Get Your House in Order Before You Grow

How do you create positive word-of-mouth marketing? How do you create brand advocates? How to you build loyalty programs? How do you act of customer feedback?

These are a few of the questions that were asked of me this week in an interview I did for SunTrust Bank’s Small Business Resource Center and I wanted to share some of the key points I made in that interview with you today.

The first step in answering any of these questions is to get your house in order. If your house (eg. Your business) is not in a good place, adding more customers will only make a bad problem worse. You will end up spreading negative word-of-mouth and creating brand detractors. If you take an honest look at your business and your customer service isn’t up to snuff or you get a lot of complaints from customers or you have high staff turnover, you have some fixing to do before even thinking about growth.

A great tool to include in this analysis that I use and recommend, is the “Net Promoter Score” (NPS). The NPS is a very simple and powerful tool that works like this:

Ask your customers how likely they are to recommend your product/service to a family member or friend on a 0-10 scale. 0 being Not Likely At All – 10 being Very Likely.

NPS is calculated by taking the percentage of people who scored 0 or 10 less the percentage of people who scored 6 or less.

Promoters (scored 9 or 10) is the term given to people who are enthusiastic to speak highly of the service they received. Neutrals (or passives, those who score 7 or 8) are fairly neutral about speaking highly of the service. Detractors (score 6 or less) are those who will be active in saying something negative about the service.

Now you have some information that you can use to get your house in order. If you have a high percentage of Detractors, you should reach out to as many of them as possible and find out why they gave you the score they did. This becomes your punch list of what you need to work on as a business before you implement any kind of word-of-mouth marketing campaign. Similarly, you should contact ALL of your Promoters – show these folks some love, because they love you – and ask them exactly why they scored you so highly … why do they love you and your business?

If you are interested in spreading the word about all of the positive your business does, step one is to make sure that your customers have good things to say about your business. Without taking this step, you will only made a bad problem worse.

About Mark Deutsch

Small Business Sales & Marketing Expert | Best Selling Author | Speaker | Trainer | Disruptive Idea Creator
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