For many years, RKG has tracked its Net Promoter Score, Fred Reichheld's measure of how successful a business is in turning its customers into its sales force. Indeed, we were honored to have Fred stop by our blog for an interview 2 years back. Last month, I made the case that, in our industry, retaining clients may end up being the key to long term success. Acquiring new business through sales and marketing is expensive, and it is through long-term retention that companies will be profitable as the industry matures. Fred's argument takes this two steps further. First, he argues that sustained, profitable growth comes not simply from generating loyal customers, but from creating promoters, those who are so enthusiastic about your firm they tell their friends about you. These promoters act as a tremendously powerful and effective sales force. Second, Reichheld makes the case that this same measure should be applied internally. Are your employees enthusiastic fans of your company? If so, they're much more likely to go that extra mile to create promoters among your client base. The more enthusiastic the employee base, the easier it is to attract, hire and retain talent, and the wheel keeps turning. We buy it. We hire really really sharp people, but just as importantly, we hire really good people. We've tracked our NPS since 2006 and have found inspiration and good advice from the client surveys. We ask The Ultimate Question: "How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?", but also many more. We've found the feedback valuable and it has helped us build a better company. The NPS is calculated by giving your firm one point for every promoter -- those who answer the Ultimate Question with a 9 or 10 on a scale of 0-10. Subtracting from that total, the number of detractors -- those who answer with a 6 or less. No points are awarded or subtracted for those who answer with a 7 or 8. Divide the point total above by the total number of responses. A company receiving 30 9s and 10s, 40 7s and 8s, and 30 5s and 6s would have a Net Promoter Score of 0! (30-30)/100 In our most recent survey conducted this summer, RKG had a Net Promoter Score of 84! In honor of Labor Day I'd like to offer a public "thank you" to our amazing team! Our client service staff plays a major role, obviously, but it's the whole team that makes it happen. From our IT folks building amazing software to make their job easier, to our office staff for keeping the business running smoothly, and finally to our sales staff for never making a promise we can't keep. Good job, gang! We continue to add services to our core paid search offering. The challenge is do so at a pace and in a manner such that we keep our eyes on that all important metric. Thanks for keeping us focused, Fred!
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