As some of you know. My entire world changed last year when I read the book The Ultimate Question. I’ve been consulting for six years now. Started out calling myself a “Brand Consultant” but realized too many people thought I did name changes and logos. That’s not brand. Brand is your reputation. If you have a sucky one, all the marketing in the world is not going to help you.

I now refer to myself as a Culture Consultant. Ever since I met Ken Blanchard and had him sign my copy of Raving Fans I knew that I wanted to work with the “experience” portion of business – not the advertising. Keeping it real I guess.

What gets measured gets managed. For 20 years I worked FOR credit unions. We measured ROA, loan-to-share, delinquency, net worth, loan growth,you get the idea. All those measure the widget. That was a our scoreboard. If a number slipped we’d “manage” it by marketing more widgets.

Simply put, we managed the bottom line.

If you ask credit unions what differentiates them from the competition, most will say “SERVICE!” I say. Get in line. That’s not a differentiator. Unless……you decide to define it and measure it.

Most credit unions “measure” service annually. In a survey. A random sample survey with a zillion questions.

Others I’ve spoken to measure it monthly with some kind of scale, because we like numbers. EXAMPLE: On a scale of 1 to 5, who satisfied are you with the service you get from your credit union?

I hate the word satisfied when you’re talking about “experience” being your differentiator. Satisfied means content; meets expectations. Banking is an errand. I’m satisfied if I can get in, get out, and nobody gets hurt.
I have a client who surveys each month and has an average satisfaction rating of 4.8! BUT, they are not growing. A satisfaction rating of 4.8 means YOU DON’T SUCK. So they “market” widgets and do membership “bribes” instead of asking the RIGHT question.

The Ultimate Question. “How likely are you to RECOMMEND the credit union to a friend or a colleague?” On a scale of 0 to 10? Now you’re talking. That’s a way different question. If I’m satisfied, I will probably ring in around a 7 or an 8 – what NPS calls a passive. I am satisfied but I can be easily wooed by the competition.

A loyal member will give you a 9 or a 10. These are your promoters. I’ll bet you can think of a few right now. Do you think you had more promoters 10 years ago than you do today?

A detractor will give you a score of 0 – 6. Why would someone stay with you if they can’t recommend you? We bank on inertia.

Can you even imagine measuring your bottom-line only once a year? The thought of it frightens most executives and yet that’s exactly how I feel when I hear that “service” is measured so poorly, if at all.

The Filene Research Institute completed a benchmark study of credit unions and NPS. Many are reading the report and “adding” the question to their survey. This is NOT how you do Net Promoter Score.

The wonderful thing that NPS can bring to our industry is a metric that is used consistently – like ROA – so we have valid peer group data. Up until now we’ve been measuring our service with different rulers. That’s why it’s been so hard to define and to manage.

The real value of NPS is the follow-up question. “Why?” Why did you answer the way you did? In other words why WOULD you recommend us or why WOULDN’T you recommend us? Another client of mine jsut completed their first round of NPS. The feedback they got from this question was invaluable. This is the key to loyalty economics.

Do you know what YOUR score is?