Our morning breakout track here at the NetPromoter Conference on Developing Customer Focus in Service Operations created a full house. Even though the speaker was Lindsay Notwell from Verizon, the room was full of customer zealots and NOT the Verizon Network folks that you see in their ads. If you, missed this session then you missed a great talk.Lindsay and the Verizon team are deeply engaged with NPS. They started just last year and have listened to over 2 million customers and have followed up with 750000 calls. The title for the presentation was “Getting Customer Religion: The Virtuous Circle of Listening and Delivering Great Service”, listening is really a key point. Lindsay made the point several times that if you survey, you must follow up and call back those customers who took the time to share their opinions. If they took the time to complain, then they want to help you improve. This is a great tip on how to turn detractors into promoters.
Lindsay pointed to some key success factors that seemed to also be a theme for the conference. His key success factors were:
- This must be a part of the C-level mandate. The C- suite must be believers
- The right executive sponsors are a key to success
- There needs to be a dedicated group driving program leadership, it can’t be just a part time job of many and it needs to be cross organizational
- NPS has to become part of the DNA of company.
Beyond the survey, Lindsay noted that the hard work continues with the tactical work efforts that includes gaining employee engagement via training, consistent messaging and integration in all communications. The program also needs to be sustainable and cannot be viewed as the ‘program du jour’. NPS can’t be just the program for THIS year, or quarter or month, it must be durable.
He pointed out that the NPS score is not the goal, it is a symbol that helps you decide what to focus on to improve the customer experience. Using the verbatim, the actual words from the customers, is a powerful tool that allows everything from direct employee coaching to creating the rallying cry for the organization. Focus on the customer experience and the scores will come.
Does it work? Verizon uses NPS as a benchmark tool for a very competitive industry. They top the benchmark and recently have shown impressive financial results that match. The competition who does not hear you now and is at the bottom of the benchmark is leading the pack in losing customers, losing money and losing jobs. So, while NPS and customer experience is hard work, it seems to be worth it for Verizon.
Click here to download the presentation.