Several years ago a friend of mine gave me the book The Ultimate Question as a colleague of his at Bain had written it. After reading the book we immediately started to implement it as part of our quarterly client check-in calls. The Ultimate Question, according to the book’s author Fred Reichheld, is as follows:
Would you recommend this product/service to a friend or colleague?
The theory is that it isn’t whether or not a customer is happy but rather how likely they are to rave about you to others. Too often people will say they are satisfied when they are indifferent or don’t actually care. The most profitable and successful companies, like Apple and Google, have the most rapid fans.
Calculating the net promoter score is fairly easy (see this online calculator). Ask customers to answer The Ultimate Question on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the highest. Once you have the scores, categorize the responses into promoters (9-10), passives (7-8), and detractors (0-6). To determine the score, take the percentage of promoters and subtract the percentage of detractors (the percentage that are passives are ignored). That’s it. Companies that score above 75 are considered excellent, and yes some companies have negative scores.
My recommendation is to consider using net promoter score as way to measure how successful your company is with your customers.