Promotors Breed Promotors

I knew this saying was true, but to see tangible examples is always an amazing find. After examining the results of many Net Promotor Score Surveys, this principle becomes a consistent gold mine throughout the exercise.

You may have been a part of a Net Promotor Score survey if you have ever been asked, “How likely are you to recommend X to a colleague or a friend?” The score is based on a 1 - 10 scale, 1 being not likely, and 10 being most likely. 

Interestingly, people that respond with a 9 or 10 are called promotors. People that respond with a 7 or 8 are called passives. In scoring these surveys, people tend to answer more positively, even though they have no intention of recommending you. I liken them to the those who like you, they just don’t want to be seen holding hands with you. Obviously, people scoring 1 - 6 are detractors. They will not recommend you and most likely had some sort of negative experience. In all, anyone below a 9 is someone that is not fully on-board with your brochure. Something is holding them back.



In cross-referencing the NPS score with another question, “How did you hear about us?,” I was struck by the amount of passives and detractors that hear about the company through traditional marketing channels — magazine ads, direct mail, or website.

One metric for this type of survey is to find the amount of promotors who learned about your agency or destination from word of mouth: from other promotors. This provides a barometer of their attitudes and how excited they are about their experience as your guest.

Agents, agencies and destinations can all benefit from identifying these promotors. They may or may not be sharing on social media, but they are sharing, especially in conversations with friends and colleagues who ask about their trips and vacations. Reach them, reinforce their message and reward their efforts.

Destinations and providers can benefit from finding specifics as to what the traveller enjoyed, the particular aspects that stay in their mind. Something as small as a steward going out of their way for a passenger on a cruise can be the catalyst for a lifetime promotor. Usually, we tend to think it is the big things that travelers remember, but surveys like these can provide tangible feedback about those small, unplanned moments that may mean the most to our guests.

Those quotes can also provide impact to your own marketing. Agents can boast of the personal touch, destinations of their commitment to service as seen through the eyes of the guests. Providers can present evidence of memories beyond the event. Promotors many times find value in areas that may seem rote or typical — but those stories find their way to future travelers.

In addition, this provides an active opportunity to craft a response plan to those who responded passively or negatively. It provides a contextual backdrop for additional conversation and a possible opportunity to respond.

Loyalists breed loyalists. They tend to be friends with others in the same socio-economic groups. They get together at schools, sports and events. They share information, especially information about their travels and experiences. 

A robust campaign of surveying your customers’ attitudes and experiences is not only a worthwhile feedback mechanism, but also a way to find and develop your loyalists. When you feed your loyalists and reward their input, they reward you by becoming your best salespeople in the field.

2 comments about "Promotors Breed Promotors".
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  1. Crystal Liebling from Bain, May 11, 2015 at 9:19 p.m.

    This is a great article and right on the money about the value of promoters! One small correction: the Net Promoter Score is based on a zero-to-10 scale, not a one-to-10 scale. It's a small, but important distinction in a survey, since it helps avoid risk of confusion about whether a 'one' or a 10 is the top of the scale. Some promoters might accidentally give a 'one,' but they'd never give a zero! Thanks for a great article. Interested readers can find more about the score and Net Promoter here:

  2. Matthew Bailey from SiteLogic, May 11, 2015 at 9:45 p.m.

    Crystal, thanks for the compliment, and thanks for catching the 0-10! I had the resultsĀ of a recent NPS study right in front of me for the article, and still made it 1-10. I love NPS studies as well and highly recommend them, as they always shed light with excellent data.

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