Posted by: Matthew Molinari | May 15, 2012

The Post Sale Process

I saw this article a few days ago and it really resonated with me because the resort I work for takes the Net Promoter Score very seriously. If you aren’t familiar with the NPS format, check it out and start thinking about using it for your business. The basic premise boils customer service questionnaires down to one question: Would you recommend our business to a friend? The answer is ranked from 1 to 10 with 10 being the most likely to recommend to someone.

I think 50 years ago most businesses didn’t care about whether people would recommend their product because the means of communication were so different. If someone had a crappy experience at Sears, the likelihood of them being able to express it to a broad audience was pretty much zero. At most they would maybe tell their spouse and a neighbor but more often than not that experience would simply disappear.

Marketing was all about shouting out your message to customers and not expecting, or wanting, any feedback. That has changed drastically with the emergence of social media and now customers expect service 24/7. If they don’t get it you can expect them to send out a tweet or write a blog about their experience that has the ability to reach millions of people around the world in only a few minutes.

That is what the NPS is all about. It takes into account all aspects of your business and assumes that if you do them all well, the answer to the recommendation question will result in a positive score but if you succeed on all fronts but one, you may see your score drop to a 7. This is the new problem facing many companies in satisfying their customers. They are now required to think about their product from the very first stage of production all the way through the life cycle to when the product is disposed of by the end-user.

More and more often companies are spending time thinking about the post sale process and ensuring their product is quality, the warranty satisfies expectations, the call center doesn’t frustrate and repairs and maintenance don’t bury the company in expenses. I think the power of the NPS score is that it creates lifelong customers that you don’t have to keep fighting to find. Once you attract them and satisfy their needs they should stay loyal to you if you continue to engage them in a meaningful way and make them feel as though they are an individual and not just a sales number.

Many times we think of the supply chain from the beginning to the end-user but with customer relationship management and the emergence of social media we really need to use reverse logistics to ensure that the needs of the customer are being met so they will recommend you to all their friends.

How does your business engage customers and make sure they market you to their friends?

 

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