The Importance of Tracking Your Net Promoter Score

Jan. 1, 2017
Why Net Promoter Score is a crucial metric for any shop to track

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a practical way for shop owners to take note of blemishes in their businesses. 

The Christian Brothers Automotive Corporation, like many other auto care businesses in recent years, has discovered a measurement that holds a mirror up to the company’s operations in a truly effective way: net promoter score (NPS). This survey system gained steam following Fred Reichheld’s 2006 book, The Ultimate Question, which suggested that businesses should ask customers one key thing: On a scale of zero to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend this business to a friend or colleague?

This survey helps businesses track “promoters” (fans of a business, who rated it a 9 or 10 and are likely to recommend it), “passives” (customers who are somewhat satisfied, and gave a 7 or 8 rating), and “detractors” (consumers who aren’t content with the service provided, rated it 0-6, and may spread negative word of mouth). Studying NPS can shed light on how to turn infrequent customers into loyal customers and provide an indication of your business’ growth potential. 

Overall NPS scores can range from -100 to 100 and anything above 50 is widely considered solid. Options to utilize for measuring NPS include customer-relationship management software like Demandforce and Listen360. Josh Wall, the vice president of franchise and strategic development with Christian Brothers—which boasts an overall NPS of 81 at all facilities nationally—describes why he feels NPS is a KPI more shop owners should track.

NPS provides both value and a harsh reality. It is a quick analysis to be able to see, “Here’s where we’re at on any given day, week, month, and this is what the service experience looks like.”

It is the most effective way to understand if we are hitting the mark or missing the mark. And we feel it’s accurate.

NPS can be intimidating, because you’re also talking about the customers who are the detractor customers, whereas most surveys just focus on the most positive customers. But we don’t want to be just pie-in-the-sky; we want to deal with where we are with our customer base, so you’re not sticking your head in the sand. 

The survey is surprisingly easy to track. You’ve got to have a high degree of self-awareness and comfort dealing with where you’re falling short to be able to deal with the NPS survey. When we rolled this out, we had a lot of business owners in our system that didn’t like it. We’re humans; we don’t like talking about things that we’re not good at. But it’s accurate. We’ve got to learn, we’ve got to
get better.

We ask our customers for their email address, and within 24 hours of our service experience concluding, they get an email with The Ultimate Question survey. That’s the whole kit-and-kaboodle. We want it to be very simple, very easy to use, something they can do on their phones.

Simple surveys can provide sizable value. If I’m a business owner, I’m asking myself the simple question: Is it more important to me to have a much smaller group of customers answer a broad range of survey questions about my business? Or, is it more important for me to get more responses and less information, but it could be more important information?

Believe me, I love customer research—those types of questions are incredibly insightful and help us make decisions—but, ultimately, what I wanna know is, how likely are they to recommend us to someone else?

NPS can be used multiple ways within a shop. It’s a great talking point with our franchisees. 

If our franchisees feel like their businesses are slipping down into the neutral scores, then we know we need to help them implement our service experience. So, when we go in and evaluate their businesses, we have one of our store performance coaches come with them to spend time with them and listen and observe. 

We also use the NPS with each one of our front-line members. We’re going to measure their individual NPS on the customers that they’re serving. 

On a given day we might not be able to tell much information, but over a week, month, three months, or six months, it absolutely tells a story. If you’ve got a guy who’s 10 points below your team average, that’s someone who probably needs some extra training. 

NPS is going to help you be effective in managing different aspects of your business. And the only way you can manage something is by first measuring.

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