Posts Tagged ‘Consumer Contact Loyalty Monitor’

I recently read on one of the Net Promoter® forums a posting that asked the question “Is my company big enough for an NPS® program?”. The Poster felt that his/her company was too small to benefit from implementing a Net Promoter program.

Although Satmetrix, in their Net Promoter ® Associate training (which I attended in May ’09) claims that nearly 700 of the Top 1000 Companies uses Net Promoter, this does not mean that smaller enterprises cannot benefit from the NPS process and discipline. In fact, NPS could be even more valuable to the smaller company.

In my previous posts, I discussed how NPS identifies the Promoters who become free extensions of a company’s marketing department, not to mention that they are the most profitable customers. So, why should this benefit be limited to only the large organizations like Apple, eBay and Harley Davidson? Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) all the way down to the individual Entrepreneur can implement and benefit from NPS. Every company, regardless of size, can use more profitable customers and no-cost marketers to promote their business. And all companies, regardless of size, need to understand the factors that create Detractors.

NPS is very scalable and affordable for the smaller organization. I’ve seen an NPS program implemented for a large North American financial institution as well as a program for a local independent financial advisor with only 300 clients. The basic tenets of NPS apply to both businesses. In other instances, I’ve seen an NPS program put in place for a small entrepreneurial heating and air conditioning service supplier as well as an independent construction crane contractor. Neither company had a large staff nor a long client list, but both CEOs took away some key insights that helped drive their business growth.

The two key issues that seem to be of concern for smaller companies are the costs associated with an NPS program and the internal resources required to manage the program and to analyze the results.

With smaller companies and shorter customer lists, costs are generally contained since the sample size is smaller. In the case of the financial advisor, 100 completed NPS questionnaires were gathered from a base of 300 clients. And since the NPS questionnaire is very short, the telephone data collection (used because of the sensitive nature of the client relationship) proved to be very affordable for the financial advisor. Costs would be even lower for an online survey using a qualified, client identified list. Yes, a larger sample size would improve the statistical significance of the data, but 100 completed interviews from a base of 300 will yield usable data.

Few small companies have a dedicated research department so they should lean on their Net Promoter® Loyalty Partner for the project management as well as the research analysis and reporting. This might cost a bit more, but could pay off in some very valuable insights. In the case of the large financial institution I mentioned, their large research department handled everything but data collection and data tables, while the financial advisor depended on the Net Promoter Partner for the project management, questionnaire construction, list management, data collection, data tables, analysis and final report. One such Net Promoter® Loyalty Partner that provides this type of comprehensive service is Consumer Contact Loyalty Monitor (www.loyaltymonitor.ca)

The frequency of data collection might need adjusting for a smaller company with a smaller client list. The NPS survey might be conducted quarterly instead of monthly, with the data aggregated into a rolling average. Less frequent surveying will also reduce the cost and the risk of over-researching a relatively small client base.

There is one advantage that SMEs have over the large companies when it comes to taking action based on NPS data. The agility of smaller companies allows them to identify the critical issues and swing into action mode very quickly and make any adjustments to the operations or organizational structure. Large organizations, in spite of their best intentions, still take a lot of effort to enact the changes indicated by the NPS data.

A Net Promoter Score™ program does require an effort and investment, but for the smaller enterprise it could prove to be one the best investments they could make to drive business growth and profit. You don’t have to be one of the Big Guys to benefit from NPS.

 

Keith 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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In my previous blog I offered some advice on the implementation of a Net Promoter Score® program within your organization. That blog created some further discussion as to which methodology is the best for NPS® data collection – telephone, online or a combination of both. The answer?

It depends.

Online data collection offers speed, efficiency, broad reach and (sometimes) lower costs. Online would be appropriate if you have a current, qualified customer contact list. If you do not have a list of your current customers or competitive customers, you’ll need to acquire a list from a panel provider who will supply profiled email addresses from commercially available list brokers. The participation (or response rate) varies greatly depending on the quality of the list, the relationship with the respondent and the list source. Client provided lists may get a response as high as 40% while a purchased list that is poorly profile may be well under 5%. Considering that the overall cost is relevant to the participation rates, online data collection may not always be the lowest cost alternative.

Since online surveys are self administered, they are also self-selected. The respondent decides if they want to complete the questionnaire, creating a sample bias. There are many potential respondents who never make the email list because they are not readily accessible or they do not have an email account. This is another source of sample bias which shows that online data collection, which has its advantages, is not truly representative of the target profile. Too many potential respondents fall through the cracks.

 

Telephone data collection (CATI) has been around for decades and is still a widely used methodology for research data collection. While many complain that it is intrusive and an invasion of privacy, the truth is that telephone data collection is a viable option for NPS. The greatest advantage of telephone is the human element – the personal contact. For a NPS relationship-type study, a telephone interview conducted by a skilled, well trained interviewer can be a very positive experience for both the sponsor client and the respondent. This is especially true when conducting NPS studies with B2B respondents, senior executives and high value customers. The interviewer becomes a representative of the company. You’re not going to get that with online data collection.

Nothing beats telephone to get directly to the voice of the customer. There is a proactive element of the personal interaction of a telephone interview that generates a high level of information. We’ve understood this for quite a while and have developed a new service called Question-Based Digital Voice Recordings (QB-DVR). This allows us to record each and every telephone interview and play them back at the question level. This is a unique and effective tool to hear the actual discussion behind the quantitative data. Now you can hear the actual voice of the Promoters and the Detractors.

 

Your immediate reaction might be that telephone date collection is far more expensive than online. Our experience has shown that a well executed, brief NPS telephone questionnaire 3 to 5 minutes in length and using a qualified client provided list can be just as cost effective as an online study. The time and effort required for the programming and hosting the online questionnaire as well as the lower response/participation rates may. in fact, result in a completed online questionnaire similar in cost to a telephone interview.

What about those occasions when the target respondents cannot be reached by email? If you are committed to an online format then you’re out of options, but if you are working with a data collection partner that does both telephone and online you have a viable solution. With the proper configurations and training, a skilled telephone interviewer is able to contact the respondent, qualify them, acquire their email address and then immediately send them a link to an online questionnaire. This works well with senior execs and high value financial customers where confidentiality is an issue.

So, you do have several options when it comes to collecting NPS data – telephone, online or a combination of both. The methodology you select really depends on the situation and the research objectives. Just be cautious that you don’t blindly select online data collection without considering all the options. Think about it and do it right the first time.

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.

 

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.

Anyone can ask the question “What is the likelihood that you will recommend”, but who will trust the answers? Choosing to measure and track customer loyalty is a critical decision for your business. Equally important is the company you choose as a partner for your loyalty data collection, tracking and reporting. As a certified Net Promoter Partner®, Consumer Contact is uniquely positioned as the North American leader in data collection quality with specific experience and expertise in tracking customer loyalty.

When Net Promoter Score® is used as a key performance metric, it is imperative that a qualified, unbiased third party be used for the data collection and reporting. The data must be seen as being trustworthy and collected in an accurate and reliable manner. The data should be an honest, unfiltered representation of customer perceptions and behaviours. The results and methodology must withstand rigorous internal and external scrutiny. If you’re going to trust your customer loyalty data, you need to trust your data collection partner.

When selecting a data collection partner for your NPS® program, consider the following:

1. Do they have the expertise?

• As a Certified Net Promoter Partner®, Consumer Contact has demonstrated that we have met the demanding standards of Net Promoter® and SatMetrix. • Question Based Digital Voice Recording provides 100% verifiable data

• Consumer Contact has over 50 uniquely trained, full-time B2B Executive Research Interviewers who specialize in engaging in conversations with senior executives.

• We are one of the largest independent data collection companies in North America with 5 call centers and over 450 stations supporting 7 languages and all time zones.

2. Do they have the experience?

• We have over 38 years of data collection and reporting experience and are recognized as leaders in data quality and integrity.

• Consumer Contact has been implementing customer loyalty tracking programs leveraging the principle of NPS since 1997, starting with the original Enterprise Rent-a-Car customer loyalty project described in Fred Reichheld’s The Ultimate Question.

3. Are they committed to their clients?

• Our infrastructure and process has been audited by financial clients that require the highest level of security and reliability.

• Each Consumer Contact client is assigned to a dedicated project team of research professionals who are responsible for all aspects of the loyalty tracking project.

• We have our own highly experienced programmers on site to program all questionnaires. We do not outsource our work to off-shore contractors.

• Consumer Contact provides complete data management services to handle client contact files, source third-party respondent lists, tabulate results and create custom reporting.

4. Do they offer the solutions you need to get started immediately?

• We can track and measure Net Promoter Score® data using telephone, online or a combination of both for those hard-to-reach respondents. We are the only company to use patent-pending Quality Triggers™ to validate the quality of online data.

Consumer Contact Loyalty Monitor (CCLM) is a turnkey solution that measures and tracks customer loyalty with less cost and effort. CCLM is especially effective for small to medium size businesses.

• CCLM “Quick Start” surveys provide first-time clients with an easy to use questionnaire template to quickly begin a loyalty tracking program.

• CCLM has a unique “Hot Alert” process that automatically identifies those respondents identified as Detractors who want to be contacted about their experience.

• CCLM provides custom reports by segment, customer type or line of business. The custom reports can be updated automatically and delivered digitally as a PDF file.

Consumer Contact truly understands the importance of Net Promoter Score®. As your partner in loyalty data collection we have the tools, experience and people to make your NPS® program a resounding success.

 

Keith 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.

The recession is now a very ugly reality and it’s hitting from all sides. Orders are being canceled. Projects are being delayed. Cash flow is in the tank. Margins are under pressure. The Board wants to know your survival plan. Employee productivity is down as they wait for the next round of layoffs.

So, what’s the bright spot in this otherwise cyclone of gloom? Well, it may not be the bright light at the end of the tunnel, but there is still one asset that you can count on to help grow you business. It is your Loyal Customer.

Now, more than ever, your Loyal Customers represents a source of profit and growth and they deserve to be hugged, nurtured and protected. Yes, your Loyal Customer is experiencing all the body punches that the recession has to offer, but they have been with you through the good times and the bad times and they will be with you in the future. It is not the time to turn your back on your most valuable asset.

As bad as it is out there, people still need to buy products and services and they should be buying what you have to offer. If they are not buying from you, then whom are they buying from?

Loyal customers are still very profitable customers. They buy more frequently (just maybe not as often as in the past). They buy more of what you have. They are less price and promotion sensitive. They put more money in the bank for you. They are emotionally engaged in your business and want to see you succeed. And, most important, they promote your business to their friends and family. They are Promoters of your business and they can be an effective extension of your marketing and sales departments.

On the other hand, you most likely have customers who may not have bonded with you as you had hoped. In fact, they may take every opportunity to disparage your products or services to anyone who will listen. These are your Detractors and they can cost your company money.

The concept of Promoters and Detractors has been well developed and documented by Fred Reichheld in his book, The Ultimate Question. If you have read it, then tracking customer loyalty may already be in your recession survival tool kit. If you haven’t read it, buy it or borrow a copy. You may just find that one nugget of gold that can help you make it through the night.

In a time when many companies are cutting back on spending, it may seem counter intuitive to suggest that limited resources should be invested in understanding customer loyalty. But it is one of the best investments you can make right now. Spending to understand the profit generated by Promoters while identifying how to stop the profit loss caused by Detractors may give you the highest ROI of anything you can do during this financial maelstrom.

Tracking customer loyalty doesn’t need to be expensive nor messy. You only need to ask a few well crafted questions to get the insight you need. Reichheld’s book, The Ultimate Question, explains the theory of Net Promoter Score™ (NPS®) in detail, but in a nutshell, only one question is asked to identify Promoters and Detractors: “What is the likelihood that you will recommend our company to your friends and family”. Promoters would give you a rating of 9 or 10, while Detractors would give you a rating of 0 to 6. Simple arithmetic subtracts the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters to yield a Net Promoter Score (NPS) which can be used to measure and track customer loyalty.

NPS has proven to be an effective tracking metric but it does need a supplemental survey question to uncover the real nuggets of gold needed to improve your offering to Promoters and Detractors. A simple question such as “What are the two or three things that we do well?” and “What else could we do to make you recommend us?” It is this types of question that provides insight into the drivers of satisfaction for Promoters and dissatisfaction for Detractors. Take the insights from the Promoters and incorporate them into your marketing messages to acquire more customers. Learn from your mistakes with Detractors to fix the operational issues that are costing you money. You may not make your business entirely recession proof (even if there is such a thing) but you will be in much better shape to weather the storm.

As mentioned previously, measuring and tracking customer loyalty doesn’t need to be expensive nor complex. New services such as the Consumer Contact Loyalty Monitor (CCLM) provide affordable, convenient and actionable turnkey solutions to track and measure loyalty. Consumer Contact is one of the largest independent data collection companies in North America, offering both CATI and Online services. With over 38 years of experience, Consumer Contact has become a leader in customer satisfaction
tracking for B2C and B2B. CCLM allows small to medium sized businesses to track and measure loyalty with the effort and expense involve with many of the large, full-size agencies. More information on Consumer Contact Loyalty Monitor can be found at ww.consumercontact.com/nps_measure.html.

We all need to have a best friend when times are tough and it is just as important to find and protect Loyal Customers when the economy is hurting. Your Loyal Customer may be just the friend you need to hold your hand and guide you to the bright light at the end of this dark, scary economic tunnel.

Keith 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.