By Susan Saldibar
Have you ever heard of the “Net Promoter Score”? To be honest, I had to look it up online to find out what it was. In a nutshell, the Net Promoter Scoring system or “NPS” measures loyalty. It starts with a key question: “How likely are you to recommend our product/organization/services to a friend or colleague?” It goes on to calibrate various responses in a way that produces a score.
The numerical scoring for NPS goes from -100 and up. Scores higher than 0 are typically considered to be good and scores above 50 are considered to be excellent. Apple, for example, has an NPS of 47, while Home Depot has a score of -5. (By the way, at least one well known senior living community had a surprisingly low NPS.)
I learned all this while talking with Jacquie Brennan, Vice President of Vigil Health Solutions (a Senior Housing Forum partner). Every year Vigil surveys their customers to find out what they are doing well and what they could be doing better. During our conversation, Jacquie happened to mention that their “Net Promoter Score” had gone up this year from 48 to 50. (Pretty impressive, now that I understand the scoring methodology a bit better.)
Whether it’s stars on Yelp or NPS scores, satisfaction numbers matter.
Why does all this talk about NPS matter? After all, most senior living communities use some sort of performance tracking, although many admit that their methods are somewhat sporadic. But numbers matter now, more than ever. How many of us check out the number of stars on Yelp or Google before we make decisions about products and services?
So, with that in mind, I spent some time talking with Jacquie about various systems to measure and improve client satisfaction. We talked about senior living communities, which represent the bulk of Vigil clients, and the importance of surveys and follow up. Here are my takeaways from that conversation.
Use a scoring system. Whether it’s NPS or something entirely different, it’s important to be able to track where your community sits, performance wise. Only then can you begin to make meaningful adjustments and gauge their effectiveness.
Survey your residents and their families. You may already be doing surveys. If not, you should be. Consider asking for feedback immediately at the time of service to get realistic, honest responses. These days there are a lot of survey requests in your inbox which most people just ignore. Sometimes it can be as easy as asking just that one question “How likely are you to recommend our product/organization/services to a friend or colleague?”
Follow up on issues or improvements requested. “You have to be prepared to follow up in areas where improvements are requested,” Jacquie tells me. She gives an example of a change they made to one of their products, to address the inconvenience some customers reported of having to replace fuses after an electrical storm. Using feedback from users of their system, they engineered a special product that connects to their network and has all but eliminated the fuse issue.
Finally, Jacquie notes how important it is to acknowledge the work your team is doing to help raise the performance bar. At Vigil, even a simple staff luncheon provides an opportunity to recognize everyone from the customer service staff to the engineers for their part in improving the overall experience.
Surveys are useless without follow up.
Whether you use the Net Promoter Scoring system or something altogether different, the importance of measuring resident satisfaction and how well you meet their ongoing needs cannot be overstated. Today’s residents and their families are paying close attention, not only to stars and numbers but to how responsive communities are in making improvements that are focused on improving quality of life. How well you are able to demonstrate a commitment to doing so may have a major impact on the future success of your community.
For more information on Vigil Health Solutions, please visit their website.