Fortunately, there’s a relatively simple way to find out. It’s called “net promoter score (NPS).” Established by Bain & Company in 2003, NPS provides the objective measure of customer loyalty so many field service businesses are looking for.
What is a Net Promoter Score (NPS)?
Simply stated, your net promoter score tells you how many of your field service customers would recommend your company and the service you provide to others. To calculate your NPS, you simply send a 1-question survey to your customers, asking them, “How likely is it that you would recommend (fill in the name of your company or specific service) to a friend or colleague?” Respondents grade your company (or product) on a scale of 1 to 10, where “10” indicates “extremely likely,” and “1” indicates “not at all likely.”
Based on customer responses, you divide them into 3 groups:
1. Promoters: these are respondents who give you a score of 9 or 10, indicating they are very likely to recommend you to others;
2. Passives: these customers give you a rating of 7 or 8—they are basically satisfied, but could also abandon you for one of your competitors; and
3. Detractors: you are at risk of losing these customers, who give you a score of 6 or less—they are the ones most likely to “detract” your company, or your products, to others.
To calculate your net promoter score, subtract the percentage of “detractor” respondents from the percentage of “promoter” respondents. For example, if 50% of your customers are promoters and 15% are detractors, the calculation would be 50 – 15 = 35—your net promoter score is 35.
How Can I Use My Net Promoter Score to Grow My Field Service Business?
Obviously, it’s helpful to know your net promoter score, since it gives you a good sense of how healthy your business is. For example, 80% of your business referrals come from promoters (Net Promoter System, 2013). At the same time, detractors account for about 80% of all your negative word-of-mouth. But simply having this information won’t help you improve your business. The trick is to create effective strategies based on this information.
Here are 3 ways you can improve your NPS:1. Include a “Comments” Section When You Send Out Your Survey
When you send out your survey, you can include a comments section to ask customers what they specifically like about your business or products, and how this ties into their evaluation. As you review customer survey responses, look for common themes among both promoters and detractors. For example, if you own a repair service company, you might notice that a large percentage of detractors say that your workers are slacking on the job, or that they’re rude. Promoters, on the other hand, might say that your employees follow directions well and are responsive to their needs.2. Create Strategies to Build on Strengths and Eradicate Weaknesses
Paying attention to key service metrics will help you understand where your weaknesses lay and how to improve them. If your workers taking too much time to resolve issues is an issue among detractors, you need to create strategies to fix the problem. For example, you could implement a retraining program, spend more time reviewing customer reviews, or, if necessary, remove field service reps who are not doing their job. If you find that workers are listening to what customers want and following their directions carefully, you could find ways to acknowledge and reward their performance to ensure their continued strong performance.3. Measure the Results of the Changes You Make
To find out if the changes you’ve made are gaining traction, you can reissue your net promoter survey periodically. If the strategies you created are working, you should see an increasingly higher net promoter score, with a larger percentage of promoters, and a smaller percentage of detractors. At the end of the day, embracing data-driven decision-making will help your organization secure success now, and in the future.
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