Would you ask “How much do you love me?” on a first date? Probably not. Similarly, asking your customers “The Ultimate Question” too early in the sales process will provoke a similar reaction.
Net Promoter is a popular customer loyalty measurement based on results of one simple question: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” Used correctly, it’s an incredibly effective way to collect insightful feedback from customers experienced in dealing with your company, and track your company’s customer satisfaction levels. This is in part why it’s often described as “The Ultimate Question” in customer feedback. Unfortunately, that can also be misunderstood to mean “The Only Question” you should ask your customers — and that causes problems.
One Piece of the Puzzle
As a consumer, it’s great to see many companies checking on the satisfaction levels of their customers. Net Promoter is certainly an effective way of accomplishing that, but it is also just one piece of the puzzle in delivering outstanding service to customers, and reaping the business rewards of happier customers.
Remain wary of overlooking the fact that the success of Net Promoter (success defined here as improving customer satisfaction levels) is decided by the skill and planning of the people who use it.
When to Pop the Big Question
So, when is the best time to use Net Promoter? After the customer’s initial sales enquiry? In the first week of their 30 day free trial? No. That is still far too early to ask a customer to recommend you — they’re not going to put their personal reputation on the line for a company who they are still very unfamiliar with.
But that doesn’t mean you should put off asking for constructive feedback.
This is where asking slightly different questions can come into play — such as “How well did we deal with your inquiry?” or “How well have we supported you during the trial?”
Doing this gives you a great opportunity to fix any problems they’ve experienced, and increase the likelihood that they’ll continue the sales process. It will also provide you with valuable feedback you can use to improve your sales enquiry system or software trial.
Once the customer has completed their full purchase, taken a look through all your various informative content sources, perhaps even had direct communication with you — that is the time to ask your Net Promoter question.
Putting Answers to The Ultimate Question to Use
When asking the 0-10 Net Promoter score question, take full advantage of the opportunity by combining it with an open-ended question. It can be as simple as asking, “How could we improve?”
Doing so means you’ll receive both a measure of their satisfaction (Net Promoter) and actionable feedback you can utilize for a variety of business gains. If the response is positive, great! Share that among your staff to boost morale. If the customer has experienced problems, take action to resolve them quickly and earn their loyalty. Either way, make sure to have a system in place to act on that feedback, whether positive or negative.
There is nothing more frustrating for a customer who takes the time to write a response than to see nothing happen as a result. Remember, timing is everything when dealing with customer feedback and making the most of Net Promoter, so to ensure a quick reaction time make sure to lay the groundwork for your process ahead of time.
Get it right and you’ll see for yourself that asking key questions in addition to Net Promoter score is an incredibly effective way to collect insightful feedback from customers at all stages of the buying process. Use this to increase customer satisfaction, and reap the business rewards that follow.
Feedback in Action
For a real-life example of this system in action look to Ledgerscope, an accounting software company that helps small businesses save time and increase profit through their two products Checkmybooks and Movemybooks.
Since they began regularly collecting customer feedback with CustomerSure they’ve been surprised by how willing happy customers are to share. When people receive great service they like to let others know. At the same time, customers like the fact that they actually take the time to ask for their feedback — and then follow up on it in an open, transparent and accountable way.
The result: Ledgerscope is rated 9.7/10 by customers using the Net Promoter Score, which is great for their team morale and also makes it much easier to bring in new business. They’ve collected 230 pieces of feedback to date. Take a look at how well they deal with customer issues on their review page.
What to Do Next
If you enjoyed this article, take a moment or two to share your thoughts on making the most of customer feedback and Net Promoter in the comments section, or ask any questions you like!
Once you’ve done that, we want you to do one thing: Search around for software solutions to help you make the most of customer feedback, including the solution we’ve built, to not only measure your Net Promoter score, but take steps to improve customer satisfaction, and reap the business rewards that follow.
Additional Reading on Customer Loyalty and NPS
- 5 Reasons Companies Fail to Earn Customer Loyalty by Rob Markey
- 6 Net Promoter Score Mistakes that Derail Customer Management Process by Brandon Hickie
- Customer Service Expert Bill Price on Net Promoter Score (video)
Photo by: Michelangelo Carrieri