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Sage gets it

Posted on June 3, 2010 , by cherylgutierrez
CATEGORIES: Case Examples

As a student of Net Promoter best practices and the results that can be achieved from applied NPS discipline, its always great to see a company that “gets it”.
At Sage’s annual partner conference in Denver last month, the remarks from CEO Sue Swenson and Himanshu Palsule, Executive Vice President of Product Strategy give us some nice examples of using Net Promoter in the right way. Actually, its more like three examples.
First, they pointed to the change in their Net Promoter Score of 10 points…a significantly large gain. The thing about this is that they didn’t point to the score, but to the change. That’s where the focus needs to be. Score watching is great in the grandstands, but changing the score is for the players…and where the payoffs happen.
Second, in the next sentence, Palsule mentions that “its also boosted renewal rates from 90 percent up to 97 percent”. Its very impressive to see NPS gains linked to performance metrics and associated revenue. I wonder what the dollar value is of that 7 percent renewal gain? I’ll bet its an impressive ROI on the NPS effort at Sage.
Finally, Palsule goes on to mention value: “Customer value comes from not just product functionality, it comes from how easy Sage is to do business with”
This is interesting because many Net Promoter survey programs lack sophistication in value measurement. It’s not enough to measure just service and product performance combined with likelihood to recommend. We’ve found that measuring value and its components of price, quality, ease of business and success contribution are key to understanding how the performance of each deliverable drives value… and from that, the strength of the customer relationship. Without this, its nearly impossible to have a complete understanding of value creation and how it translates to customer behavior.
Sage’s history has been one of growing via acquisition. It appears that Swenson’s entry two years ago is signaling a greater focus on growing organically with the existing customer base, which is always good to hear. Not that this is easy work, but the payoff is there.
“I think we are much happier today than before,” Swenson said, concluding her keynote address. ”The recession gave us opportunity to step back and look at the basics.”
Sue has more than an appreciation of the basics. She’s been a proponent of customer insight measurements in driving business success since the ’90′s in her Telecom days, when I worked with her and her team on a large scale CSM initiative that was sophisticated even at that time…before NPS, Reality TV and Twitter. Good to see she is still a believer and ahead of the game.
Take a look at the article…I think you’ll find it thought provoking: