How to Improve Your Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter is used to gauge your company's performance by determining the level of satisfaction customers have with your company. This is achieved by simply asking customers how likely they are to recommend your company to a friend or colleague, using a scale of 0 to 10. By asking this question, you get a very clear understanding of what percentage of your customers are loyal.

Every customer who provides a 9 or 10 ranking is classified as a promoter. Promoters are loyal customers who keep buying and refer others without hesitation. Customers who provide a 7 or 8 ranking are classified as passive. Passives are satisfied but indifferent customers who are in danger of moving their business elsewhere. Customers who provide a ranking of 6 or below are classified as detractors. Detractors are unhappy customers who are unlikely to do further business with your company and may use word-of-mouth to let others know of their bad experience.

To calculate your company's Net Promoter Score, take the percentage of customers who are promoters and subtract the percentage who are detractors. Although Net Promoter Scores vary by industry, a satisfactory score would be anything above 50%, but never settle. Measuring and tracking your Net Promoter Score is not the end of your work. You must still drive improvements in customer loyalty and act on customer feedback.

Regardless of the level of your score, there will always be room for improvement. As a result, consider the following steps when looking to maximize your Net Promoter Score.

Hire and train with focus on customer needs
Make it a strategic imperative to ensure each new hire is customer-focused and that employees spend 5 to 10 percent of their time each week in training that will help develop their skills and understanding of what customers expect. Focus on ensuring employees understand how important it is for everyone to know the business of your customers and how your products and services can help them succeed.

Give staff ownership of customer satisfaction
Add value and expertise to each customer interaction by making sure your employees have the authority to make the customer happy. Promote an environment that encourages employees to think out of the box, while maintaining a healthy balance between customer loyalty and company health. Focus on what you can do, and how well, and not on what you can't do. Be upfront with customers, as they will always remember how you handled the problem, instead of the problem itself.

Market your mission, invite customer contact
Weave in your mission, core message and brand voice into every customer interaction, and invite customer contact so you can excite more customers. Inspire your customers by focusing on the positive and demonstrating your enthusiasm through thoughtful actions and attitudes.

Listen and be accountable
Listen to your customers and take time to understand their expectations. Empathize, understand and respond to the customer's needs. Listening for the customer's emotional state and the actions the customer has already taken is extremely important, as this shows a genuine interest in what the customer has to say. Also acknowledge customers by thanking them for their business.

During customer interactions, take the time needed to ensure customers understand your solution, and provide the information in a manner they can easily understand. Educating the customer should be a top priority. Also be sure to provide the customer with a summary of your understanding of the issue, so the customer knows you were listening and know how to proceed. This forces you to listen.

Demonstrate transparency
Create an online experience that is easy, intuitive, efficient and transparent. Customers should walk away from the transaction feeling they were provided with all of the information they needed to make informed decisions on their purchase. An example of transparency would be to ensure your pricing has no hidden up charges or fees.

Foster internal communication
Strengthen the ties and create a communication link between Customer Service and the rest of the company in order to keep the focus where it belongs, on the customer experience. Coordination of communication between departments is a key to the success of the company as a whole. Departments will have to constantly monitor and change how they interact with each other to sustain a level of success, but the key is to keep the lines of communication open. What you don't want is the customer to suffer because Customer Service was not aware of or not properly trained on a new product, promotion or partnership that customers have questions on.

Deliver a quality experience
Provide high-quality products that exceed expectations and if for some reason the customer is not satisfied, make it right! Don't tell the customer there is nothing you can do. There is always something you can do. It may not be exactly what the customer wants, but it is the effort to provide the customer some resolution and the way it is delivered that will make the difference.

It is all about the customer experience. Obviously, you will not be able to satisfy every customer, but providing a rewarding experience will be the basis for customers to take their positive experiences and become promoters and vocal voices for your company.

Article Source: Kevin M Plankey

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