Does your customer experience strategy for selling capital goods address the most significant NPS® components? Pricing? Delivery? Knowledge and professionalism? Or Ease of doing business? Our research now reveals how all these factors come together to create a great, mediocre, or bad experience. By the way, pricing and even delivery are not the things that most impact NPS®.
How Do We Know?
We surveyed 2,400 customers for an equipment OEM with an extensive dealer network in North America. The equipment is generally complicated and requires significant consultative selling. The salesperson’s role is critical, as are those supporting the sales process (finance, service, product support, etc.). We were able to quantify just what does matter in the product delivery process.
In addition to the Net Promoter question, we also ask respondents to rate their overall satisfaction and follow this question with two probes. The first is “What went well?” and the second is “What could have been better?” Our interviewers capture verbatim responses and then tag each answer into pre-established categories.
What did we learn from “What Went Well?”
The overall NPS® for this group of customers was 86.70%. Thanks to our tagging approach and with help from Power BI, we saw how each of the tags (performance factors) affected the NPS® score.
The chart below chart shows the impact on NPS® of the various performance factors. Customers whose responses were about the knowledge and professionalism of the salesperson had an NPS® of over 96%. Said another way, being knowledgeable and professional has about a nine-point positive impact on NPS®.
Some of the performance factors are not surprising, but the magnitude of their impacts is. One noteworthy finding is the impact of pricing on NPS® (about 4 points). Even if pricing is favorable, other factors have a more significant impact on NPS®.
What did we learn from “What Could Have Been Better?” Does your CX strategy focus on the right ones?
There were several surprises here, mostly with the magnitude of the impacts.
Those customers who mentioned ease of doing business as something that could be better had an NPS® of 2.30%. Said another way, the NPS® was reduced by 84.40 points! When the sales representative does not follow-up, this whacks the NPS® as well.
Not even a low price can make up for other shortcomings.
What Should You Include in Your Customer Experience Strategy?
Ease of Doing Business, Sales Rep Follow Through, Communication
Creating a sales environment where it is easy to make the purchase, the sales representative follows through during and after the sales, and with excellent communication throughout are essential to creating a great sales customer experience. These elements are critical to creating a great experience.
Knowledge and Professionalism
Creating a great customer experience requires a bit more. For everyone who touches the customer during the transaction, being knowledgeable and professional is critical. Boning up on the information the customer is likely to ask about is necessary.
If you don’t know, say so and answer the customers’ questions when promised.
We sometimes overlook the importance of having a friendly staff. Notice the positive impact on NPS® when respondents mentioned staff friendliness as something that went well. In the research we have done over the years, we see this continually. Read more here from Working Solutions about the impact of friendly staff.
A friendly staff is noticed, appreciated, and has a significant impact on customer loyalty.
Pricing (low) does not have as much of an impact as other performance factors. Low prices cannot make up for other things missing in the experience.
If other factors such as good follow-up, excellent communication, and friendly staff are present, a lower price doesn’t add much to the experience. Read more in our blog “Good B2B Service Experiences Take Price Out of the Equation” about how pricing should fit in to your Customer Experience strategy.
If you have questions about what we are learning, ask me! Email me or, better still, call me at 704-749-5018.
“Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.”