One Critical Question You Should Be Asking Your Customers

Have you ever had friends coming from out of town asking for advice on where to eat? Or a friend who just started working out asking for gym or spinning studio suggestions? If you think about it, each person has a few “go to” alternatives for pretty much every product or service category there is.

Imagine suggesting a pizza restaurant in your city to out-of-towners. Now think about each of the 2-3 options going through your mind right now. Think how many friends or colleagues you’ve sent to those few restaurants over the years? These alternatives for each product or service that you think of first are your “consideration set”.

“Consideration set is the subset of brands that consumers evaluate when making a purchase decision.”

The main goal for you as a business is to get your product or service into the shopper’s consideration set, so anytime they need something you sell, your company is one of the first to come to mind. There is a simple scientific method that measures customer loyalty and helps you to determine where your business stands at the moment.

Businessman hand giving five star rating, Feedback concept, VECT

In 2003, Harvard Business Review published an article titled “One Number You Need to Grow” which talked about the one critical question you should be asking your customers. How likely is it that you would recommend our company, product or service to a friend or colleague? It is as simple as that. If the customer is happy with the product or service, they would happily recommend it to their friends and colleagues.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a value that is calculated based on responses to this question: The scoring for this Answer is most often based on a 0 to 10 scale.

Here’s how the scores are distributed:

  • Promoters (scores 9-10) – customers that love your product and will gladly refer you to their friends, family and business partners.
  • Passives (scores 7-8) – customers that are satisfied with your level of service, but there is no real loyalty to the brand there. These accounts are vulnerable to competitive offers.
  • Detractors (scores 0-6) – merchants that are unhappy with the level of service. These accounts can actually hurt the brand by spreading negative word-of-mouth.

Once you identify all three categories:

  • Ask Detractors what was the main reason for the bad score. Analyze the feedback and implement the improvements.
  • Ask Passives what else the company could do to enhance the customer service experience.
  • Reach out to Promoters and thank them for their business.

The NPS question is so simple that you could email or text it to your clients and ask them for a direct response. It doesn’t have to be a survey with a link to a web page and this simple format makes it easier for them to respond. Remember that with personalized emails, people will be more likely to give you honest feedback.

Understanding your clients is the first step in creating trust-based long-lasting relationships, so learn more about the NPS and start using it to your advantage!


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