How Companies Can Get Started Improving Their Service by Measuring NPS
In the construction industry, there are few reflections more accurate of your current state, your future growth and even your ability to maintain a competitive advantage than your NPS. Wait, your what? Before you start panicking because you don’t even know what NPS is, let alone, if your company has one, let’s take a step back. Short for Net Promoter Score, your NPS in construction is both an easy way to measure the overall performance of your company and a way to contextualize your efforts through the eyes of your customers at the exact same time.
Think about it this way, an NPS is like a measurement of your reputation. With a good reputation, you’re more likely to continue to win new and keep old business. According to Bain & Co, just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. In an industry that is heavily dependent on repeat business and maximizing profits like construction, your company’s NPS should be a top priority.
Understanding your customers, whether they’re buying shoes or hiring your company to complete construction of a shoe warehouse, is your secret sauce to winning more business. Whether you already are measuring NPS, or looking to start, below, we’ll guide you on what the score is, what it says and what factors influence it, therefore, becomes one of your keys to long-term success moving forward.
Your NPS: Breaking It Down
Even if you’re not intimately familiar with NPS as an acronym, you’ve probably already willingly participated in determining a company’s NPS without knowing it. This is especially true if you’ve ever answered how likely you are to recommend a particular company to your friends or colleagues.
First conceptualized by Fred Reichheld and Bain & Company and Satmetrix, your NPS is determined by asking customers how likely it is that they would refer your business to a friend or colleague if asked on a scale of 1 to 10, where “10” represents “very likely” and “1” represents “very unlikely.” Customers who give you a score of 9 or 10 are referred to as “promoters,” otherwise known as loyal enthusiasts. Research has found that promoters can actually provide around 80% of your business referrals. Customers who give scores of 7 or 8 are known as “passives,” as they’re the types of satisfied but currently unenthusiastic people who may switch to a competitor. Customers who give scores of 0 to 6 are generally considered to be unhappy and can potentially damage your business and your brand through negative word-of-mouth.
For construction companies, in particular, the reason why this matters is precisely that it’s such a straightforward representation of your customer’s perception of your brand. Satisfied customers are very likely to not only repeat business (something construction software companies rely heavily on) but also refer your brand to others. Even better, measuring NPS in construction can actually provide you with a qualitative level to learn why or why not customers would use your services again. So, you may assume that factors like delays lead to low scores, but you can never be truly sure–unless you ask.
If you’re still not convinced measuring NPS in your construction company is valuable, consider the fact that people are four times more likely to make a purchase when they are referred to by a friend versus encountering your brand through traditional advertising. Additionally, another study revealed that a massive 84% of all B2B decision makers typically begin the buying process with a referral. Statistics like these illustrate why your NPS isn’t just important–it’s critical.
A Success Story: NPS in Construction Software
If you think measuring NPS isn’t right for the construction industry, think again. In fact, as a maker of construction productivity software, PlanGrid has found NPS to an extremely valuable measurement for the company. To improve our product and how we communicate and interact with our customers, we continuously monitor our NPS, helping to separate us from our competitors. Measuring our score does more than just show that we’re actively soliciting feedback; it helps to illustrate that we’re committed to building a robust solution that is providing our construction customers with real value.
Consider it like this; every construction company is a little bit different from the next, and all organizations work in slightly different ways. If we didn’t welcome all feedback, recommendations and suggestions, we wouldn’t possibly be able to support as many of these variables as possible. For instance, PlanGrid’s customer support team follows up with 100% of NPS surveys. The feedback we receive from this follow up has even helped us pave the way for groundbreaking features and product extensions, like Submittals.
Above all, NPS allows us to continue to develop a solution that actually supports the way you like to work while holding you accountable to meet the needs and preferences of your customers.
Getting Started with NPS in Construction
Understanding what your customers think and why they think that way is of paramount importance to your construction brand, not only in terms of helping to improve your own outward-facing efforts but also to get more business at the same time. As a result, if you have yet to begin experimenting with NPS with your own business, now is absolutely the time to start.
To start measuring your NPS, start by asking your customers two key questions:
- “How likely are you to recommend my business to friends, family members and other colleagues on a scale of 1 to 10?”
- “Why, specifically, did you give that score?”
The first of these questions will lay the foundation for you to measure your score. Specifically, NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of unhappy customers from the happy ones.
The 2nd customer question, although not used in the actual calculation, gives you the keys to change your score. By knowing why promoters like your construction company and detractors wouldn’t use you again, you have the qualitative data to apply to improving your score.
Chances are, you’re one of the many businesses that have a social media or at least online presence. To start an initial measurement of your score, focus your efforts by asking your existing customers through sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even email. Reach out to customers on review sites like Yelp and consider launching a survey as a part of your regular newsletter.
The results will be slow at first, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Every response you receive will allow you to see objectively what works for your business model and, more importantly, will give you an opportunity to fix what your customers perceive to be broken.
Improving Your NPS
Say your NPS is less than ideal, and 99.9% of the time that will be the case, unless you’re at a perfect but highly unlikely, 100% score. For the rest of us non-NPS unicorns, to start making improvements to your score, one of the most important things you can do is to get people involved internally to help promote your brand, your products and your services. Beyond your promoters, your employees are your company’s biggest advocates–or at least, they should be. Nothing instills confidence in your audience and the clients you do business with than enthusiastic, knowledgeable employees who clearly take pride in the work they’re doing on a daily basis.
Along the same lines, you should also go out of your way to encourage past and current customers to share their positive experiences with others. Ask satisfied customers to write testimonials for your website, or put together a video blog detailing a complicated project and the ways in which your company met expectations and solved challenges to help them accomplish their goals.
Equally important to improving your NPS involves finding as much feedback as you possibly can. Ask your promoters directly for more feedback after every interaction. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to talk with your detractors–read every online review that you can, especially the negative ones, and take the time to respond. If someone is unsatisfied after doing business with your brand, make an effort to find out why and learn what you can do to make things right.
You should also work to improve your customer service as a whole, something that begins with a stable foundation of training. At the same time, emphasize a more personal touch to customer interactions. While major moves like the implementation of a customer advocacy program matter a great deal, small gestures are often just as important. Teach your employees how to make the most out of every last customer interaction. In the best case scenario, every customer should feel like they’re the only one you have that matters.
You should also be as consistent as possible with your communications. Every interaction that someone has with your brand–be it in the form of a phone call, an email response or a visit to your website–should feel like they’re one part of a larger whole. This will also go a long way towards improving your larger branding efforts and put your construction company on the map for new and old customers alike.
NPS in Construction Matters
Finally and perhaps most importantly, you need to understand that your NPS is not something that you “address once, then forget about.” NPS is an ongoing priority and one that requires you to be as proactive as possible moving forward. By regularly monitoring your score, you’ll start to see trends and patterns that reveal the type of valuable insight you need to strengthen your entire construction organization across the board. Never assume that you’ve “done enough” to improve your NPS because when you do, that’s the moment that your business becomes stagnant.