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How to provide great service – responding to customer reviews in real-time

Do you know the value of a good customer review, or the impact of an unhappy customer? In an age of citizen broadcasting, where word-of-mouth reviews are amplified and socialised, it’s more important than ever for service-led organisations to listen to their customers and act swiftly to encourage the advocates whilst addressing the concerns of the disgruntled.


One way field service organisations can monitor the actual, not perceived, levels of customer satisfaction and respond accordingly, is via the Net Promoter Score (NPS), a concept first introduced by Fred Reichheld in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article "One Number You Need to Grow".

NPS is based on the fundamental perspective that every company's customers can be divided into three categories: promoters, passives, and detractors. By asking one simple question — how likely is it that you would recommend ‘Company X’ to a friend or colleague? — you can track these groups and get a clear measure of your company's performance through its customers' eyes.

But whilst accurate benchmarking is essential in the journey to providing great service, looking back retrospectively may be too late to implement change. That’s why the idea of incorporating a customer satisfaction barometer, like NPS, into a performance management module may be appealing to service organisations. Customer reviews can be gathered in real-time, allowing managers to quickly identify dissatisfied customers, establish the cause of their problem and look to put it right before the customer relationship is damaged.

Crucially, what this paring enables service managers to do is isolate and drill down on those customers that are promoters, passives and detractors, putting right any service issues as they are reported to help turn any detractors in to passives or promoters.

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