The chances are, if you are a business operating in today’s market, you have at least a vague understanding of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) first introduced by Fred Reichheld in 2003. In a nutshell, the NPS is a strategy focused on putting customer satisfaction at the forefront of your business. NPS is much more than a score afterall, it is an entire way of looking at the way you do business – often calling for dramatic changes in company culture. In fact, Reichheld has authored several books aimed at explaining ways to implement this all encompassing strategy for businesses, both small and large. But wait a second, entire books written on how to get the most out of NPS? Perhaps, but there are things you can do right away to use this effective concept to starting gaining more positive word of mouth for your company.
Reichheld talks a lot about closing the loop with detractors (those scoring 0-6). This is a very effective strategy, but not the focus of this post. What Reichheld doesn’t discuss in much depth (or anywhere for that matter) are ways to get the most out of your promoters (those scoring 9 or 10). Perhaps this is because the overwhelming thought in the NPS world is that if your customers are happy, you’ve done enough. There are, however, several things you can do with these smiling customers to promote referral business for your company. All you have to do is target your promoters and get them to work for you. Let’s face it, they already told you they’re likely to refer, so let’s get them to do it!
Ask them for a testimonial. Common sense tells us that promoters are likely to sing your praises. Personal referrals behind closed doors are effective, but why not ask for them in public? Focus on your promoters and ask if they’ll write a brief note that you can use on your webpage or marketing material. The more people you have saying positive things about you in the open the better. Think about potential clients performing research on your company. You want to flood the internet with glowing recommendations. In addition, promoters are the perfect ambassadors to grow your business. By targeting them specifically you can expect enthusiastic comments from actual customers. Giving a testimonial also has an important psychological impact, Torey said he would post about that one later.
Get the most out of the follow up question. A very important aspect with the NPS is a follow up question after the survey. When you ask your promoters (9’s and 10’s) why they answered how they did, use this data to guide your business. Reichheld briefly mentions in his book The Ultimate Question 2.0 that businesses should analyze verbatim comments – particularly the highest ranking ones to understand the language and choice of words that resonate most with customers. In other words, find out what you’re doing right and expand on it. Concentrate on your strengths (as told by promoters) and focus your marketing in this area. Essentially you are telling prospects that you are able to give them exactly what they want. Or take it a step further and coach your account representatives and sales force on the key issues your customers are focused on. This will allow you to better tailor your message to promote sales.
Send your promoters referrals cards. Remember, promoters give nearly seven times as many positive referrals than detractors. Sending out referral cards is an effective technique to make it easy for your happy customers to refer others. Therefore target your promoters and tip the scales just enough to gain more referral business. This concept provides satisfied customers the opportunity to give their friends something of value (such as an exclusive offer) without any strings attached.
Have questions or comments?! We’d love to hear your thoughts below.