A tale of how chocolate drives better customer insight

A timely reward surfaces hidden customer feelings

For many, Net Promoter is a primary method of gaining insight into how well the brand is performing in the eyes of its customers. It is designed to shine a light on aspects of a brand, product or service that drive customer loyalty and those that take the shine off.

Net Promoter has been adopted rapidly by organisations; its popularity is driven partly by how easy it is for customers to respond with their ‘likely recommendation’ and ‘why’. The difference between Promoters and Detractors being the net element. Many apply it to predict future growth (although as a mechanism it has its ‘promoters’ and ‘detractors’), and it is central to board-level feelings about customer relationships; influencing strategic investment decisions and tactical shifts in the brand/customer relationship.

However, just like other means of gauging customer loyalty and satisfaction, the insight is only as good as the responses provided. As rational as we believe we all are, we’re not because emotions trigger behaviour. Without getting into complaint bias complexities, customers on the end of a poor experience are more likely to seek the ear of a brand. Offer up a question along the lines of ‘how likely are you to recommend brand X’, and the response is swift and unforgiving.

Valued customers respond in kind

A leading brand in a market where barriers to customers switching deploy customer surveys, including net promoter, to gauge how and where the business was performing, and what was needed to improve. The results and the feeling of many in the business didn’t match. Detractors had the upper hand in a system where Passives tend to downplay results.

To seek a more representative view, the organisation trialled a ‘surprise and delight’ style reward at key moments in the customer lifecycle. When survey time came around, Detractors still had their say; however, previously hidden Promoters made themselves known too. In-house statisticians used control-groups, data flows remained unaffected, and other rating mechanisms remained constant.

Chocolate helps pile on the pounds

The results were startling – overall net promoter went from way down the Detractor end to a high Passive verging on Promoter.

It shows how the smart use of chocolate at timely moments in a customer relationship gave a more representative view of customers’ feelings by making all feel genuinely valued. A heartfelt surprise and delight reward delivered huge value to the brand at little marginal cost.

Talk to us about the power of chocolate, or other timely surprises, in delighting customers and improving retention and loyalty.

Andy Cakebread