Image courtesy of Stuart Miles @fdigitalphotos

Every year, I set out with the best of intentions. I make resolutions to be healthier, do more charity work, or even spend more time with friends and family. Things always start well but somewhere around January 15th, something comes up and I go off track.

The same thing can happen in our client relationships. If we’re not careful, we can run off track and lose business. One good way to ensure that we continue to consistently serve our clients’ needs is to develop an ongoing feedback program. In my experience, one of the most popular ongoing assessment programs is the NPS, or Net Promoter Score.

The NPS is a management tool that can gauge the loyalty of an organization’s customer relationships. It’s an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and is considered a superior alternative for ongoing tracking purposes because of its brevity.

The NPS consists of a single question – typically something like “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a respected colleague?” The respondent assigns a single numeric score between 0 and 10, with 10 being the most likely and 0 being the least likely to make a recommendation.

Based on how respondents answer the question, they are aligned with one of three groups: Promoters respond with a score of 9 or 10; Detractors respond with a score between 0 and 6; Passives respond with a score of 7 or 8. The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

Promoters are considered satisfied and loyal and likely to maintain your working relationship. Passives are considered mostly satisfied, but not so loyal that they wouldn’t consider another supplier or service provider if the opportunity presented itself. Detractors might be satisfied, but they lack loyalty and could even have their sights actively set on alternatives in the marketplace.

For the NPS methodology to be effective, responses must be kept anonymous and tracked over time to ensure that they are less transactional and more relationship focused. Implemented well, the NPS is a solid tool to help you keep your client relationships on track.

If only losing those 5 pounds was that easy.

Once you’ve got your number, what do you do with it – or rather, what do you do about it? The NPS is only the first step in maintaining, building or even repairing client relationships. In my next blog, I’ll talk about how to act upon that number.