If you read our blog, about the most important question you can ever ask your customers, then you’ll understand how their feedback and perceptions will help you understand where you are and in which direction your business is generally heading. You’ll also understand that what is really important is your customers' perceptions. Because their perception is your business reality. So what if you’ve asked the question and you’ve calculated your NCAS Score (or Net Promoter Score as its sometimes known), what next? If you were afforded only one more question, what is the ultimate follow up question that you should ask?
Well, your survey provider should already allow you to download the raw data from the most important question onto a spreadsheet. So then a clever by-use of the NCAS / NPS is that you should be easily able to link any individual customer scores to anything else they might want to add. You already know from reading how to calculate your NCAS score that those customers giving you 9s and 10s are those whose comments you really want to take notice of. Why? Because they are already passionate about using your business and so they are most positively predisposed to telling you what else they’d like you do for them. And guess what? If you keep giving them what they want and need, then you’ll keep meeting and exceeding their expectations and they’ll continue recommending you to their friends. So before you know it they’ll be generating sustainable business growth for you. In short, your advocates will become your richest source of new ideas. Not everything they suggest may sound like a winning idea, but then there’s an easy question to validate their suggestions before you go down the launch pad – its called the ‘Eric Ries test’.
You’ll also know from your NCAS / NPS exercise that whatever anyone who gives you a score of 7 or 8 says, take with a pinch of salt. They’ll never be fierce advocates no matter what they may say to your face. However, those who are giving you scores of ‘0’ to ‘6’ now those guys can only do you harm. So once again worth listening to but remember you’ve probably already lost them as a repeat customer unless you can show that you’ve listened to them and actioned their suggestions within the limited window of opportunity you have to positively influence their experience. Naturally, this requires an efficient way of you getting point of experience feedback and delivering it as actionable management information within seconds or minutes but you get the point? Your customers will value the opportunity to say something if they know that you will acknowledge and action their thoughts and suggestions – which brings us neatly on to the ultimate follow-up question(s).
The first ultimate follow-up question is this, “considering the score you just gave us, please tell us, honestly, the ONE most important thing we can do to improve the experience for you, your friends, or your colleagues in future”. Taking into account everything I’ve already said before, the answers you to this question are pure liquid gold to you. Those customers who are closer to the extremes of ‘0’ and ‘10’ will be those who are most passionate about their beliefs whether positive or negative. Those who have score ‘5’ to ‘8’ are the most indifferent. And in actual fact using traditional methods of feedback, these are the people most unlikely to say anything at all. In fact, research shows they probably account for around 25 out of 26 of your customers – we call them the silent majority. In reality, unlocking the thoughts of the silent majority might help you understand what your core appeal is. For the avoidance of doubt, your core appeal is very different from what makes advocates and people shout from the roofs to all their friends about what you do.
The second ultimate follow-up question is having listened to what customers have suggested, then apply the Eric Ries Test until such time as you’ve tweaked their ideas into a value proposition that will instantly succeed because from start to finish it has been driven by your most loyal customers’ feedback.
What are your suggestions on ‘Killer’ follow up questions?