How likely is it that you would recommend a business to a friend or colleague?
On a scale of 0-10, with 0 is not at all and 10 is extremely likely, you'd need to be at 9 or 10 to want to do it. The idea that you could measure with such precision and one metric stuck, even though the concept is surrounded by controversy.
Originated from a book and the work of Fred Reichheld, this measure is called the Net Promoter score (NPS), because detractors are subtracted from promoters, to provide the estimate of the difference between number of promoters and number of detractors for your business.
As a single question, it may be a good start.
However, you will need to dig deeper to find out if your customers would recommend your business. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you can sit back and copy what other companies are doing and remain complacent about finding out if your customers are really happy with you.
Would you recommend this person?
In all likelihood, this is more the question people hear when asked about a business today. Let's face it things have changed quite a bit even in the last couple of years. We have more free agents, we have more sole proprietor businesses, and consultancies.
And, especially with social media, the people we talk with have come to represent the brand and business to us. Are you hiring and retaining employees with this in mind? Are you putting the right people in contact with customers? For solopreneurs, do you have a mechanism to capture recommendations?
Public endorsement is different than recommendation
I've seen a few companies doing this. They clip a tweet by someone who says they loved their transaction with them, and posted that on their site or blog. For example, this here from my friend Kim is a public endorsement. One meant to help connect me with another professional in her network.
A recommendation reads more like a call to action: book Valeria Maltoni as speaker, she rocks the house when it comes to digging into your branding efforts to build community. Or something like that (more topics here). To make this real, if you hear about a new conference where you think I would be a great keynote, you go ahead and tell the organizers. Plus, you make yourself available to speak about your experience.
A recommendation is also unlike a testimonial. Feel free to send me those any time. You can submit them to my LinkedIn profile under Conversation Agent. I have a special red carpet for welcoming you and the statements. Testimonials are a bit easier to give, as they don't get into specifics about why.
Call to action and pain point
The call to action might impress you, however, without an indication of what the pain point or challenges were, you're still left navigating a sea of sameness. Why book Valeria as speaker instead of someone else? What specific issues will she address in the workshop that your business professionals will eat up?
Here we're getting more to the place where you want to be. This is the reason why the NPS is not enough, you need the qualitative information that goes with it. Plus, when you understand better why people recommend you and your business, you can do more of that and build on it, and less of the other stuff.
With mixed media, understanding recommendations, their role and effectiveness in the customer conversation mix is even more important. What works? What doesn't? Both for your customers and for you.
What's your take?
Other resources:The Value of Reputation
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