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Net Promoter Redo

October 22, 2012

Fascinating experience, this week, with a major telecom provider. It started with a customer satisfaction survey. The call began with the usual questions: “Was your technician on time …courteous …knowledgeable …neat, etc.” And it ended with a Net Promoter question: “On a scale of one-to-ten how likely are you to recommend us to a business colleague?”

I told the caller that I was aware of the Net Promoter index and that, based on the installation experience, I would give them a 10, but I needed them to know that we were very unhappy with the sales person who signed us up for service. I explained that we had been told our television channels would include CNN, but when the installer arrived, he explained that CNN was not included in our package. And when we called the sales department, they told us they were sorry for the miscommunication, but there was nothing they could do to help us.

That’s when the caller sprang into action. She not only told us that she was sorry for the miscommunication, she went on to insist that we call a dedicated 800 number and tell them we were instructed to call at the end of her survey. So, out of curiosity (and a need for CNN), we called the 800 number, and the technician who took our call not only apologized, she upgraded us to the next higher package and included it in our plan for the 3-year contract – at no additional charge.

What’s interesting, here, is the way this particular provider responded to the comment we made during the Net Promoter survey. By seizing the opportunity to over-correct a problem that would have given them a “neutral” or “detractor” rating, she moved us up the scale. Given the tremendous value companies receive from a high Net Promoter score, this simple marketing tactic provided an elegant opportunity to increase sales and profits. Fascinating.

Of course, it may not work for everyone, but it made a promoter out of me.

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