The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth

The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth

by Fred Reichheld
     
 

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CEOs regularly announce ambitious growth targets, then fail to achieve them. The reason? Too many companies are addicted to bad profits. These corporate steroids boost short-term earnings but burn out the employees and alienate customers. They undermine growth by creating legions of detractors - customers who sully the firm's reputation and switch to competitors at…  See more details below

Overview

CEOs regularly announce ambitious growth targets, then fail to achieve them. The reason? Too many companies are addicted to bad profits. These corporate steroids boost short-term earnings but burn out the employees and alienate customers. They undermine growth by creating legions of detractors - customers who sully the firm's reputation and switch to competitors at the earliest opportunity. Now loyalty expert Fred Reichheld shows how to reverse the equation, turning customers into promoters who generate good profits and true, sustainable growth. The key: one simple question - Would you recommend us to a friend? - that allows companies to track promoters and detractors and produces a clear measure of an organization's performance in its customers' eyes. Analysis shows that on average, increasing the Net Promoter Score (NPS) by a dozen points versus competitors can double a company's growth rate. While easy to grasp, this metric represents a radical change in the way companies manage customer relationships and organize for growth. Rather than relying on notoriously ineffective customer satisfaction surveys, companies can use NPS to measure customer relationships as rigorously as they now measure profits. What's more, NPS finally enables CEOs to hold employees accountable for treating customers right. It clarifies the link between the quality of a company's customer relationships and its growth prospects. Based on extensive research and rich with vivid examples of organizations that have pioneered NPS in practice, The Ultimate Question offers hands-on guidance on how to: Distinguish good profits from bad; Measure NPS and benchmark performance against world-class standards; Quantify the economic value generated by customer word of mouth; Assign accountability for improving customer relationships; Identify core customers and set priorities for strategic investments; Move customers beyond mere "satisfaction" to true loyalty; Create communications of passionate advocates that stimulate innovation and growth. Practical and compelling, The Ultimate Question will help you solve your organization's growth dilemma.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
Among management books, this one's a keeper.
Publishers Weekly
Almost everyone appreciates the importance of customer satisfaction in business, but this book takes that idea to two extremes. First, it claims that customer satisfaction is more important than any business criterion except profits. Second, it argues that customer satisfaction is best measured by one simple question, "Would you recommend this business to a friend?" Pressure for financial performance tempts executives to seek "bad profits," that is, profits obtained at the expense of frustrating or disappointing customers. Such profits inflate short-term financial results, Reichheld writes, but kill longer-term growth. Only relentless focus on customer satisfaction can generate "good profits." One unambiguous question, with answers delivered promptly, can force organizational change, he claims. Reichheld makes a strong rhetorical case for his ideas, but is weaker on supporting evidence. The negative examples he gives are either well-known failures or generic entities like "monopolies," "cell phone service providers" and "cable companies." When presenting statistics on poor performers, the names are omitted "for obvious reasons." On the other hand, the positive examples are named, but described in unrealistically perfect terms. Believable comparisons of companies with both virtues and flaws would have been more instructive. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455893522
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
04/01/2012
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.10(d)

Meet the Author

Fred Reichheld is Director Emeritus and Fellow at Bain & Co., and a bestselling HBSP author.

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