Book Review: The Ultimate Question 2.0

The Ultimate Question 2.0I just finished The Ultimate Question 2.0 (Revised and Expanded Edition): How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World from my personal reading list. The Ultimate Question 2.0 was everything I expected and a bit more. This is like brain food for CIO’s looking to retool their customer service and business thinking.

The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World by Fred Reighheld is the revised and expanded edition of The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth. This very popular book details the development and use of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) by various companies and the lessons learned along the way.

What is the Ultimate Question

If you are not familiar with Net Promoter Score (NPS) you might think The Ultimate Question 2.0 was a take off on the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It’s not.

In this case The Ultimate Question asks customers:

“How likely is it that you would recommend us (or a product/service/brand) to a friend or colleague?”

The answer to The Ultimate Question is captured using a scale of zero-to-ten. Customer ratings of 9 or 10 are classified as Promoters, 7 or 8 are Passives, and customers who give the company a rating of 6 or below are Detractors.

The Net Promoter Score is the difference between the percentage of Promoters minus the percentage of Detractors expressed as a percentage. The simplicity of NPS is what makes it one of the most powerful business metrics in decades.

Using NPS for Business Results

Reichheld focuses The Ultimate Question 2.0 on how readers can use NPS as a system for focusing on how to create more Promoters as a business strategy for growth and financial performance.

Reichheld relies on some really great case studies from Apple, Verizon, Philips, Intuit, and Charles Schwab to name just a few who used NPS to turn around their business and become market leaders.

The book also details how to use the employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) internally to increase employee engagement and loyalty by asking the employees:

“On a zero-to-ten scale, how likely is it that you would recommend this company as a place to work?”

As before, the use of eNPS is detailed by case studies from Apple, Rackspace, Jetblue and others. These case studies bolster the premise of eNPS which is that you cannot create customers who are Promoters if your employees are not also Promoters.

The Ultimate Question 2.0

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the The Ultimate Question 2.0. It flowed extremely well from explaining the origins of NPS and how NPS links to profitable growth to how to reliably measure NPS.

One of the strongest elements of the book was how clear the explanations were about the effects of Detracters, Passives, and Promoters on your business – both customers and employees.

It was in these passages and case studies that you will find the real ROI of providing great service to customers. It was also where you begin to understand just how important it is to enable your employees to service your customers in a way they will be proud of.

CIO’s in higher education and other industries will find numerous applications for IT. Whether you are struggling with customer service or simply want your customers to be Promoters, the use of NPS is very applicable in IT departments.

CIO’s will also be encouraged by the strong recommendation for any company planning to implement the use of NPS to involve IT early and to be sure IT is properly resourced for success.

Those recommendations reflected implementing NPS in small and mid sized companies that might use a DIY approach and a cloud survey tool as well as for larger companies using third parties for the NPS.

I recommend reading The Ultimate Question 2.0 (Revised and Expanded Edition): How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World this summer as a tune-up. It was just a day or so of very interesting reading that might be a nice break for you from the Olympics.

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  1. Pingback: Undercover CIO: What you don't know they won't tell youThe Higher Ed CIO

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