by Bob Scarff

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m fed up (and not a little intimidated) by being forced to “review” everything in my life – eating out, online shopping, my bank, where I get my car serviced ….. they all want to make sure that I understand the importance of me playing my part in helping them earn this month’s NPS bonus – “if you don’t feel able to give me a score of nine or more, please tell me why” they say. It all feels so threatening, they might as well add “we know where your children go to school” for good measure.

The original aim of Nett Promoter Score was brilliant. When it started in 2003 (ok, yes I had to look it up) it was a single question “on a scale of one to ten, how likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?”.

The idea behind Fred Reichheld’s One Number That You Need To Grow is as brilliant today as it was seventeen years ago, but it seems to me that three things have gone wrong.

• Businesses now ask too many “clarification” questions – tedious for the customer and blurring for the resulting score

• Businesses now place too much emphasis on the number itself and nowhere near enough emphasis on genuine service improvement – doing the easy job of manipulating the symptoms rather than the more difficult job of implementing the cure

• Businesses now routinely ask the question only of those customers who they think will be more likely to say 9 or 10 – in the world of estate agents that means asking vendors that have completed and not vendors that withdrew

Ultimately, the only thing that matters is did the customer enjoy their experience or not.

Asking one simple question of every customer under all circumstances and then using the resulting number to drive genuine service improvements is the only good use of NPS. All of which brings me to how we at Callwell help our customer’s customers give feedback on their experience.

At the end of every phone call, our customer’s customer receives a text message asking “How was it for you?”. They answer by clicking one of five emojis. That’s it. If they want to say more, they can (and most do), but it is simple, it’s fun and it’s engaging. The customer’s response is displayed live on the Callwell screen alongside their enquiry and a live league table shows which member of the team is getting the most smiley faces.

It’s not there to be analysed, it’s not there to be argued about. It’s a simple fun way of your customer telling you how you made them feel.

After all, customers remember how you made them feel long after they’ve forgotten what you actually said.

Bob Scarff

Written by
Bob Scarff

Bob Scarff ran the UK’s largest and most successful firm of estate agents, having worked his way up from a trainee negotiator in 1978. Now bringing his passion for customer service and organisational discipline to other companies and sectors, he saw quickly the benefits that Callwell can provide and co-founded PropTech Solutions in 2016 to relaunch it into the market.


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