As a business owner or business decision-maker, how do you know if the company that you have selected to provide your office technology solutions will live up to all the promises they made during the pre-sales process? Checking a few references would be a good start, but two or three other customers is not a representative sample size. What else can you check to ensure that your office technology partner has a large number of satisfied customers?
If you wanted to get a feel for how happy your customers are, you could call your customers, or send them a multiple-question customer satisfaction survey. Or you could cut through all the noise and ask them one question that reveals all you need to know about their level of satisfaction with your products, services, and people. In fact, research shows that over 80% of businesses who received outstanding customer service from a supplier or service provider would be very likely to recommend that supplier to a friend or colleague.
Tracing its origins back to a 2002 Harvard Business Review article by Fred Reichheld, the Net Promoter Score or “NPS” is used as a measure of customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. It is sometimes used as a predictor of potential future growth by measuring how likely a customer would be to communicate a positive reference to another party.
Instead of using a multi-question survey instrument to measure customer satisfaction, the Net Promoter Score asks one simple question:
“How likely would you be to recommend this company, product, or service to a friend or colleague?”
The NPS question typically asks respondents to rate their likelihood to recommend on a scale of 1 to 10, with a score of 10 being the highest possible score as most likely to recommend. Score ranges are classified as follows:
Normally NPS surveys are administered by a neutral third-party company, but are sometimes administered by the actual company seeking the NPS score.
The actual Net Promoter Score is calculated according to the following formula:
% of Promoters - % of Detractors = Net Promoter Score
Note that “Passives” are ignored completely in the calculation.
Apple and Microsoft historically have had NPS scores have ranged between 45 and 55, with Amazon typically scoring in the high 60’s.
The bottom line of Net Promoter Scores is that the companies that score the highest have customers who are so delighted by the company, the company’s products, and the company’s services that they are willing to tell others how satisfied they are. Marketing guru Seth Godin calls these extremely satisfied customers “sneezers” because they spread the good reputation of that company like it was a contagious disease.
When you do business with a company that has a consistently high NPS score, you can rest assured that your supplier of choice is a quality company that is dedicated to customer satisfaction to the point of customer obsession. A high NPS score should be more important than the final price that you pay for that product or service.
Consider the costs of doing business with an office technology company that IS NOT dedicated to customer satisfaction and hence a high NPS score. You probably purchased new office technologies like copiers, printers, scanners, and software to improve your overall company productivity, and to improve your customer satisfaction scores with YOUR customers. When your office technology partner provides shoddy equipment, takes days or weeks to respond to service calls, or just generally doesn’t take care of you as a customer, your company could suffer reputational damage as a consequence, and we know you don’t want that to happen.
Instead, think about how smoothly the day-to-day doing of business would be with high-quality office equipment that rarely breaks down, and works perfectly when it is running. Your productivity and efficiency will soar. Your customers will be delighted by how quickly and accurately you get the job done. Doing business with an office technology company that has a high NPS score can actually help your company’s NPS score go higher!
So how do you find the NPS score of your chosen office technology provider? It’s not like their NPS score will be all over the internet like Apple, Microsoft, or Amazon. NPS Score subscription services are expensive and since there are so many of them, there is no guarantee that every supplier will have a published NPS score and that every score will be available through that particular NPS service.
The easy answer to that question is to ask for their NPS score. If you ask them for their NPS score, and you get that blank “deer in the headlights” expression from your salesperson, you should probably move on to another supplier.
If they know what the NPS score is, and they give it to you, it should carry more weight if the score is provided by and calculated by a neutral third-party survey company. As you go through the vetting process to determine who you will do business with, be sure to compare all of the NPS scores of all the businesses you are talking to. If they can’t give you an NPS score, you should consider walking away. If their scores are really low, you should be cautious about that company and their dedication and commitment to delighting their customers.
When you ask these companies for their NPS scores, they should be very happy to quickly tell you what their NPS score is, and to present you with their NPS score in writing before you sign on the line.
Not to toot our own horn, but Virginia Business Systems consistently has NPS scores in the 90’s, and every one of our sales reps should be able to tell you what our last quarterly NPS score was. To learn more about how a high NPS score can help you decide who you should use as your office technology company, please contact us today!