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Sophisticated simplicity: How Delighted makes Net Promoter feedback easy and appealing to customers

Net Promoter System podcastI’m often surprised to find that some executives will accept single-digit response rates in their customer-feedback programs.

One recent conversation centered on a company’s 4% response rate. My concern about the low response rate met resistance. The executives responded that their market research partners had assured them this was typical. Anyway, they said, the statisticians had told them their sample was adequate.

But this sort of logic fails to account for the human part of the equation. With a 4% response rate, 96 out of every 100 customers are ignoring the company’s call for help. Ninety-six percent of the customers won’t bother to tell the company what they liked, what they hated or how they thought it could do better.

Of course, single-digit response rates probably shouldn’t surprise us. The way many companies ask for feedback fails the simple test of The Golden Rule. These companies ask for “just a few minutes of your time,” but then present customers with a seemingly endless list of multiple-choice questions. The survey questions and answer options often feel irrelevant or relate to features or experiences the customer never had. The survey might even ask for customer information the company already has.

At Bain & Company, we’ve long advocated a much simpler, customer-friendly approach to gathering customer feedback. We focus on two simple questions: How likely would you be to recommend the company or its products? Why?—letting you answer in your own words.

Now a company called Delighted has taken this customer-friendly approach and embodied it in a beautiful, simple package. Under the hood, there’s a ton of sophistication enabling that beautiful simplicity and creating the support for a more comprehensive Net Promoter System, complete with follow-up call support and rigorous analytics.

caleb-elston-120x113I had a chance to talk with CEO and cofounder Caleb Elston. You can listen in on the conversation in my latest Net Promoter System podcast. Caleb is quite thoughtful about how to solicit feedback in an engaging and relationship-enhancing way.

Companies using Delighted’s software send a short email to customers, often right after a transaction. The likelihood-to-recommend question is included right in the email, complete with a zero-to-10 response scale. It’s mobile-friendly, so all you have to do is touch or click on a number. The software then takes you to a Web page where you can give the reason for your rating or offer any other kind of feedback you want. The whole thing can take less than a minute. Really.

Delighted’s software platform makes it easy for a company to get started on the system, and then to scale up its use over time. So a small business can get up and running on the light version for a very low fee and with just a list of email addresses to get going. For a larger company, the software can plug into an existing CRM system so that the feedback is linked to the customer’s buying history or other variables.

The retailer Bonobos, an early user of Delighted, used the software’s fast-feedback capabilities to test some modifications to its shipping procedures—and quickly learned that the change was making customers unhappy.

And what about that 4%? Delighted’s results with Bonobos and a handful of other early customers show response rates reaching 40%. It’s an exciting development. A platform so simple it takes just minutes to get up and running, but sophisticated enough to integrate with a larger company’s internal technology and support a Net Promoter System.

You can listen to my discussion with Caleb on iTunes or through the player below. Click here to browse more Net Promoter System podcasts.

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