Thought Leadership + Practical Advice

Better Than A Crystal Ball (Well, Almost)

CUSTOMER FRAME BUSINESS CUSTOMERS Better than a crystal ball (well, almost)

Despite some of the technical drawbacks and scientific debate about the efficacy of Fred Reicheld’s Net Promoter Score (see here), it’s interesting to see how many businesses miss the point.

It’s About Predicting The Future

And, to my knowledge, there is nothing out there that does it with any certainty. If there is – please send it and also make sure it is good at predicting 7 numbers between 1 and 44 for next Saturday night!

In this article, they talk about the ‘7 Growth Metrics Every Blah Blah…’ yet none of them are really helping you to predict. Telling me where I’ve been with my business is like driving your car by only looking through the rear vision mirror.

Regardless of your business, enabling customer success has to be at the heart of your strategic and operational decisions. For, without customers, there would be no need for your business or organisation. Predicting their likelihood to do business with you again and positively reflect your brand to others has to be a vital tool in the business growth toolkit.

Why Advocacy?

Regardless of the metric system used, measuring and activating customer advocacy provides a new dimension that reframes the way you do business. Where satisfaction metrics help you to understand where you’ve been, advocacy measures delve into the future. It starts with understanding the behavioural fundamentals that sit in any business or organisation.

Put simply, there are only three types of customers:

1. Advocates

2. Assassins

3. Apathetics

Knowing the proportions can help you understand your likely business performance, but also where to put your efforts. Having a high number of advocates is great… if you’re leveraging them to actually grow your business. In a recent client engagement, our client was consistently measuring off the chart advocacy measures. But, when we asked, and how do you use that to grow your business, they couldn’t tell us.

Similarly, if you have an active group of assassins, you’re on a collision course for increased cost and lower overall performance. Assassins not only impact on your average cost to serve, they are also hitting your future customers. With a plethora of stats around this, the simple message is assassins will actively tell more people about their lack of success than the other two customer categories.

Finally, the apathetics are the ones to watch. Where Fred’s original ideal of the NPS score is great, it does neglect these folk. The scary side to apathetics is that they don’t care enough – either way. They might be satisfied with their interaction with you, but they lay dormant. Knowing the proportion of apathetics you have can help unlock a huge advocacy engine that will propel your business performance.

Getting Started

It doesn’t have to be an arduous exercise. There is now a raft of measurement tools available to get you going on the customer success journey. Each has advantages and drawbacks, suitable to your industry, business type and customer experience.

As one of the nine competencies of Customer Success, Customer Advocacy strategies, plans and measures provide a quick, decisive and differentiable advantage. It’s no longer just for the big kids – any business of any size can use advocacy to unlock their latent potential.
Now – back to those lotto numbers…

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