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why is more important

Why is More Important than How In Customer Feedback

Get the Business Leaders’ Practical Guide to Implementing Net Promoter
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Why is a very powerful word.

One of the most popular Ted talks of all time, over 19 million views, asks you to start not with the how of your business but the why of your business.

Why asked 5 times is the basis of the incredibly powerful 5 Whys root cause analysis technique.

Young children find out how the world works by asking why a seemingly endless number of times.

So when you are considering investing considerable time and resources in rolling out a Net Promoter® program you should make sure that why is the first question you ask as well.

Don’t just ask yourself, make sure you ask it of your senior business leaders and don’t stop until you get good answers.

I’ve asked this question many times of client leaders as part of our Net Promoter Rollout program and here are a few of the answers to:

You about to invest substantial resources and time in rolling out Net Promoter. Why? [Tweet This]

To Drive Better Results in Our Business

This response comes in many flavours:

  1. To build our business
  2. To become the best in class in the market
  3. To beat our competitors
  4. To maximise returns to shareholders.
  5. To drive sales growth

Hopefully this is one of the first responses you hear to why. After all at the end of the day the primary reason we do any task in most organisation is to improve the return to the shareholders.

The link to improved business outcomes must be the foremost reason to embark on a customer experience or customer feedback program of any type. Too often this link is not made and long term this undermines the importance of these programs in the eyes of middle management.

If you need evidence that NPS, in particular, improves business check out this list of NPS case studies and statistics.

To Drive Employee Engagement

Perhaps this is a surprising response but a good number of senior leaders understand customer engagement is tightly tied to employee engagement and so use the Net Promoter process to help drive that engagement.

Again there are many versions of this answer:

  1. To support employees
  2. The help employee to have pride in the company
  3. To create employee advocates
  4. So employees can be confident that they are providing customer value.

To Become More Customer Centric

It does seem obvious that this should be on the list and it generally is. The response is generally of the form:

  1. To align our business with our customer needs
  2. To improve our service and make it a differentiator
  3. As a concrete way of putting customers at front of organization
  4. To prompt customer-based discussion
  5. To help us learn by listening to our customers
  6. Because customers are the only ones that know if our service is good

To Drive Evidence Based Decision Making

Employees are tired of doing what the loudest voice in the room directs; this includes their boss. They often desire a more objective was to determine what should be done so it isn’t just one person’s opinion over another.

A well-constructed customer feedback process will inform the organisation of what needs to be done using the most important voice of all and one not often included in strategy sessions: the customer.

To Drive Continuous Improvement

All types of customer feedback are useful for this but transactional surveys are particularly effective at helping to drive continuous improvement in the business

What Gets Measured Gets Managed

The desire to put in place a customer experience metric as a way to keep it top of mind is a good one. However, you need to take care when setting customer satisfaction or Net Promoter targets because they can drive the wrong behaviour in staff.

Another common, related, why for implementation, is as a way to align everyone in the organisation around the customer.

For a detailed discussion on setting targets see this post: How to Set Net Promoter® Targets for Your Organisation and Staff

Not So Great Answers

While there are no wrong answers there are certainly some less helpful ones.

Pretty much any answer that includes “because [someone] told us to” will be an issue long term.

The problem is this why is too transient. If the [someone] moves on, gets another job or loses interest the whole process will struggle.

If the [someone] is the CEO it’s a good start but makes sure that you get other supporting whys so that when challenged you have other long term reasons for continuing the program.

Ask Now

If you are in the early stages of such a program make sure you go out and ask why now so that you have long term support for the process.

If you already have a program it would still be good to go out now and ask why to get a better understanding of what the organisation is looking to achieve.

I've created a Business Leaders’ Practical Guide to Implementing Net Promoter.  Download it Here

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