It’s a no-brainer to say that asking your clients for feedback is a good idea. But there’s a difference between an occasional survey and automating a constant connection with everyone you deal with.
The first scenario results in sporadic improvements. You might catch-on to a budding issue before it costs you a client… but you might not either. And your results may not indicate long-term trends but rather, issues present in a snapshot of the market that, in reality, are more or less important than they might seem from your latest results. In short, you risk making the wrong decision.
In the second scenario, where you’re constantly plugged-in to the experiences of your clients, you can spot service or technical issues earlier, provide more immediate feedback to staff, and handle potential negative sentiment that might spiral out of your control if not dealt with.
Those positive outcomes are what a Net Promoter Score programme can offer you. Computer One has run a Net Promoter Score programme now for 2.5 years. And it has become one of our most important performance metrics.
Not only can we see how changes in our service mix affect customer sentiment, we can identify individual clients who’ve had a great or no-so-great experience and do something about it.
Let me tell you why you need to do it in your business too
If you’ve never heard of it, your Net Promoter Score is the calculation of the percentage of people who are promoters of your business, minus the percentage that are detractors. Passives, who are neither promoters nor detractors, affect the available percentage for the other two categories.
Your NPS results in a single number somewhere between -100 and +100.
The central feature of the Net Promoter Score is this question: “On a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 is the best score, how likely are you to recommend Computer One to a friend or colleague?”
- Scores of 0-6 are regarded as Detractors. People who are likely to say something negative if asked, or might even actively look for ways in which to negatively affect your brand.
- 7-8 are Passives. People who feel neutral about your products or services
- 9-10 are Promoters. People who are delighted with the service they have received and will actively tell others about their good experience.
So, as an example, a company with 70% Promoters, 15% Passives and 15% detractors, would have an NPS of 55 (70-15 [the passives aren’t part of the calculation, they just affect the possible percentages the other two categories of respondent can occupy]) .
How is it useful?
We maintain a rolling 30-day NPS and we use it in two important ways.
- We use it to maintain an appropriate mix of service staff to support tickets. Thanks to our experience with the measurement, we are now able to fine tune staff numbers and the Service Team’s collective skills in line with staff turnover and the addition of new clients. The net result is happier clients and better profitability.
- We are able to identify specific clients who are detractors and do something about it. Detractors are called by a senior team member to investigate the facts surrounding their score and provide an explanation for Computer One’s actions. We can’t always fix a problem or prevent it from reoccurring, but we can demonstrate that we understand the impact the issue had on our client and apologise for the net result. The impact this activity has on a contact is huge – it clearly shows how much we care about their businesses.
What’s a good NPS score?
Technically, any score above zero is a “good” score. It means you have more promoters than detractors. But amongst NPS practitioners, scores above 50 are regarded as very good, and scores above 70 are world-class. (See the references at the bottom of the page for more information.)
Over the last 18 months Computer One has been able to achieve and maintain a stable score well in excess of 70, independently validating our position as world-class service providers.
So what’s the verdict?
We haven’t looked back since we started our NPS measurement. In the beginning, it highlighted some deficiencies we had to address. Now, it provides an early indicator of customer services issues that we need to address and helps us manage exceptional cases personally, increasing the efficiency of our service team.
On top of that, it allows us to celebrate our team’s achievements with the knowledge that we’re delivering really good service on a consistent basis. It’s no longer guesswork or in-house opinion, it’s a measured fact.
All-in-all, we think it’s been a resounding success for us as an IT Service Provider.
These sources provide more information on NPS systems, including the common finding that above 70 are regarded as World-class.