You may be familiar with customer surveys. Most companies do them. They are almost ubiquitous with online retailers. Companies worldwide want to know what their consumers think about them.
The best companies value the customers to the point that all of their interactions are deemed critical to success. Customers are viewed as assets – protected, nurtured, loved.
Some companies use a metric called Net Promoter Survey (NPS) as a measure of their customer experience and loyalty. Basically, customers are asked a question and are invited to score said question from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest). The question? “How likely are you to recommendto a friend or family?” Those who score the question either a 9 or 10 are collectively called “promoters”. Those who score 6 or lower are called “detractors”. The NPS metric is simply derived – subtract the percent of detractors from the percent of promoters. The outcome is a value that can be used to approximate customer loyalty.
There are companies that totally get customer experience. Companies such as Amazon. Apple. Ritz Carlton. As you’d expect, their NPS results are typically very high. Other companies don’t do such a good job. Recently, banks haven’t scored well on NPS. One critical part of the NPS process is taking the survey data and implementing a “closed loop” process whereby detractors are contacted for verbatim information, problem solving and relationship building (or rebuilding).
In a sport dominated with acronyms, abbreviations, numbers, and metrics, the phrase NPS might be a new one to triathlon. I don’t know if any race organizations have a formal process in place for gathering customer feedback. The concept of NPS is important to our sport, however. All races want athletes to return to their race. Returning athletes drive organic growth, and they are far more profitable (less investment of marketing dollars to get them to sign up, for example). Moreover, returning athletes tend to promote their race, and often bring new athletes to a venue.
Race Directors and companies who are serious about growing their events, gaining market share in the sea of multiple race vendors, and establishing a loyal fan base should seriously consider investing in some sort of specific, detailed, and actionable customer experience surveying. Any short-term costs could be far recouped via acting upon real-time feedback from their customers.
I wonder what the NPS scores for some of the big and well-known races or race companies would be? I suspect the results would be interesting, but moreover, the verbatim feedback from customers would be telling.