Judging Customer Loyalty

How the Net Promoter Score measures customer loyalty

A simple search of a consumer advocacy website turned up over 230 results when asked to locate a heating and air conditioning professional in Hampton Roads. When our team shows up each day, we are competing with several hundred licensed contractors and several hundred more unlicensed folks. You, the consumer, are in complete control. If we do not provide you with the level of service that you except, you can make your business (and dollars) to one of the nearly 1,000 other contractors in the area.

Our goal, whenever you welcome us into your home, is to fix your problem and create a “loyal” customer. So what defines a loyal customer? Wikipedia defines the word loyal as “giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.” The team at One Hour puts tremendous effort into earning your “firm and constant support or allegiance.” But how do we know if we are doing a good job?

Fred Reichheld developed a customer loyalty standard which is used by many of the nation’s largest companies to gauge how loyal a customer really is. Jet Blue, Chick-fil-a, Apple, and Zappos are all examples of companies that gauge their loyalty using what Reichheld calls the Net Promoter Score® (NPS). The question that gauges loyalty is simply; “how likely is it that you would recommend this company to friend or family member.” Some companies such as Enterprise Rent-a-Car call this “the ultimate question” because of how much information can be gathered from one answer.

A person who responds to the NPS survey will score their experience on a 0-10 scale. If a customer had an experience that was anything less than great, the score would range anywhere from 0-8. Only a 9 or a 10 is an acceptable score. Those customers who are actively telling their friends to avoid a company are what Reichheld deems as “detractors.” These customers score anywhere from 0-6 when asked the ultimate question.

What happens to the customer that is satisfied, got what they paid for, but are not in love with a company? That customer is not loyal. They are still in the marketplace and are ripe for the taking. When this customer is asked the ultimate question, they respond with a score of 7 or 8. In our case, we probably fixed their problem at a reasonable price, but we did not WOW them. The Net Promoter Score classifies these people as “passive.” They are not actively talking about your company…good or bad. But the person who does exceed their expectations will have the valued “loyal” customer.

A customer who is actively singing the praises of a company is called a “promoter.” In order to achieve that level, a person who responds to the survey must score a company as a 9 or a 10. The customers who score us in this category are what we consider to be our coveted loyal customers. These people will not only tell you all the great things when you are in need of a specific service, they will find a way to bring the company up in other conversations. This is where we would like to have the majority of our customers.

Sometimes, in the in-home service industry, “customer service” is something that people don’t expect. Customers might be jaded because a company has told them that they care about customer service, but when push comes to shove, the all mighty dollar tends to win out. The team at One Hour works very hard to ensure that we don’t just give customer service “lip service” but that we truly live and breathe it. Every single customer who provides us with an email address and has a service call or installation at their home will have an opportunity to provide us with the feedback.

To see the good, the bad, and the ugly, go to our Reviews page. We are constantly updating it with your feedback. If you have any additional comments, feel free to call us at (757) 868-7600 or send us a message through our online form.

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