We have written quite a bit on the topic of incentives and the risks around compensation based initiatives (together with the advantages). We have often referred to “cultural incentives” or “non-financial” incentives but it’s hard to imagine how that works in practice.
So it was with great anticipation that I visited Virgin Media’s “Love the customer” (day before valentine’s) event , near Birmingham, England to see how, in practice, you reinforce cultural success around Net Promoter.
Virgin Media has seen continuous improvements in their churn levels, down from 1.5% to 1.2% in the last year or so, a metric that correlates to NPS for them. Superior cross sell is resulting in triple-play (TV, broadband, phone) penetration going from 49.5% to 55.9% in a year – for a £4bn or so business that’s real money. In other words, a strong focus on customer loyalty is starting to pay significant dividends. So how do you reinforce success?
Well, you throw a party.
The event was a lot more than that however. One hundred of the top Net Promoter performers in the company mingled with executives at a ceremony to recognize accomplishments. Sure, it was a great social occasion, but combined with 2 days of training and speeches it accomplished more than that. First, the company sent the top performers back into their day jobs armed with a stronger understanding and reinforced motivation around the potential and impact of customer loyalty. These people become the influencers and informal leadership across the organization to keep the message strong.
But equally important was the message to everyone who didn’t make it. The company truly values exceptional customer experience and is quite prepared to recognize it in a very visible and positive way. Don’t miss out next time.