3 Questions to Ask Your Customers to Accelerate Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Aug, 05, 2013 @ 06:08 AM

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Ever since introducing Net Promoter Score (NPS) at my previous employer for both customer and employer surveys, I've been pleased with several different aspects of the methodology:


  • Ease of implementation
  • Ease and speed of response
  • Insights provided
  • Dialogue promoted with customers
  • Education provided employees
The three questions are very simple and can be answered in under five minutes, unless someone has a lot to say.
Here are the three questions we asked customers with only a slight variation for employees:
  1. On a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being "extremely likely," what is the likelihood you would recommend ________ to a friend or colleague?
  2. Why did you give us that score?
  3. What would it take to earn a 10?
By putting "Customer Satisfaction Survey -- Less than 5 minutes of Your Time" in the subject line of the email, we received excellent response rates.
Everyone who responded to the survey received a personal "thank you" from me acknowledging their response to our request. I'm also a strong believer in saying "thank you" whenever someone gives you feedback.
In addition, "promoters," those who gave us a 9 or 10, were asked if they would be willing to provide referrals or case studies.
"Detractors," those who gave us a 6 or lower, were contacted by their sales manager or a member of the management team to better understand their concern and do what we could do to address their concern.
We know that people who complain and have their complaints resolved to their satisfaction are more likely to remain long-term customers than people who never complain.
"Passives," those who gave us a  7 or 8, were contacted to see what we could do to address their concerns so they would know we heard them and we're striving to get them to a 10.
Ultimately, our goal for the customer satisfaction survey was two-fold: 1) provide a benchmark against which we can measure customer satisfaction over time; and, most importantly, 2) facilitate a dialogue with our customers so we better understand their needs and wants and we can work towards creating an emotional connection with them.
By responding to every customer, we let them know we cared about what they had to say. By addressing the specific concerns of "detractors" and "passives," they know we are committed to addressing their concerns and providing a better customer experience for them in the long-term.
By asking the same three questions of employees, and having members of the management and sales team reach out to "detractors," they better understood how our customers were viewing us aand how they were judging us.
Plenty of research validates the positive effect empowered employees and satisfied customers have on the revenue and profitability of companies.
These three questions are a great way to positively impact customers, employees, revenue and profitability.
If you need any help implementing a Net Promoter Score customer satisfaction program at your firm, please let me know.
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Tags: consumer insights, customer satisfaction, accelerate sales, net promoter score