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Net Promoter News: ZocDoc's customer love affair, British Gas lights up brand values, Forrester wags finger at marketers

Hello 2013!

The New Year is usually a time to make resolutions. This year, our resolution is to continue bringing your the most interesting tidbits from around the web on which companies are using Net Promoter, and also useful insights that our clients and readers can use in their own Net Promoter programs. On that note, on Tuesday January 15, CustomerGauge will hold a webinar to show how  to drive b2b account management with Net Promoter Score.

But before we get started on Net Promoter News for 2013, let's take a quick look back. Last year, Net Promoter News talked about more than 200 businesses worldwide that are using Net Promoter or which have had their NPS measured independently by a third party. Is your business (or your competitors' business) among them? You can find out by checking out our complete table of organisations we talked about over the year in our last post - Net Promoter News: The Annual 2012.

And without further delay, let's dive right in to 2013!

ZocDoc's customer love affair

ZocDoc is an online service that helps patients find available doctors close to them – a much-needed service in a city such as New York, where the average waiting time to see a doctor is whopping 19 days but a significant percentage of patients cancel appointments or don’t show at all.


According to Mashable, the site is helping consumers make informed choices in healthcare in the same way Travelocity and others helped consumers make informed choices in choosing flights – through arming them with information such as availability, location, quality comparison and price.

From a customer service perspective, perhaps the most interesting thing about the business is that due to a shoestring budget, an enormous amount of focus was put on ensuring the early customers had a quality experience – in one case, one co-founder hand-delivered flowers to an elderly customer who had a doctor cancel on her.

This focus on the customer has helped propel the business to enormous heights. After a few short years, an incredible 1 per cent of the US population visits the site each month, and it secured $75 million in investment in 2011. But perhaps the most endearing quote in the post comes from co-founder Oliver Kharraz, who said “[Patients] literally write us love letters. Now I probably get more positive feedback in a day than I got in my entire medical career.”  For the record, the business's NPS ranges from the high 70s to low 80s. Mashable

British Gas lights up brand values

Seen in isolation, a Net Promoter Score is an imperfect way of understanding how a business is faring in terms of customer satisfaction. Which is why in our last post of 2012, we nominated the idea that in 2013 we’d like to see more companies talking about their feedback-inspired innovations rather than focusing only on their scores.

But even before we published, British Gas Call Centre did just that (Note: it doesn't specifically say its innovations were based on Net Promoter feedback but we're going to assume they are:). In the (highly recommended) post, some highlights include:

  • The introduction of thank you cards, where employees can thank and recognise one another against the British Gas brand values.
  • Reading poetry or nursery rhymes in order to practice making scripts sound less robotic.
  • A drive to ensure that team managers spend only 10% of their time on emails, and 90% training their staff or communicating with people directly.

Also of interest is the fact that the organisation has found that used in isolation, Net Promoter Scores can be misleading. “The problem with the Net Promoter Score was that so much of it was outside of the customer service advisor’s control. Every time that we put up our prices the Net Promoter Score would drop by 10 points,” said GM Lynda Campbell.

Having said that, the company's scores are up 20-odd points from when they originally started using the metric. Call Centre Helper

Forrester wags finger at marketers

If you are a marketer reading this, brace yourself: According to new research by Forrester, most of you are still lightweights in the field of customer experience. Among your failings, many of you are caught between being too data-focused or having too little research, and more of you mistake messaging for customer experience improvements.

But it's not all bad news. Among the usual customer experience leaders such as Apple, Disney, Starbucks, Zappos, and a number of smaller, yet equally forward-thinking businesses, 2013 is likely to be a year of change. Forrester predicts a major swing to emotional insights, ecosystem maps replacing customer service maps, and a renewed focus on driving employee engagement, which coincidentally (or not) is one development we added to our 2013 wish list in our last post for 2012Media Post

In brief

Next Up: Webinar: Focus on B2B Account Management with Net Promoter Score, Tuesday 15 January 2013

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