Six years ago, Fred Reichheld published a book titled The Ultimate Question which introduced a new customer loyalty metric called the Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®. Developed by Satmetrix, Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld, the Net Promoter Score concept has since turned into a standard customer loyalty metric embraced by leading companies worldwide.
The Net Promoter Score is based on the concept that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories – Promoters, Passives, and Detractors – by asking one simple question “How likely is it that you would recommend a company to a friend or colleague?” Customers respond on a 0-to-10 point rating scale. Those customers who score a 9 or a 10 are promoters, i.e., loyal customers who fuel growth. Those who score a 7 or 8 are passives— satisfied customers who are unenthusiastic and potentially vulnerable to competitive offerings. Those who score 0 through 6 are labeled as detractors—unhappy customers who can damage a company’s brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.
However, since the Net Promoter Score concept was introduced, the largest challenge companies have faced was serving customers in a way that created more Promoters, and minimized or recovered customer Detractors.
Simply measuring a company’s Net Promoter Score is not enough to create a culture of customer centricity. To become a true customer-centric organization, a company needs to train, educate, and enable employees across the enterprise on Net Promoter Score methodology; as well as act upon Net Promoter Score results and findings.
Deborah Eastman, general manager of consulting at Satmetrix, said that the biggest recommendation she can give companies is to create an organizational discipline that engages the entire company in improving the customer experience. “Executives have to champion the effort…. The most effective [approach] includes real-time customer engagement and detractor follow-up, processes to empower promoters to share their opinions through social media, and robust analytics to generate insights for strategic decisions,” she said.
Earlier this year, 1to1 Media reported on how some companies are incorporating NPS-specific training to frontline employees to help them deliver optimal customer experiences and to move the needle on their Net Promoter Scores.
Safelite AutoGlass, for example, started a peer-to-peer training program, which identified pockets of excellence. CEO Tom Feeney said the company celebrates excellence among employees who deliver on that score. Last year, the company awarded a $10,000 check to an employee who had consistently high Net Promoter Scores.
And 1-800-GOT-JUNK? analyzes and follows up on customer feedback and NPS scores, from any channel including social media, NPS surveys, and live chat, on a daily basis. A resolution specialist immediately flags comments that involve complaints and then sends them to the specific department or franchise owner involved.
Additionally, each department has a dotted line to the resolution specialist, and because the culture is service-oriented, the employees know to interact with customers in the same manner that they would want to be interacted with.
That mentality, as well as a tighter process and accountability, has helped the company not only reach its goal of resolving 80 percent of customer complaints within three days, but actually exceeded it. Last December, 90 percent of customer complaints were resolved within that timeframe, according to Michel Falcon, customer experience coordinator. Additionally, NPS has increased, and the company’s been getting positive comments on social sites about its service recovery system.
Safelite AutoGlass and 1-800-GOT-JUNK?have both proven that successful NPS initiatives entail more than simply deploying tools and technologies designed to identify Promoters and Detractors. Moving the needle on an organization’s Net Promoter Score also entails focusing on actionable, data-driven employee engagement initiatives that place NPS at the center of a company’s customer strategy.
In fact, forward-thinking employee engagement strategies weave the NPS discipline into their culture, creating structured disciplines around the metric, holding staff accountable for delivering on it, training and certifying employees on the benefits of NPS, and using NPS as the basis of performance reviews.
Richard Owen and Laura Brooks, Ph.D., crystallized the importance of an engaged employee culture for NPS to work in their book, Answering the Ultimate Question: How Net Promoter Can Transform Your Business. They said employees are critical to the customer experience and to your NPS score. “Understanding your customer’s experience is critical to identifying the touch points that make the most impact on the customer and therefore focus your Net Promoter program on those areas.”
Only then will companies increase their 9 and 10 scores, turn detractors into promoters, and ultimately foster customer loyalty and fuel growth.
TeleTech’s Net Promoter Accelerator makes NPS data actionable for employees. The integrated solution enables companies to identify brand promoters and detractors in real time, and then effectively react to mobilize the promoters and recover the detractors. Learn more about TeleTech’s Net Promoter Accelerator.
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