Customer satisfaction can be determined in any number of ways, from personal visits and other direct encounters with customers to surveys and data analytics.
Two key metrics include overall customer satisfaction rating, and a tactic used by many companies today called the net promoter score. It measures strength of loyalty and a willingness to recommend you.
Net promoters scores are typically built on the offering of a single question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend [our company, our product, our service] to a friend or colleague?”
Based on this simple 11 point scale, scores are divided into detractors (those giving a score of 6 or less); Passives, who score you at 7 or 8; or net Promoters, who answered with a 9 or 10.
The detractors have the potential for further reputational damage, and when recognized provide an important opportunity to learn more, understand, correct a problem (and thus ‘save’ a customer) or engage them in meaningful dialogue aimed at solving the problem and improving your score.
The passives are somewhat satisfied, but are vulnerable to switching to another provider or product. They’re not likely to say anything bad about your product or firm, but they’re also not enthusiastic enough about your products (or you) to actively promote either.
Promoters, those who scored a 9 or 10, are your sweet spot. They love your company’s products, services or people, and will often recommend them enthusiastically to others. They’re worth their weight in gold, of course.
In addition to ‘top-level’ metrics that you can find inside your ERP system, you can consider determining metrics for each stage of a customer’s journey throughout your life with them. Metrics that include sales trends, buying history, preferences, results of cust-sat surveys and overall breadth of product support for your products and services can be combined and investigated at various timelines along the way, at least for a random sampling of clients. Just as an investigative exercise alone, the results can be enlightening, and most every client is capable of surprising us (for better and for worse) with their responses, once engaged.
It takes a bit of courage sometimes to work up to asking the net promoter question, or to survey your customers on their more specific levels of trust and satisfaction. But the knowledge gained and insights provided actually make it easier for you to improve your offerings and increase customer retention almost immediately. Viewed in that light, why wouldn’t you do it?