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December 18, 2006

The Ultimate Question

Is your business, blog, product, band, site, service or whatever headed for better days?  Is it growing and  will it continue to grow OR is it stagnate or, worse yet, shrinking?   Well, there is a sure way to find out. (----------Long Pause for Effect -------------)  It is (-------shorter pause for a little more effect----) Net Promoter!  What is Net Promoter?  Net promoter is a customer satisfaction discipline created by Fred Reichheld of Harvard University. Book_cover The premise is simple, will people tell others about you or won't they?  According to Fred, you can find out with just one question, "The Ultimate Question" Would you recommend us (you can replace us with my blog, my site, my service, my album or what ever) to a friend?  This simple question is at the heart of separating detractors from promoters.  Once this can be accomplished you start to get a pretty good picture of what people think of you.  Detractors and Promoters, seems pretty simple to me.  I want promoters, and don't want detractors.  Promoters are so excited and enthusiastic about you that not only do the want more of what you offer, they also tell their friends.  They become your "talkers".   Detractors are people who feel so poorly about you that not only do they move away from you they warn their friends to stay away.  I guess they are "talkers" too, but these are "talkers" I could do with out.  What I love most about Net  Promoter is there is actually a quantifiable way for you to measure this.  It is a slick, and easy formula.  I can figure it out, so I know it is easy. 
Here it is

  1. Ask the Ultimate Question; "Would you refer us to a friend?"  Provide a scale of 0-10
  2. Separate your answers into 3 segments: the 0-6's (detractors), the 7-8's, (passives) and the 9 and 10's (promoters). 
  3. Get rid of the passives (7-8's)
  4. Subtract the % of Detractors from the % of Promoters and voila! You have your NPS (Net Promoter Score)

How cool is this?  A quantifiable way to measure WOM! (word of mouth)  The higher your score, the better your WOM!  The lower, well, I guess you can figure it out. 

Ya know, when you think about it is rather pretty simple.  We influence people every day. Kknowing this; the question then becomes how are we influencing them, positively or negatively and how much effort are we putting into the positive process?   Playing in the middle doesn't work here.  Patting ourselves on the back for getting 7's and 8's, doesn't work in this game, it's about getting to the fringe and finding, or should I say creating, those 9's and 10's.  Promoters are everything, so go make em!

Let's hear it for the Promoters and I'm not talking Don King!!!!


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