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How to Track Your Reputation

071024xCommunications can only take you so far. At some point the "user experience" of your product and service will catch up to your brand image. So how can you measure "customer satisfaction"? A few years ago, Harvard professor Fred Reichheld suggested a magic bullet, the Net Promoter Score. All you have to do is ask your customers "Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague?", then add up the number of your "promoters", subtract the number of "detractors" and Voila!--you have a number to track from month to month. As long as that number stays steady or moves upward, your reputation is okay.

Real life, of course, is seldom so simple. To review the advantages and disadvantages, read NPS - Valid or Not? - Think customers: The 1to1 Blog, 2007-Aug-22, by Don Peppers: NPS costs very little to deploy as a metric, and can easily be handled in-house, without the intervention of a professional survey research firm. And in my opinion one of the biggest benefits of NPS is that it is educating business people to the very important fact that customer dissatisfaction almost certainly drives more defection than customer satisfaction drives loyalty.