Companies hold off-sites to look at their past performance, set their eyes on the future and review strategies to reach the goals in front of them. While reflecting on the customer feedback and scores, it is not rare to see people talk about the unrealistic expectations of their customers. All of us want to see positive results and yearn for good news. We don’t want to see criticism and low scores.
Some time ago, we started an NPS-based study for each function in our company. We said, the branch offices are servicing customers and are being rated by them. They are doing their best to improve the customer experience. Similarly, they are the internal customers of the people in the head office. They hold certain expectations of their colleagues in the head office. Hence, the functions in the head office must gear up to understand those expectations, innovate new ways of working or new products to make their customers successful, influence customer behaviours and lead the way.
We said, performance of our colleagues in head office would be evaluated based on their respective NPS and their bonus would be determined by this. This is not a sure-fire way to drive customer focus among the functionaries, but it does shake them up to think of making their customers delighted. I think, the first step to boost NPS is to link rewards, recognition and ambitions in the organisation.
The leaders have to talk about it in the organisation consistently, use it as a favourite metric in internal discussions and get involved in programmes to drive NPS up. They need to lead the change from the front by invoking customer expectations and preferences in their decision making process.
Hence iconic companies in the world have institutionalised the practice of customer connect at all levels of leadership in the company and listening to the voice of customers. They innovate new products and processes based on what they see and hear in the market.
They do not hesitate to run pilot programmes, drop initiatives and introduce new experiments. They talk about the successes and failures openly. And drive the successful practices ruthlessly in the company to boost the NPS.
Customers experience a product or a service through several moments of truth. Companies know the moments in time when they have delivered superior experience to their customers. That’s the moment to ask for feedback, request a review on social media and win a promoter in the public. Once having committed oneself to being a promoter, it is highly unlikely that the customer would go back to the position of being a critique and a detractor. The idea is to leverage the positive moments of truth. Timing matters!
Sometimes leaders focus on the complainants and the detractors. They want to turn them around by applying fixes and making up for the unfavourable experiences. However they forget that their business can be propelled forward with the good wishes, recommendations, repeat buys and positive word of mouth of the promoters. Businesses must pay heed to the opinions of these promoters, engage with them to give them a sense of care and make continual improvements. This care and attention creates a virtuous cycle of NPS.
It is true that customers complain and are willing to let you know about their disapproval of your brand only when they have a hope of better results from you. So, one must listen to the voices of the detractors and reflect upon the feedback. The very act of listening to their voice surely converts some detractors to rethink about their mental position with respect to the brand and move towards being neutral and eventually being a promoter.
A business leader has to build the culture of listening to customers’ voice in the organisation. Easier said than done, it gives long-lasting results for an organisation. NPS doesn’t remain limited to the Boardroom but thrives well across the rank and file.
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