In the book The Ultimate Question, Fred Reichheld introduces a term called the Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is based on the idea that every company can divide their customers into three categories: promoters, passives, and detractors. And by asking one simple question or the Ultimate Question -How likely is it that you would recommend our company to someone else - a company can track these groups and get an accurate idea of a company’s performance through the eyes of their customers.
The term the “Ultimate Question” implies there is one question that is THE Ultimate Question. While I agree that there may be one question that is the most important question for companies to ask their customers, I would suggest that there is actually another equally important question that a business owner must answer first, when it comes to surveying their customer base.
My experience has demonstrated that most small business owners and professional service providers do not survey their customer base . . . . ever!
What can we infer from this? Does it mean that small business owners don’t see the value in surveying their customers on a regular basis? Or does it mean they don’t know the questions they should ask? Or maybe they don’t understand how to best go about surveying their customers.
So, before a business owner can understand and see value in asking their customer’s the “Ultimate Question”, they need to see value in conducting surveys with their customer base.
So here’s the reasons why business owners should survey their customers, past customers and prospects on a regular basis:
- To ask their opinion about potential innovations you’re considering
- To ask them about your business
- To discover needs, problems, desires – their REAL Value Hierarchy
- To confirm your assumptions about the decision making process
- To find out what makes them “tick”… or “ticks them off”
- To ask what format they’ll accept marketing messages from you in
- To find out what problems or frustrations they’d like to see eliminated
- To find out ways to improve the business
- To ask for referrals
- To ask for testimonials
So, here’s the first question along with an answer that is required before we start talking about the Ultimate Question -
As a small business owner, do you see the value in surveying your customers?
If the answer is yes, then, we can explore the “Ultimate Question”, which I will review in greater detail in my next post.
To your success,