Deborah Eastman, Chief Marketing Officer, Satmetrix
It was nice to see some focus on B2B business models. As the owner of a company that serves other businesses, this session was especially attractive to me – plus Deborah Eastman is always has the inside track on B2B and NPS. Eastman started off outlining the keys to success in using Net Promoter in a B2B environment:
- NP can be leveraged to improve relationships
- Make sure Net Promoter is integrated with the core business operations
- Insure that action is taken on any feedback
Eastman also suggested that the request for Net Promoter feedback be built into client engagement contracts to make sure projects don’t end without getting the feedback needed. The average NPS for a B2B company is 24%.
A key takeaway from this session was the best practice of only surveying twice per year and the response rates should be 60% or higher. Eastman cautioned against accepting high Net Promoter Scores without also looking at your response rates. High NPS’s without high response rates render high Net Promoter Scores almost meaningless and probably means that the data is not trustworthy. In fact, non-respondents should be viewed as detractors with the assumption that the individual doesn’t care about the relationship enough to take 5 minutes to complete the survey. Eastman recommends dealing with detractors in a very direct way – by responding IMMEDIATELY to detractors. In general, it’s a good idea to not let detractors feelings to fester. She says that she’s seen conversations with detractors result in upsells quite often. A session participant noted that many companies are quickly tiring of survey taking so many companies are creating their own survey evaluations for their top vendors and releasing the survey results to the vendors – a different spin on Net Promoter for sure.
At the close, Eastman recommended closing surveys on time and getting the results – along with action steps – out the door within 30 days. The potential debate is, whom should you return that survey data? Just to the respondents or to everyone regardless of whether they responded or not?
If you chose the former, you risk not engaging potential detractors (the people who didn’t respond) and filling them in on your company’s improvement plans. However, if you inform everyone, you air laundry and may point out areas of weakness that many people may not have otherwise known about. As with everything, there is a trade-off and you need to do what’s right in your specific scenario. Yet another reason to get certified – to help address pesky dilemmas like this one.
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