Written by Sean McPheat |
In a book I hold dear in my library, business loyalty guru Fred Reichheld revealed the question most critical to your company’s future: “Would you recommend us to a friend?”
Just think about that question for a moment.
If you asked all of your clients, they may well say ‘yes’. But what does it actually mean?
Firstly, ‘recommend’. When you recommend something, you have built up many reasons why it should receive your approval. It must make you feel better in some way, either through the service you received or the quality of the product. It also has to make you feel confident and hence build trust in it in some way.
So, for something or somebody to receive my ‘recommendation’, it will have to have added some real benefit to my life or business. I don’t easily give my endorsements on LinkedIn, for instance. The person really has had to impress me and given me cause to say that they are due that reward.
If someone is willing to recommend you and your services, it means they like you, believe in you, have confidence in you and trust you. They certainly wouldn’t pass on your details to a friend or colleague if they lacked even one of those components.
Secondly, think about the term ‘friend’. This is someone they are close to and they don’t want to be made to look a fool if they recommended something to this close acquaintance that turns out to be a dud or poor quality. By answering the question affirmatively, they are telling you that they trust you enough to deleiver the same kind of quality and service to someone they are close to, even in a business sense.
Make a list of your loyal customers. At your next meeting with them, ask them Fred’s question. If they answer ‘yes’, ask them why. Their answers will clarify what they really think of your company and how your future relationship will pan out.
Known as the ‘Ultimate Question’, it delivers a powerful message to you and your team, from the person who really matters; the client.
Originally published: 21 January, 2014