For years businesses have been able to get away with providing customers with fairly mediocre service. A lack of choice meant that shoppers had to pick the least worst of all available options, leaving companies free to provide the lowest acceptable level of service to their customers.
But in the Internet age, customers no longer have to settle for average. They know how technology has changed the game, and they are willing to exploit that knowledge to get what they want.
Customers are also more connected than ever before, able to discuss their experiences and to quickly identify those businesses able to deliver the products they want, backed by exceptional service.
So where businesses have claimed that customers are at the centre of everything they do for years, they must now put that promise into action. Without a genuine customer-centric approach, they will lose market share to their better focused competitors.
Research published at Business2Community once claimed that 40% of customers began shopping with a competitor, because they heard about the company’s superior customer service.
To help assess how well your business is achieving the goal of putting customers first, it helps to use a framework like the Net Promoter Score® (NPS).
Why does the NPS matter?
Every business operation needs a metric to help define whether it is performing as expected. The Net Promoter Score is extremely useful for your sales team because it gives a good indication of what attracts new customers and drives repeat purchases.
In B2B sales, it can show healthy your relationship with your customers is. This, in turn, reveals how satisfied they are with the service they receive from your team, and who you need to target to improve satisfaction.
Over time, your sales team needs to focus on raising NPS because transforming a Detractor (someone who isn’t pleased with your service) into a Promoter (someone who loves your business) offers some concrete benefits.
Once a customer becomes a promoter, they are more likely to introduce your rep to their social contacts for instance, or leave a good review and refer your business to others
What are the factors that influence NPS for sales?
Research conducted by LinkedIn discovered that there were five key factors that determine whether your customers will promote your sales reps:
- The reps are highly knowledgeable about the customer’s business.
- They have a clear understanding of the client’s business needs.
- They can explain each product/service and the value that brings to the customer.
- They are transparent and trustworthy.
- The act in a professional manner.
If your reps can demonstrate all five of these traits, they will enjoy a high NPS with customers – and are more likely to be recommended as a result.
3 key strategies to drive sales success using NPS
Improvements in NPS score are inextricably linked to similar increases in the quality of service offered to your customers. Here are three ways you can raise both.
1. Make yourself available where your customers are
If you want to be able to connect with your customers (and their social contacts), you need to be present where they are online. For the B2B sector, this will probably involve becoming more active on LinkedIn for instance. According to LinkedIn research;
“Three out of five buyers want their sales reps to use LinkedIn for social selling activities. Leveraging your profile and your company page on LinkedIn is critical to be able to target your existing customers and find new ones.”
For B2C businesses, you may need to be present elsewhere, like Facebook, Twitter, or possibly even Instagram. Once you know where customers are, you can stay in touch, or survey them to assess current NPS scores.
Choosing the correct channel to send your NPS survey and engage with your clients is also vital to improving response rates. This handy guide will help you understand which is right for your customers.
2. Understand your customers’ needs
If you’re serious about becoming truly cclient-focused then addressing their number one wish for sales reps makes perfect sense. Your customers want to deal with reps who are knowledgeable about their business needs – so your team needs to spend time and effort getting to know them.
Again, LinkedIn explains the importance of appreciating client needs perfectly;
“Being able to offer relevant insights and understanding customers’ (and potential customers’) businesses, including pain points and aspirations, means that a seller can anticipate demand as well as respond to it, all while performing well on key drivers of NPS.”
Your team will need to listen and engage with customers closely.
3. Build relationships
Adobe estimates that existing customers account for at least 26% of revenue – and that finding new customers costs 7x more than keeping existing clients on board.
Despite this, many companies spend far more time and money on acquiring new customers than focusing on retaining existing ones. Whereas data shows that the second is a far more effective strategy for producing a steady, predictable increase in revenue.
Repeat business is built on exceptional service and personal relationships between your reps and the customer.
By becoming a trusted personal contact, reps can demonstrate their knowledge, skills and professionalism therefore increasing your customer lifetime value. Not only does this raise NPS, but it also helps set your business apart from the competition before the client is even thinking about making a purchase.
Putting it all together
Customer-centric strategies aren’t rocket science – you just need to focus everything you do on improving the customer experience.
By capturing and calculating Net Promoter Score, your sales team can accurately measure how well they are performing, and help to map out their workload moving forward as they try to drive standards up.
Retently provides the tools and technology your sales team needs to survey customers and calculate NPS scores automatically. And with a complete suite of analytics and reporting tools, your team will be able to see instantly where additional work is required to create a truly happy customer base.
For more help and advice on NPS and how your sales team (and customers) will benefit, please get in touch to arrange a demo.