Over the past several months, I have had the pleasure of working with one of our clients, AGCO Corporation, to provide some customer experience training.  It has been a very rewarding experience and has caused me to think more closely about how important the touchpoints we have with customers really are.  Even touchpoints that we too often take for granted.

To illustrate, let me share data we have collected as part of our ExperienceConnect program with business-to-business companies.  This sheds light on how “small” touchpoints matter in a big way. 

We use the Net Promoter Score (NPS)® as a key performance indicator for our ExperienceConnect program.

  • If a customer gives a 9 or 10 (Promoter) on the likelihood to recommend, we probe and ask the customer what they liked about the service.
  • If they respond with a 7 or 8 (Passive), we ask what could have been better.
  • If they give a 6 or less (Detractor), we ask what did they particularly dislike about the experience.

The table below shows the percentage of total mentions for each customer category.  So, for example, 28.84% of reasons why customers are Promoters had to do with the quality of service (they liked it).





Quality of Service 16.53% 11.54% 28.84%
Friendliness of Staff 0.00% 1.54% 6.37%
Knowledge and Professionalism of Staff 0.99% .38% 6.27%
Timeliness of Repair 5.94% 5.00% 5.69%
Availability of Parts 1.98% 2.31% 5.16%


Notice the second two significant reasons for being a Promoter, Friendliness of Staff and Knowledge and Professionalism of Staff.  These are essential “delighters” for customers though they hardly matter to either Detractors or Passives.  This information raises several questions:

Staff friendliness can be interpreted in many ways but let’s start with a simple question; when a customer “touches” your staff, either by phone or in-person.

  • Do they smile?
  • Do they appear welcoming and as if the customer really matters?
  • Do they come across as professional?
  • Do they accurately answer most customer questions? If they can’t do they say so and seek the correct answers?
  • Do they get back with customers in a timely way?

Too often in the business-to-business environment managers think that “what” is delivered to the customer (e.g., information, products) is the most important thing.  Getting the “what” right will only get you so far.

Paying attention to “how” things are delivered to customers will create more loyal customers.  It is these often-overlooked touchpoints that separate customer experience winners from also-rans.


“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.”    

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