12 Nov, 2019
There are some areas of your business that are easy to measure. Finance is the obvious one - you get tangible numbers that correlate to how successful your business is.
With our research, based on years of survey data, we’re able to measure areas that are typically more difficult to assess. We can look at things like leadership, inclusion and communication, to show how they affect your productivity and growth.
Through our latest Organisational Fitness research, we’ve shown how strong communication in your business will lead to better customer service. And when you’ve got amazing customer service, ultimately you make more money.
Communication and net promoter score are intrinsically linked
The net promoter score (NPS) is the standard for measuring customer service, but it’s not the quickest fix.
In 2006, a Bain consultant called Fred Reichheld wrote a book called ‘The Ultimate Question’. It made a simple but bold claim, that one metric would be the ultimate guide of any company’s success - customer satisfaction.
Through rigorous research, Fred showed that organisations could do one thing to outperform their rivals and competitors in almost every way:
- Consistently ask your customers this question:
“Would you recommend our product or service?”
- And crucially, then act on the feedback.
Today, this has become known as the net promoter score, and almost every major organisation measures it.
Using net promoter score
The simplest version of this is a quick answer between 1 and 10, which gives you a score for your customer service. But most companies ask for optional feedback where they can get more information. They then use it to identify problems that can be solved by improving a process or making a tactical intervention.
The only issue with this is that it takes a long time to gather feedback and make enough incremental changes that add up to an increase in your NPS.
But, our research tells us you can do one key thing to boost your NPS faster - improve communication in your organisation.
Communicate to accumulate
We looked at over 2,000 organisations across the UK - here’s the link between strong NPS and communication:Companies with the highest customer NPS had excellent scores for communication.
Organisations where employees said that communication was strong, were almost 10x more likely to have a high NPS.
This is crucial - here's our definition of communication:
‘the sharing of information about changes in priorities quickly and effectively’.
The internal aspect is an important part of this. We believe that customer service improves with strong internal communication because the ultimate audience is the customer themselves.
How you can improve communication?
- Get everyone behind the strategy:
When you make a strategic change, tell your teams and explain why you’ve done it. They need to be working towards the same strategy, and need to believe in it.
- Equip your teams with the right answers when your product changes
When you make changes to your product or service, make sure your teams understand why the change is happening. If you’re making your product better, that’s great - just make sure everyone knows the details so they can sell it. If you’re putting up prices, but adding new services, make sure everyone knows the benefit of the price increase so they can keep customers happy. If they don’t know, then it’s going to look awful when they speak to your customers.
- Commit to your tone of voice
Most companies have some sort of tone of voice they use for all communications, whether it’s emails, website, marketing or advertising. Your internal tone should be very similar, because the way you talk to your teams will be reflected in how they speak to their customers. If you don’t have an established tone of voice - create one.
- Use your tone of voice in everything
If you’ve got a fun tone on your website, but your order emails are functional and formal, it’s jarring for your customers. Monzo do this very well - even their terms and conditions are written in their tone. They’re as short as possible and very easy to read and understand.
- Make sure your decisions are customer-driven
If you’re changing prices or services in a way that’s not beneficial to your customer, it’s a problem. When your customers speak to your teams, they literally won’t know what to say, and any answer they can come up with, however creative, will only annoy customers. A good example of this is when companies introduce cheaper prices for new customers only. What can you possibly tell an existing, loyal customer when they ask why they’re paying more?
Organisational Fitness - the proof is here
The evidence is compelling, and for a full view of the insights, you can download the Organisational Fitness report here: