Listening Very Hard: The Voice of Your Customer

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As a Consulting Company that has a Customer Intimate Generic Strategy (i.e. we understand what our clients want and we work closely to deliver it the customised way they need it delivered) we survey the Business Leaders we work with every 6 months. It is important that we get better and better at Strategy, Executive Leader Coaching and most importantly our core business which is ensuring the plan gets executed. We need to know our clients well, support their CEO’s to lead change and to develop and grow their people. It is a high trust relationship because we get to see the best and the worst of what goes on inside their organisation. Referrals are the absolute lifeblood of our business and where most of our new business comes from.

The survey we use (and we recommend our clients use)  is the Net Promotor Score survey. You can google this and find a huge amount of information about this globally recognised best practice survey which measures client loyalty. Two simple anonymous questions asked by an independent party gives a massive amount of valuable information.

Question 1: On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being never and 10 being always) how likely would you be to recommend xyz business to family or close friends. This gives a number.

Question 2: If the answer is 9 or 10: What is your reason for giving this number? This information is taken down as it is said (i.e. word for word) and gives all the things the business does well and in fact are the reasons they are loyal and will refer business.

Question 2: If the answer is 1 – 8: How could company xyz move your score closer to a 9 or 10? These answers will give all the information about what things need to improve before they will refer others. They are the development areas.

Using the numbers you then ignore all the 7 & 8 Scores (these are deemed as satisfied clients i.e. just as likely to refer as not). You calculate the % of 9 & 10’s (the promotors) and subtract the % of 1 – 6’s (the detractors). This gives a number between -100 and + 100. That is your Net Promotor Score. You can access benchmarking data to look at industry norms if you wish.

As a professional services Company working in a high trust position you would expect that the NPS score would be well into the positive numbers. Our NPS score had moved from + 56 to + 75 over a six month period. More significantly we had no detractors (rating 1 – 6) something we had never achieved before. So what did the survey tell us?

1. It gives me as CEO a lot of confidence that we deliver upon and exceed our client expectations.

2. It tells us that we are getting better at what we do.

3. It tells us that we have a stable and loyal client base that will refer and that we add massive value to their businesses.

4. It gives us confidence to tell our story and know that it is backed by our clients & based on good data.

5. We know exactly what it is that clients value most about our services and exactly what problems we solve for them.

6. It tells us what we need to work on over the next 6 months as a team (training and new skills/expertise) in order to take things to the next level.

7. It gives us valuable information and confidence around how we price our services.

Most of our clients introduce this survey over time and it is very valuable information. The businesses brave enough to own the “Voice of their Customer” will significantly out perform others in their industry because they know what they need to improve and innovate in order to grow client loyalty. It does take courage to do it. If you have detractors surveying 1 – 6 you can actually put a dollar amount on the revenue your business has at risk i.e. if you don’t do something to address those things they seek then you will eventually lose them as a client.

We owe a massive thanks to all our clients for taking part in this survey……..Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Have you surveyed your client loyalty? What did you learn?

Read more about owning the Voice of the Customer

Case study: Voice of the Customer Workshop (link here)

Own the Voice of the Customer…….just Own it!! (Link Here)

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