If you’re a service provider and not getting 25 % of your new business from delighted clients, you’ve got a problem
Satisfied clients will recommend you to friends, family members and other business they know if they’re asked.
Delighted clients will sing your praises to others without being asked.
From Wikipedia: The “Net Promoter Score” is a customer loyalty metric developed by (and a registered trademark of) Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix. It was introduced by Reichheld in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article “One Number You Need to Grow”. NPS can be as low as −100% (everybody is a detractor) or as high as +100% (everybody is a promoter). An NPS that is positive (i.e., higher than zero) is felt to be good, and an NPS of +50% is excellent.
For more information read Reichheld’s classic book, The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth.
The Net Promoter Score is tied to whether or not a customer or client would recommend your product or service to a friend or family member.
It is now widely used and often more revealing than many of the customer satisfaction surveys that are on the market, because it essentially says, “Your customer or client’s actions speak louder than their words… or surveys they fill out.”
Using this with your current clients will accomplish the following:
Tell you what they really think of you
Tell you what you need to improve to improve how they think of you
Suggest subliminally that your clients should be thinking of referring you to their friends, family members and other business associates
The way to put this into practice is to reach out to your current clients and say, “My firm and I have embarked on a program to maximize the satisfaction that our clients such as you feel. Rather than guessing what that might be, might I ask you a few questions that will help us to provide even better service to you?” (Hopefully they will respond, “Okay”).
Then say, “Thank you,” and ask, “Would you recommend our firm/services to your friends, family members or other businesses you know if they asked? If so, why? If not, why not?” Then allow them to answer and prod them to give you specific vs. general answers that can guide on what to do with regard to your services.
If they bring up a gripe, drill down to let them get it all off their chest by asking, “At its worst, when we/I have done that, how frustrated has that made you feel?” Then when they explain, pause, look them in the eye and without any excuses say, “I’m sorry, I’m glad you let me know. I’m going to fix that.”
If they bring up something great, drill down and have them elaborate on it so they remember something they feel very grateful to you for. Then when they finish, smile and say, “I’m very pleased that we were able to do that and want to do even more going forward.”
After the above discussions say to them, “One last question, what would we need to do even better for you to go out of your way to recommend us to your friends, family members or other businesses you know without their asking?”
Then listen to whatever they say. When they finish, say this to them, “This is very important and I want to make sure I got it exactly right. Is what you said, (then repeat word for word what they said) and if I or we did that, you’d recommend me/us to friends, family members and other businesses without their even asking?”
Then wait for them to give you a confirmatory, “Yes.” When they do that, it tends to deepen their commitment to actually doing that in the future.
If they say, “It’s not my style to do that unless someone asks me,” be gracious and respond, “I can understand that, many people are uncomfortable doing something like that and I just thought it doesn’t hurt to ask. In the meantime, I look forward to continuing to work with you and to be even better at how I and my firm serves you.”
BTW if you are uncomfortable doing the above, be candid with yourself.
Is it because you can’t stand pushing people in any way, shape or form, or is it that you don’t want to find out how your customer or client really feels about you and your firm? If it’s the latter, one of the reasons you may be uncomfortable is that down deep you may feel guilty that you care less about being of service than you do about upselling them on more services when you are being pressured by your firm to increase revenue and you don’t want your clients to find out. After all, being of service is about what’s in it for them, being of sales is about what’s in it for you and if they know that, they’re not going to want to promote you to anyone.