Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Most Important Marketing Question

We can do all the customer surveys we want. We can dig at all kinds of attributes that give us the knowledge to shape marketing success. But when it comes down to the most important goal all of us in marketing have, there's just one question. Put this in every marketing survey you do with customers and you will have a benchmark to all marketing efforts:

Will you refer us to someone else?


If you get a high score on this attribute, you have a very strong story to tell the world. You will likely find bloggers saying good things about you. Every marketing program you initiate will be more successfu.

This question is so vital to marketing success that it should be the standard that all marketers, customer service representatives and sales reps should be measured by ... in fact, it should be the standard for all employees. Everyone in the company has the ability to add to the customer experience and satisfaction or to detract from it.

This is exactly what General Electric does. Top execs at General Electric have their bonuses tied to what they call the "Net Promoter Score" (NPS). The NPS is percent of customers who would recommend GE. They ask customers "on a scale of 0-10 how likely you would recommend us?" The scoring GE uses is customers with a score of 0-6 are considered detractors. A score of 7-8 are passives. And a score of 9-10 are considered GE promoters.

The scoring formula looks like this:

NPS = (No. of Promoters) – (No. of Detractors)

It's all very simple. It is the key to building effective and profitable customer relationships.

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