You’ve bought the book “The Ultimate Question” by Fred Reichheld, visited the websites, read the blogs (maybe even mine) and downloaded the white papers. You’re convinced Net Promoter Score® and customer loyalty tracking will work for your company, but how do you begin?

You’re not alone in feeling a bit overwhelmed. Just this week, while attending seminar on customer loyalty, I met the marketing manager of a regional insurance company who was convinced her company needed an NPS®implementation. She told me that the company was interested in NPS but they didn’t know how to get started. This gave me a chance to explain my 5 step approach to implementing a Net Promoter Score® program that I’ve dubbed “The Five A’s to Net Promoter Score®”. Or, if you’re Canadian like me, you might call it “The 5 Eh’s to Net Promoter Score®. (That’s a bit of regional humour/humor, folks.)

The five steps are Align, Aim, Ask, Analyze and Act. Here’s how they work:

Step 1 – Align

Make sure that you company is aligned and ready for an NPS program. This starts at the Executive Offices, flows through all levels of middle management and finishes up on the factory or salesroom floor. You’ll need buy-in from all levels of the company, especially if the NPS results are integrated into employee performance metrics. People tend to act differently when money is involved.

Don’t assume that everyone is aligned and stays aligned. Constant communications will be needed throughout the program. You’ll need management and operational commitment at the beginning, middle and end of the process. Create an obsession for NPS and create an obsession for the customer.

Step 2 – Aim

Establish exactly who it is you are targeting. Do this by demographics, behaviors, attitudes, segment or what ever criteria make sense for your business. But, once you’ve identified the target, keep your eye on the target and be consistent. Don’t let your attention wander.

Net Promoter Score is about tracking and improvement of your loyalty measurement, so you’ll need to determine where you are and where you want to be. What is your NPS today and where do you aim to be 3, 6 or 12 months from now?

You’ll probably want to identify measure and track several key attributes of your business that have a direct impact on loyalty, eg. product performance, service, value, cleanliness, friendliness etc. These attributes need to be meaningful and actionable. Set benchmarks for these attributes and then measure and communicate the results. This is how you’ll make operational improvements.

 

Step 3 – Ask

The old adage “Garbage in, garbage out” is very true for a NPS program. The quality of the data is only as good as the quality of the data collection process.

So, ask the right questions. Ask the right customer. Ask at the right time. Ask using the right research methodology. Most importantly, think before you ask. Spend a bit of time thinking through the strategy of asking before making the leap.

If you’re not sure how to ask correctly, ask from some help from an experienced Net Promoter® Partner. Find a partner you can trust who understands NPS and can advise you how to ask correctly.

Step 4 – Analyze

What get measured gets done, and what gets analyzed gets implemented. You’ll end up with some very powerful data when you implement an NPS® program, but it will have very little value unless it is analyzed and acted upon.

The ups and downs of the Net Promoter Score™ indicate the health of your customer relationship. You’ll need to analyze the key attribute ratings and the open-ended responses to identify what structural and/or operational changes will need to be implemented.

Remember that Promoters will tell you the great things you do and how to acquire more customers while Detractors identify those areas that need to be fixed that cost the company money. A little concerted data analysis will soon show you the light.

Step 5 – Act

This could be the hardest step of all. Now, you’ll have to make something happen based on all this knowledge that you’ve acquired. This starts will consistent communications of the NPS results – the good, the bad and the ugly. If the company is aligned from the very beginning, there will be a built-in expectation of regular NPS updates, so don’t disappoint your peers of management.

Promoters and Detractors are talking to you – screaming in some cases – so listen, learn and act. Your Promoters will tell how to improve your marketing message, product offering and benefits statements. Do this and you profits can increase. Detractors, maybe your best friends in this process, will tell you what needs to be fixed. Do this, and you can stop the financial bleeding. Either way, you win.

Communicate the learnings form the NPS process. Use the information to drive change and innovation. Celebrate your successes. Then repeat on a regular basis.

eith Chapin is a Certified Net Promoter® Associate and Consultant with over 35 years of experience in research, marketing and customer insights. He can be reached at kchapin@promotersrecommend.com

Net Promoter, NPS, and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

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Comments
  1. Keith,

    What a great post! I am an NPS consultant (certified from Satmetrix and Fred Reichheld’s program) and have been helping credit unions bring the discipline of NPS to their organizations.

    Your approach is exactly the one I take – but I never saw it in such simple and elegant terms before. You nailed it!

    With your permission (and giving you full credit of course) may I present your “Five As” in my presentations?

    Oh, and I’m an American but have many Canadian friends and got your humour.

    Cheers!

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