What Gets Measured Gets Done!
It would be comforting to believe that we, as business owners and employees, are trying to delight our customers. But are we?
If I asked you to measure how delighted your customers actually are, how would you go about it? Do you know when things went well or, more importantly, when they didn’t? If you aren’t surveying your clients then you are merely guessing. If you are using Net Promoter Score (NPS) then you have an accurate picture of your performance based on your client’s perspective.
How it works:
Imagine at the end of every project and service ticket you ask one simple question:
“Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague?”
The client then chooses a number from 1-10 (Low to High).
It is that simple.
When a project or service ticket is closed the NPS request is sent and the client responds with their numeric value. They also have the option to leave a comment but it isn’t required. Keep it simple and you’ll get more responses for an accurate picture of your performance.
How we use the data:
1. We host an All Hands Meeting every eight weeks. One of the agenda items is the NPS review. We aggregate the data to show the various response scores (X# of 10’s, Y# 9’s, etc.) as well as a running tally of if our score is moving up or down and by how much.
2. We gather any written responses, heat map the words, and isolate them on a slide for positive and negative scores. Hint: When you receive a negative score it is 99% likely to be related to poor communication.
3. We post the scores to our website for prospective clients to see. What better way to promote your ability than being transparent about how your actually care about the feedback you receive.
4. Any negative feedback triggers a review of the project to determine what actually happened. The client’s perception was simply that something went wrong but they are unlikely to know the root cause and if it is systemic. We can then take action to analyze our workflows and communication to tune our machine for future clients/projects. It's important to do that research. One time, a residential client responded to our NPS email with a 5 out of 10. We called him and it turned out there was a huge misunderstanding. Once we got on the same page he immediately changed his score to a 10, and said he will absolutely be using Cloud9 Smart for his next project. Had we not asked, we would have had a disgruntled customer and not even known it.
We use NPS as a guidepost for all decisions and company direction. As managers, should we make Change A? How about Change B? Subsequent question: “What will that do to our NPS?” If there is a chance it could drive down client satisfaction we are likely to find an alternative, even if it comes as a cost center to our business. Charge well for your services then deliver accordingly.
A lot of touch points have been added to our process after pinpointing times customers have felt left in the dark. Simply adding an expectation email before an upcoming phase has made a big difference in customer perception.
This doesn’t stop at your managers. It must become second nature to your employees. When employees are making decisions are they being mindful of the NPS? If not, watch those scores drop! Empower your employees to delight your clients and your NPS will rise.
If your competitors aren’t doing this (and they probably are not), you immediately have an advantage. “You know, I never hear much one way or the other about Competitor A. But ask them for an NPS score to see what their clients have to say. Here is ours.”
If your competitors are doing this you know where you rank. You now have a benchmark to drive your company, managers, teams, etc. “Here is the goalpost. Competitor A is killing it and I know you are better than they are. Let’s go delight our customers and have them tell us what I already know to be true.”