I am often asked, “What’s a good response rate for my B2B NPS/Customer survey?” Since we know that response rates can be a potent indicator of renewal and expansion, improving from the “typical” ~15% in B2B environments often leads to accelerated rates of corporate growth. A well-oiled program will see participation (i.e. response) upwards of 80%+ at the contact-level, and nearly 100% at the account-level (the latter being at least one response from any given customer account). So the key question becomes, “How do we increase customer response?” Although we’ve provided tips for improving customer response rates, the recent example from Apple highlights a key element: Demonstrated Listening.
Apple had many options in response to their “Battery-gate” predicament last month. By listening to the feedback, they chose to turn lemons into lemonade, make an excellent case out of their communication failure, and continue to nurture and grow their base of loyal customers.
Sadly, there are few examples of companies that listen, especially in B2B environments. Although dated, this famous example bucks the trend and shows why VMware has the highest Net Promoter Score according to the research firm, Temkin Group.
I’m not saying that you need to do everything that customers request. But you do owe your customers a response. When customers feel like their voice will be heard they are more prone to give feedback in the future. The opposite is also true: Surveys without action do more harm than good. At a minimum recognize that customers want to GIVE feedback: Treat it like the GIFT that it is by addressing what customers are telling you.
This is hard stuff. We get it. If it were easy then everyone would be doing it and we’d no longer be providing consulting services to drive listening throughout the company. But if the company isn’t listening then at least consider shutting down the survey.
Bottom-line: demonstrate that you listen by closing-the-loop. Communicate what you heard and how your company is addressing the feedback. And beware that listening without action can be extremely harmful to your company’s bottom-line.
By the way, I’m a proud owner of a Windows-PC and an Android phone. But examples like this help me understand why I should consider Apple products at my next opportunity. And if you’re interested in the specifics of Apple’s case, details can be found at (among numerous other places) https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/28/apple-apologizes-for-iphone-battery-confusion/