The Blind Spot in Customer Loyalty Surveys

The Globe and Mail

December 15, 2013 | By Harvey Schachter

Innovating Analytics News | The Globe and MailWhen consultant Frederick Reichheld advocated his “net promoter score” in the 2006 book The Ultimate Question – the one number he said you need to know to understand customer retention and profits – marketers and companies seized on the simplicity and power of the concept.

Many firms have based customer satisfaction programs around the measure, which promises to show you with a single question who is a promoter of your brand and who is a detractor. They use it to evaluate brand strength, and also to begin conversations with detractors to convert them to supporters.

Neat, simple, and effective.

But wrong, according to Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee, a marketing analytics firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., which developed its approach to measuring customer loyalty out of the pioneering work for the University of Michigan’s famed American Customer Satisfaction Score and Foresee’s own research on brand promoters, begun before Mr. Reichheld’s seminal book.

At the core of the dispute – and the need to recalibrate our thinking – is determining who is
a detractor of your company. . . Read the full article »