Beyond the Ultimate Question

A Systematic Approach to Improve Customer Loyalty

Bob E. Hayes

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PDF  432 Pages    2009
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Business growth depends on more than asking a single question. Challenging the widely touted Net Promoter Score (NPS) claims, author Bob E. Hayes provides compelling evidence that, to grow their business, companies need to look beyond this simple question to efforts on improving the entire customer feedback program (CFP).

First, customer loyalty consists of three components, advocacy, purchasing, and retention, each providing unique and useful information regarding future business growth. By measuring these three components of customer loyalty, companies will be better able to manage their customer relationships to maximize growth through new and existing customers.

Second, because of the diverse business practices companies can employ with respect to their CFPs, there are hundreds of different ways a company can structure its particular program. Some companies have top executive support for their programs while others do not. Some companies integrate their customer feedback data into their daily business processes while others keep them separate. Some companies use customer feedback results as part of their employee incentive programs while other companies rely on more traditional incentive programs. Still some companies conduct in-depth customer research using their feedback data while others rely on basic reporting of their customer feedback data for their customer insight. But are there critical elements of a customer feedback program that are absolutely necessary for its success? Can a company exclude some elements from its program without adversely impacting its effectiveness? How important are certain components in increasing customer loyalty?

This book answers these questions. It is a direct result of the author’s scientific research and professional experience in the field of customer satisfaction and loyalty. This book represents the first scientific study that has tried to identify the best practices of customer feedback programs. Hayes formally collected information from many CFP professionals regarding how they structure their CFPs, and identified specific CFP practices that lead to higher levels of customer loyalty. Additionally, he worked first-hand with employees from Microsoft, Oracle, Harris Stratex Networks, Akamai, and American Express Business Travel in gathering insights and case studies to illustrate how to build a world class CFP. Learn why companies should look beyond the NPS as the ultimate question and learn how to design an effective CFP that will help improve the customer experience, increase customer loyalty, and, ultimately, drive business growth.

For those unfamiliar with CFPs, the appendices provide detail on methods used in the main body of the book: a discussion on methods of determining customer requirements (those elements of your business that are important to your customers), a complete discussion on how to write survey questions, and brief discussions on particular statistical analysis methods that can help you understand how customer feedback data are analyzed.

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