Protect and Grow Your Revenue
According to a recent Epicomm Survey, growth is the # 1 issue for print industry CEOs in 2016, and company leaders are employing many strategies to drive up revenue and profit. Some are investing in new technologies, others are merging with and acquiring competitors, and many are changing their customer service models. CEOs are also launching new solutions, hiring more sales representatives and fine tuning their marketing processes — all with the same objective: Profitable Growth. But there is something fundamental that ultimately ties all of these approaches together, and that is the customer experience. The underlying foundation of any CEO growth strategy is this: Keep the Customers You Have; and Expand Your Business.
Customer Loyalty is perhaps the most critical, most misunderstood (and ironically, one of the most easily measured) concepts in the business environment today, and it is important to recognize how understanding loyalty can lead to growth. Customer Loyalty isn’t the same as Customer "Satisfaction." Satisfaction is a measure of how well you are doing the job that customers have asked you to do. Loyalty, on the other hand, is a measure of how passionate your customers are about your business relationship, and their willingness to not only stick by you through difficult times, but also their willingness to actually recommend you in the market.
The trouble with clients is that they are not particularly forthcoming and candid. So, you have to know the right questions to ask in order to get at how they truly feel about your company. For example — according to Bain and Company, 60% - 80% of customers who leave a supplier score themselves as "Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied" on customer satisfaction surveys, just prior to switching suppliers. In fact, 96% of unhappy customers will not complain to you at all if they are dissatisfied — they will simply leave and not tell you. An astounding nine out of ten of these dissatisfied customers will leave — it’s only a matter of when. So as a CEO, the question is "what should I ask in order to see if my customers are loyal?"
The answer is quite simple. You should ask them the Net Promoter Score question:
"On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being not likely at all, and 10 being highly likely:
How likely are you to recommend my company to a friend or colleague?"
With this one simple question, you will get a single grade from each respondent, which encompasses the entire set of perceptions that they have about your company. They will think expansively about their total experience — Sales, Customer Service, Manufacturing, Sourcing, Invoicing, and on and on — and then answer the question. It’s pretty easy to look at the aggregate responses (total number of Promoters — total number of Detractors = NPS ... your Net Promoter Score) but it’s more important to do something with the data once you have it!
So here’s a simple three-step approach that enables you to use this process to Protect and Grow your Revenue:
- Make NPS a part of your culture
- Commit to Analyzing the Data
- Take Action
Culture is the first step. It means that you must educate every person in your company about their role in the customer loyalty process. Remember, not everybody can secure a new customer, but anybody can lose one.
Analyzing the Data is the next step. By evaluating responses by business unit, region, sales representative and account type, you will gain rich insights into the areas of your business where customer loyalty scores are soaring and where they are lagging. With this information in hand, you can initiate the final step:
Taking Action This is actually the easiest of all the steps — but it takes discipline. It requires your company to have an individual conversation with each and every respondent to the survey. Here’s the trick: Drive consistency throughout your account teams!
For every Detractor (those who score 6 or below), you must meet with the respondent, thank them for taking the survey, apologize, and ask them: "What would it take to right the wrongs we have committed" in order to change their perception.
For each Passive (those who score a 7 or 8), you must have your account team meet with the respondent, thank them for taking the survey, and ask them: "What would it take to become a 9 or a 10 in your eyes?"
And finally, for each Promoter (those who score a 9 or 10), you must meet with them, thank them for taking the survey, and ask them for a reference or referral — something that they’ve already said that they would do for your company!
Bain and Company, through years of research, has determined that Customer Loyalty leaders outgrow their customers by a factor of 2:1 by simply asking the right question, making it part of their culture, analyzing the data, and taking action. Butler Street data supports this — our customers who have adopted NPS as the first step in their growth journey are outperforming the market by 4:1! Simply stated: Net Promoter Score works as a foundation to Protect and Grow Your Business.
At Butler Street, we believe that "Progressive Improvement is Better than Postponed Perfection," so taking the first step is the most important — you can start by getting a detailed view of your customers’ perceptions of your business. It’s fast, easy, and practically free — simply visit: www.aremyclientsloyal.com/sample to download a sample of the report you will get by participating in "The Best of Print and Digital" process. On this site, you can also request more information and sign up for the survey.
In March, Butler Street, a leading management consulting, training and research firm specializing in client and talent development, in conjunction with NAPCO Media, Printing Impressions and Print+Promo announced the Winners of the 2016 Best of Print & Digital program to recognize those companies with the highest customer loyalty scores in the industry. By participating in this process, you will take the first step in understanding how customer loyalty is impacting your business.
Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.