The Point: We see a lot of surveys at both Tip of the Spear Ventures and The Javelin Institute (We’ve partnered with organizations to even create a few!) But a conversation with a client the other day caused us to wonder; “Why are we conducting surveys?”, “What do we do with the data surveys collect?”, and “Can we actually improve as leaders through surveying stakeholders?”. So, in this post we’ll explore the leadership challenge of surveys and as a bonus, provide three leadership survey questions you should be asking… Enjoy!
To Survey or Not to Survey… Is There Really a Question?
We met with a C-Suite leader as part of a launch of a Business Centered Coaching engagement recently. Part of the launch consisted of a review of their most recent customer surveys. Here was the data reviewed:
- Customer Satisfaction YTD was 77% (Compared to 88% Region and 90% National)
- Survey Responses YTD was 18% (Compared to 20% Region and 15% National)
- Highest Scores were in Product/Service Offering
- Lowest Scores were in Salesperson Satisfaction and Price Paid
The leader we met with was ambivalent to the survey responses. While they relished the success of product/service offering, unfortunately the leader’s operation had little/nothing to do with this metric. In other words, their offering was provided to them by their headquarter team by large. What they did have control over was their salespeople and ultimate price paid to a large extent (They could offer sales/enhancements to secure sales).
Net Promoter Score Surveys
So, with so much survey data collected, were we looking at the “right” survey metrics? I would argue that we should review Net Promoter Scores. Netpromoter.com states that a “Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, measures customer experience and predicts business growth. … Use your NPS as the key measure of your customers’ overall perception of your brand. Because NPS is a leading indicator from growth, it provides the best anchor for your customer experience.” Calculating the Net Promoter Score percentage consists of the following series of steps:
- Enter all of the survey responses into an Excel spreadsheet
- Next, break down the responses on a scale 0-10 by groups:
- Detractors (0-6)
- Passives (7-8), and
- Promoters (9-10)
- Add up the total responses from each group
- To get the group percentage, take the group total and divide it by the total number of survey responses
- Now, subtract the percentage total of Detractors from the percentage total of Promoters—this is your NPS score
Surveys: Marketing and Sales Best Friend
Reviewing survey results along the Net Promoter Score methodology provided grim results for our C-Suite Leader… Turns out that only 20% of the 20% (4%) fell into the Promoters group. Why does this matter? Surveys can be utilized in a transparent methodology to provide insights to Marketing teams so that they can best create campaigns so as to reach more customers effectively. It’s in the “effectively” moment that Marketing teams can adjust campaigns so that more customers that will act as Promoters will purchase. In turn, Sales teams can glean survey data for training material that matter to an organization’s best customers. NOTE: Surveys should not be utilized as lead generation activities unless transparently sharing with customers such intent.
Three Leadership Survey Questions
In addition to providing insight to Marketing and Sales teams, surveys should be leveraged in similar capacity to provide insight to leaders regarding their effectiveness. As such, here are three leadership survey questions that you should ask/capture data on:
- What do I do as a leader today that allows you to operate at your best?
- What should I be doing today as a leader that would allow you to operate at your best?
- What should I be doing tomorrow as a leader so that you can operate at your best?
In this post, we’ve explored the leadership challenge of surveys. Surveys can provide valuable insight to leaders so that they can architect successful strategies in Marketing, Sales, and Leadership (to name a few). Identifying key data metrics such as Net Promoter Scores can assist in providing insight into what your best customers desire. Desires that can lead to creating a greater volume of Promoters for the future of your organization/leadership.
PS – 2020 will be here before we know it, and I see some disturbing Leadership-trends taking place. If you’d like to receive a white paper I wrote on “5 Ways Your Leadership Will Fail in 2020” CLICK HERE.
PPSS – As we hit the halfway point of 2019, I’m launching my most aggressive initiative to date. It’s a 501(c)(3) that provides Executive Education and Coaching to allow you to become the BEST leader possible (NOT Good, NOT Better… but BEST!). Set to launch in July 2019, I’m allowing 20 people in my network to “test-drive” the offering. If you’d like more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.