellow blogger and Duke graduate Tom McCrary describing the role of hospitality in the equation.