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Feed Your Business…With Feedback!

Lawrence Wilson


If I told you this article is about a simple, globally recognised method to engage meaningfully with your customers, build loyalty, increase revenue, manage your business day to day, benchmark against the best in your industry and in the process, improve the sellability of your company, you could be forgiven for allowing your inner cynic to take hold, but please read on!

The name Net Promoter Score (NPS) may smack of consultant or corporate jargon but it has become known as a more important measure than customer satisfaction in determining whether a customer will buy from you again, which applies in equal measure to both SME or global behemoth.

This is how it works. You ask your customers one simple question; how likely is it that you will recommend us to a friend or colleague on a score from 0 to 10, where 0 is extremely unlikely/never and 10 is extremely likely. The scores are then divided into three broad categories;

1. Promoters – those who score 9 or 10. They are highly likely to be loyal customers who will continue using you and refer you to others.

2. Passives – those who score 7 or 8. They are satisfied customers, but who are likely to shop around and can be switched to your competitors.

3. Detractors – those who score 0-6. These are your unhappy customers who are likely to complain either to you or to their friends and have the potential to damage your brand resulting in a negative impact on your growth.

If they are promotors, ask what you are doing well and uncover opportunities to sell additional products and services or obtain referral business. There’s no better time to promote your products or ask for a referral than with customers who you know are delighted with you, so take the opportunity whilst you can.

If they are passives or detractors, ask what improvements need to be made. Incorporate those into your service delivery plan. Arrange to go back in 3-6 months and ask if things have improved. Can you bump them up to the promotor bracket?

How you collect the data can strengthen your business and customer relationships. The more honest the answers the better, and it may you are uncomfortable hearing bad news about your business or the customer is uncomfortable delivering it to you. In which case, can you leave them the survey form to email back to you or is there a staff member with customer facing experience who can collect the data on your behalf? An alternative method might be to collect the data over the phone or use a free online tool such as Survey Monkey. For others, an outside agency specializing in B2B customer satisfaction surveys might be more appropriate.

With NPS, it’s not just the scores that are important but the truths about your business that lie behind them. NPS is a great tool for managing your business day to day and is like a barometer for the health of your business.

Have recent changes to your product and service offering or staff changes had a negative impact on your customer’s journey and are reflecting in low scores? What is the data telling you and what needs to be done to turn the ship around?

In summary, The NPS provides an excellent opportunity to engage with your customers and sends an important message… you care. It will take a concerted effort to survey and resurvey your clients but as part of a structured account management plan can be invaluable for strengthening existing relationships and unlocking revenue streams. The question remains, can the ambitious SME owner afford to ignore NPS any longer?

To find out more about how Business Doctors can help you develop an individualised strategic plan for your business, visit and complete the ‘free health check’ form.