One business metric making its rounds around the globe is the net promoter score. This metric gauges the health of your business from a client's perspective and can be used to calculate customer lifetime value. Are you ready to use it in your business model?
The FOTO Team recently released the availability of a Net Promoter Score (NPS) Dashboard. The NPS consists of one simple question, "How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?" The FOTO Team included the NPS Dashboard as a bonus twist turning it into a management tool. Your patients will be able to add comments after responding to the question and receive real-time alerts of detractors.
There are quite a few articles online focused on scoring and the interpretation of scores. If a patient indicates 0-6, then that patient is considered a detractor. If a patient responds 7-8, then that patient is considered a passive. Finally if a patient responds 9-10, then that patient is considered a promoter. The score is actually calculated by the percent of promoters minus the percent of detractors multiplied by 100. I'm choosing not to spend a lot of time on the scoring because most of what you find online goes into substantial detail. What I'd like to do is instead take time to provide you with hurdles and strategies that you will need to think about so you may be effective if you choose to use NPS.
The biggest hurdle for your organization is to determine what to do with NPS scores. Should the scores be something you track? Should the scores be something you share with everyone in your organization? Should the scores have an action plan? Do the scores really matter?
Is my Net Promoter Score acceptable?
Will your organization have a targeted goal for your NPS results? I've been researching NPS and what you may find helpful is benchmark data from CustomerGauge. Their 2018 benchmark report may provide you insight as to what would be considered a reasonable result when capturing NPS. Within the benchmarked data, the industry actually matters with regard to Net Promoter Scores. As you can see, healthcare and professional services tend to have higher scores. If you decide to implement NPS into your business model, you might want to set a score goal. The score represents the accumulation of touch points within your organization for every person who interacts with patients. This score is not specific to clinicians; this score captures the patient's perception of the whole experience from the first contact with your organization (either website, email, phone or walking in) to that last day of graduation.
Your next hurdle has to do with an action plan for detractors. If you choose to have the NPS within each patient functional status report, anyone within your organization will be able to easily identify if the patient is a detractor. Then what? What action plan will your organization implement? Should a detractor be addressed? Who should address detractors? As you think about this, keep in mind that organizations that have an action plan in place reaching out to detractors seem to demonstrate improved revenue. Revenue may improve because the detractor might flip to a promoter: choosing services in the future and referring others. I'm assuming this happens if the customer truly believed the organization cared and really worked toward addressing the detractor's needs.
Should a promoter be seen as a hurdle in your organization's strategy? Okay, a promoter probably isn't a hurdle, yet you do need to think about promoters. Can you harness your promoter's exuberance toward your organization and help make it easy for increased referrals? To me, referral marketing feels like it cheapens the kindness extended by the promoter. Although there may be some in this world who expect something for doing something, there are many others who truly appreciate helping others just because. I tend to send a quick thank you note to previous patients who refer others. To me, that just seems special - to receive something handwritten in the mail with a heartfelt thank you.
Speaking of which... do you track how your patients choose your organization? To me, the NPS is just one piece of the equation. The other piece of the equation are behaviors. What I mean is that anyone can say that they would refer... but who actually takes action and does refer? If you add that bit of information into your organization, you have both the NPS and behavioral information. If you believe that it costs less to retain your patients and make them lifelong customers, then it would probably be wise to know if you really are retaining them. It's important to know when scheduling an initial evaluation if the patient is a previous patient, referred by a previous patient, specifically referred by another healthcare professional or choosing based on location or marketing efforts.
One last thought about what the FOTO Team has rolled out that is different. The FOTO Team has provided an option for patients to comment after responding to NPS. By providing the opportunity for a patient to comment allows for two things. If the patient is a detractor, the patient may actually share what is bothersome. Your organization will have concrete information from that patient and a more efficient process to address the negative comment. For the promoters who share a comment, you now have an opportunity to use the comment as a testimonial. Depending on the comment, you may even have a way to reach out to that patient expressing gratitude.
The NPS is just a score. The score should drive action to help you improve the interactions your organization has with patients. Although NPS seems to be a loyalty gauge, the real power, growth and advantage is truly based on what your organization does with the score. FOTO now provides an NPS dashboard as a customer experience management tool.
Until next time,