DMC has been in business since 1996 and, until about a year ago, we never explicitly and regularly discussed customer service excellence. Of course, we discussed satisfying the customer and our Core Values, which were first documented several years ago and certainly underscore a customer driven culture.
But, last year we took a more proactive approach. Some of the outcomes of our efforts can be seen in the
About You Working With Us page of our web site. Another initiative we have taken is to try to measure our Net Promoter Score. There is a tremendous NPS Community that digs pretty deep into the process.
Our process is based upon The Ultimate Question which started as a book written by Fred Reichheld. Rather than take the multi-dimensional survey approach that most companies have traditionally taken (e.g. How would you rate us on delivery? Quality? Responsiveness? Performance? etc.), the ultimate question approach is actually much simpler. Its core is to ask one basic question with a few simple, open-ended follow-up questions.
On a scale of 0-10, how likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?
The answers are evaluated as such:
9-10: These are the company's promoters & advocates. They are the most satisfied, and, more importantly, loyal customers. They will make a point of letting other people know how great of an experience they had with the company.
7-8: These are passive customers. They may be content with the products or services provided, but they probably aren't singing the praises of the company and quite possibly would go with another vendor based upon small differences.
0-6: These customers are detractors. Something has gone not right in the relationship and they will certainly make a point of not doing business with a company if they can and also may make a point of telling people about their negative experiences.
The Net Promoter Score is simply the (Promoters - Detractors)/Total # of Customers. The average U.S. company has a score of 10. World class companies have scores that range from 50-60.
In addition to the "Ultimate Question," we also follow-up with some very simple, customer-centric open-ended questions:
- What have we been doing well?
- What can we do even better?What specifically could we do to increase our score by one point?
- Is there anything else that you would like to share?
DMC has recently started conducting formal NPS surveys with the hopes of understanding what customers value about us and where we can improve our services. As we go through the process, I certainly will be updating the Blog to see how we're doing and, more importantly, to see how we can improve our customers' experience.