It’s time for customer metrics to evolve.
The science of measurement may seem static, but in reality it is always evolving. For many organizations, using a single-question approach to gauge customer loyalty is standard for measuring word-of-mouth behavior. But it also presents a problem: asking customers how likely they are to recommend a brand, product or service is not an accurate measure of word-of-mouth or customer satisfaction because it fails to measure how likely or unlikely someone is to recommend or detract.
In today’s social media world, word-of-mouth velocity has increased exponentially, and organizations need more depth and precision than the “how likely are you to recommend” question can provide to make valid business decisions.
Our research shows that people labeled “detractors” by the “how likely are you to recommend” question do not always detract, and people labled “promoters” do not always promote. More specifically, new research shows this methodology overstates detractors by an average of 260-270%. And because detractors can be overstated by such a wide margin, many organizations may be making customer experience-related business decisions based on an inaccurate metric. In order to make valid business decisions, organizations need more depth and precision than a single question can provide.
It’s time for WoMI℠ – The Word of Mouth Index from ForeSee.
WoMI is a new word-of-mouth metric that helps organizations build on the strengths of the single-question approach while achieving more accuracy and precision. ForeSee tested and refined WoMI over a two-year period with more than 300 companies and through nearly 1.5 million customer surveys. The result was a much deeper and more precise categorization of active promoters and detractors than is possible with the likelihood to recommend approach, while still preserving its ease-of-use and understanding. WoMI does this by augmenting the “how likely are you to recommend?” approach with a second question: “How likely are you to discourage others from doing business with this company?” WoMI then subtracts the percentage of 9 and 10 ratings from “likelihood to discourage” from the percentage of 9 and 10 ratings from “likelihood to recommend” to arrive at the balanced and accurate WoMI score:
By incorporating both positive and negative word-of-mouth by asking questions focused on each, WoMI more accurately represents the difference between the proportions of consumers who report being highly likely to promote or detract via word-of-mouth.
WoMI offers more sophisticated analytics to understand what consumers want and where to allocate resources. Like the single-question approach, it provides a single number that is easily shared with business leaders, enabling executives to manage the customer experience across the organization as part of a comprehensive measurement system.
Evolve your analytics. Improve the customer experience.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are an outcome of customer satisfaction, not a driver of satisfaction. To stand out in today’s high-volume word-of-mouth climate, organizations seeking to differentiate through a superior customer experience need to focus on improving positive word-of-mouth and decreasing negative word-of-mouth. To do that successfully, they must measure the drivers of the satisfaction of the customer experience using a methodology that can prioritize improvements and investments. No single question, or even three or four questions, will be able to capture all of the robust, actionable customer experience data organizations need to make improvements on a strategic, tactical and operational level.
Still, organizations will continue to use word-of-mouth measurement as a defining satisfaction metric, because it is easy to implement, share and understand. Given this reality, it is important for organizations to adopt measurement systems that provide an accurate picture of the world. WoMI is the first measurement that combines the simplicity of the single-question approach with the accuracy executives need to make sound business decisions – making it the first word-of-mouth measurement worthy of being a standard KPI on executive dashboards.
If you would like to be contacted directly to learn more about how your organization can benefit from WoMI or if you have a general question, analyst or media inquiry, comments, or recommendations, we would love to hear from you. Fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you soon.
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