Doyle Security takes easy step to understand customers

One-question survey helps company
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Friday, November 13, 2015

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—Doyle Security, a full-service company based in Rochester, N.Y., started better understanding its customers by asking one question: On a scale of one to 10, “How likely is it that you would recommend Doyle Security to a friend or relative?”

With that question, Doyle can calculate its Net Promoter Score, Todd Julien, company director of sales, told an audience at Honeywell CONNECT 2015. "We think it's a growth strategy for us," he said. It lets the company know where referrals are likely coming from. The highest responders also might be the ones to spend more on other services.

Julien said that when Doyle started tracking its Net Promoter Score, or NPS, in 2011, it was in the mid-50s as a percentage out of 100. That’s not bad, he said, but now the company’s score is around 70 percent.

Feedback gained from this initiative led the company to work on its “customer experience” by being more punctual on service calls and reducing hold times and service backlog, Julien said.

The NPS has three categories of customers, Julien said.

“Promoters” are customers who respond with a nine or 10 to the question. “These are customers showing off their total connect app at the hockey game." They don't “attrit,” he said, and this demographic accounts for 80 percent of referrals.

Seeing feedback from customers gives the company the chance to make it right” if they’ve had a negative experience, Julien said.

“Passives,” who respond with a seven or eight, are satisfied, but not enthusiastic. This group can be dangerous, according to Julien; they could be won over by competition, and they’re not likely to promote the business.

“Detractors” are responsible for 80 percent of negative comments, he said, and this group would respond with a six or lower. "It doesn't take a long time to build a detractor relationship," Julien said. An attendee pointed out that some customers are detractors by nature, perpetually displeased regardless of the company.

Companies can calculate their NPS by subtracting the number of detractors from the promoters and dividing it by the total number of customers.

Companies that use the system and have good NPS scores include Amazon, Costco and Harley Davidson, Julien said.