“Things that are measured, improve.”– Bill Bowerman (University of Oregon Track Coach)
Bill Bowerman was absolutely right when he said, “Things that are measured, improve”. One of the topics of great importance in the dental profession is the topic of customer service. We all aspire to deliver excellent customer service, yet this is a ticklish topic because it is difficult to measure. This blog post will present a metric to use to measure customer service in your practice. It is called your Net Promoter Score (NPS).
The NPS was created by Fred Reichheld, the author of the book titled, The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth (http://www.netpromotersystem.com/book/index.aspx) as the ultimate loyalty metric to measure exactly how your business is doing in the realm of customer service. NPS is based on the fundamental perspective that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. Promoters are those raving fans that love to tell other people about your practice. Passives are those people who are neutral about your practice. Detractors are the people who are not happy with you and won’t be shy about telling others about their poor experience. Your NPS is determined by asking one very simple question: How likely is it that you would recommend our dental office to a friend or colleague on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being Extremely likely and 0 being Not at all likely.
Patients who rate you a 9 or 10 are Promoters, those who rate you a 7 or 8 are Passives, and those patients who rate you a 0-6 are Detractors. You determine your NPS as follows:
% of Promoters – % of Detractors = NPS
When I first heard about the NPS I was thrilled because we finally had a way to measure good customer service! The goal is to have as many patients as possible rate your practice a 9 or 10. By asking your patients to respond to a very simple exit questionnaire that only asks 1 question, with room for notes and comments, you can gain immediate feedback on how you are doing with creating Promoters. Here is a link to the Net Promoter Website that has an absolute wealth of information about the NPS and how to use it to improve the customer service experience (http://www.netpromoter.com/np/index.jsp). I want to really encourage you to spend some time with this material and really get your arms around how your NPS can be an amazing management tool. The magic of the NPS is in its simplicity!
Your Net Promoter Score will tell you precisely how you are doing in terms of creating loyal patients who would happily refer your office to a friend. Most importantly, tracking and monitoring your NPS will show you where you need to make improvements in your practice to raise your score. Creating more raving fans is a sure recipe for success in any economy. Keep Smiling!