Kristian is the director of a Danish event company. As part and parcel of preparing all the invoicing after an event, it has become natural for him to ask his customers the ultimate question: Would you recommend us and why?
Kristian, Director: The main thing for me is that I want to know how our customers feel about what we do for them. It is great to hear what my employees have to say but it is not necessarily the whole truth. The whole truth is what our customers experience. There can be a difference, which diminishes as we become better at reading what we think our customers feel and how they tell us they feel.
Working with customer feedback is not a new thing but working with the Net Promoter Score® method is. In the past we have worked with traditional questionnaires but there are two aspects of these that don’t work well…
Why traditional customer surveys don’t work
One of the reasons for this is that there are often too many questions, which are time-consuming for people to answer. I often get questionnaires like this: they always say that it will only take two minutes to complete but it actually ends up taking ten. Often I can’t relate to the questions and might end up skipping a few or even quit halfway through if I feel I am wasting my time. This is part of the problem with traditional questionnaires. There are too many pointless questions.
The other problem is what they are being used for. Is the idea that the answers will be used as a marketing tool where it is about getting the highest possible score? In this case, the customer surveys become a form of advertising, which can be “enhanced” to look better, as needed. I prefer a different approach to this, where it is more about getting a truthful image and using it as a tool internally to help my employees get better at what we do and consequently get our customers to recommend us.
I think there are two good things about Net Promoter Score®
From my experience, the first thing is that, where I used to send out lengthy questionnaires, I now only send one question. We have seen a clear rise in the amount of feedback we are getting so that is a good starting point. I would actually say that this is the main thing. We have gone from only getting feedback from a fifth of our customers to about half, which is a great improvement.
The other thing is the operational side of things. What can this be used for? How should we interpret the results? What does it mean when a customer is satisfied vs. an ambassador? I think there is an extra element in that and I think the bar has been raised and the focus is now on how we can use our score from a business point of view and take action on it.
From scores to actual improvements
I work with the operational side of things. Generally, in my management, I work a lot with what it means to me on an operational level. If we have a value, what does that mean for me as an employee? By wanting our customers to come back and to bring in new customers, we need to know when a customer becomes a loyal customer and even recommends us to others. If we have a tool to help us gain this knowledge, this gives us a benchmark, with our customers as our barometer.
When we run an event we don’t just do it to get a happy customer. It is great that they are happy –but it means more to us that they are loyal. We want a customer who comes back to us over and over again and who generates new customers for us.
When I look at the feedback we get from our customers, I can see what we have succeeded with. It was great to see that one of the people who scored us 10 said that he had already recommended us to another department and that they had already contacted us. This was all true; one of their heads of department had been in contact with us based on a recommendation he had had.
When customers tell us that they are satisfied, we have no way of knowing whether they will use us again. Net Promoter Score® shows us how likely a customer is to use our services again. There is something very forward-thinking about that way of measuring customer satisfaction. Net Promoter Score® gives us an internal compass for our customers.
How can your team keep track of the customer feedback?
We have chosen to display the screen with the dashboard in the middle of our hallway as we want everyone to see it – most importantly our closest employees. These are the ones we call middle managers and we wish for them to make it part of their agenda. Furthermore, displaying the screen in such a central area ensures also that our freelancers as well as our customers see our scores in real time. We want our score to be visible.
Employees look at the screen as they walk past it. In the past, it was often tricky to pass the survey results on to the individual employee in a good way, so the screen has really helped with this process. The screen makes it clear for everyone how things are going. It is not just the individual who gets their scores – everyone can see them now, and bask in the glory when they are doing well.
Read more about Kristians Event Agency in Copenhagen.
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