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Net Promoter Score: The Steps to Excellent Service

Sometimes there is a phrase or business term we hear and use so often that we forget those around us may not have the same understanding or depth of knowledge. Perhaps a company’s Net Promoter Score falls into that category of terms. It has such clear influences on the long-term success of a business that it’s worth a deeper dive for anyone working at any level at the company.

Let’s get some of the basics down. First, what is a Net Promoter Score (NPS®)? NPS is an easily understandable metric measuring the likelihood someone will recommend using a company, product or service to a friend or colleague. According to Bain & Company, the Net Promoter System℠ is based on the fundamental perspective that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories. “Promoters” are loyal enthusiasts who keep buying from a company and urge their friends to do the same. “Passives” are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who can be easily wooed by the competition. And “detractors” are unhappy customers trapped in a bad relationship.

Staffing firms, in particular, see a direct correlation between their Net Promoter Score and retention and referrals. Our friend, Eric Gregg, CEO and founder of Clearly Rated, recently presented on the ways top-performing staffing firms are outpacing the competition and the traits that improve their NPS from both the client and job candidate perspective. Here is his graphic on how NPS is calculated:

Detractors, passives and Promoters. Promoters: Your firm's stronegst allies; most likely to promote your firm to others. Detractors: At risk of leaving your firm.

Gregg says the focus is on delivering a consistently exceptional experience to clients, and that understanding what they really think about us is key. In that effort, he recommends a series of steps during the different phases of the placement process. Here are six steps around pre-order for each open position that will maximize client satisfaction:

  1. Follow up on requests or issues within 24 hours
  2. Set realistic expectations about open positions
  3. Ask questions to clarify the needs of the position
  4. Learn about your company’s culture
  5. Educate on competitive salaries for open positions
  6. Discuss current hiring trends on the types of positions that are open

Each one of these steps has a positive effect on the company’s NPS, but according to Clearly Rated, four out of 10 clients say the last two steps don’t happen in their experience.

There are steps within the candidate submission process, too, that can directly increase client satisfaction. Clearly Rated has identified five that also have a positive effect on a company’s NPS:

  1. Candidates submitted matched the position’s specifications (69%)
  2. Candidates submitted were a good fit for the company’s culture (64%)
  3. Candidates were submitted within the expected timeframe (56%)
  4. Companies were presented with more than one qualified candidate for a position (39%)
  5. The candidates’ unique qualifications were shared (32%)

Similar to the first group, more than 20 percent of clients say the last two steps don’t happen.

Highly profitable firms deliver consistently remarkable client service. This requires a clear understanding of internal processes and execution at each level of the business. Are these steps implemented during every search? What falls through the cracks and how do you cover that stopgap? And importantly, are you measuring your NPS?

Our next blog post will focus on ways to increase the satisfaction of job candidates and placed talent and ways to increase your NPS with this audience.

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