The Other Ultimate Question

Share this content:
The Other Ultimate Question
The Other Ultimate Question

Whether or not you buy in to Net Promote Score, it's done something great for business: It's brought focus to the customer, ForeSee CEO Larry Freed noted when we spoke recently. As result, marketers have gotten budget for initiatives focused on such areas as voice of the customer, customer experience, and customer engagement. Some businesses have seen such a big impact from tracking NPS and making improvements based on their findings that they even share their scores with Wall Street, Freed said.

Asking customers, “Would you recommend us…,” was around long before NPS made it famous as the ultimate question. But it's not the only question to ask to get an accurate read on detractors and on true customer dissatisfaction, Freed said. “Some customers just don't make recommendations,” he said. This may be due to personal preference, product type, or actual dissatisfaction. And that's where the potential impact lies: understanding who is indifferent and who is truly dissatisfied, Freed said.

So how can marketing and customer experience (CX) leaders determine which detractor customers are which? By asking the other ultimate question: How likely are you to discourage someone from doing business with this company? Clearly, the higher the score, the more dissatisfied the customer. But more important, this insight gives marketers and CX executives the opportunity to find out why those customers are dissatisfied, attempt to and perhaps resolve the issue, and possibly even turn the customer into a promoter as a result. Marketers who prioritize their customer outreach by areas such as level of dissatisfaction or customer value can add additional impact.

According to Freed, research that ForeSee conducted shows that NPS overstates true detractors, in terms of actually dissatisfied customers, by 260 to 270%. “Understanding who just doesn't recommend versus who is dissatisfied gives you the information you need to uncover and fix problems, or stop marketing to unhappy customers,” Freed said.

The goal of asking the “discourage” question, he said, is to have more precision in NPS scoring. (ForeSee recently released a tool called Word-of-Mouth Index designed to assess both “recommend” and “discourage” for a truer score.) “You don't need to throw out NPS,” Freed said. “You need to get more accurate information to drive business decisions and move the needle” on true customer engagement. And, ultimately, the more accurate the information, the more relevant the marketing.

DMNotes is DMN's around-the-clock blog. Yes, a blog in 2016.

Bookmark this section and follow our RSS Feed here


Next Article in Customer Experience

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above