Owned and Operated #114 - Find Your Score! NPS, Customer Satisfaction, and Righting Wrongs

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In this episode, John and Jack discuss their strategies for enhancing customer satisfaction through the implementation of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system. They detail the comprehensive process of gathering feedback across every customer touchpoint, from marketing to accounting, aiming to turn customers into promoters. They also cover the practical changes they’ve implemented in their business, such as improving call center operations and post-service cleaning protocols, to ensure a remarkable customer experience.

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John Wilson: @WilsonCompanies on Twitter
Jack Carr: @TheHVACJack on Twitter

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John Wilson, CEO of Wilson Companies

Jack Carr, CEO of Rapid HVAC

Owned and Operated Episode #114 Transcript

John Wilson: I'm John Wilson. Welcome to Owned and Operated. Twice a week, we talk about home service businesses, and if you're a home service entrepreneur, then this is going to be the show for you. We talk about our own business in residential, plumbing, HVAC, and electric, and we also talk about business models that we just find interesting.

Let's get into it.

Hey, this episode is sponsored by Service Scalers. So Service Scalers is actually a brand that I've used personally with our companies for a little bit over a year now. Uh, they've helped us manage our digital advertising. Frankly, they did a lot better than our last agency. Leads went through the roof and cost per click went way down.

Check out Service Scalers if you're a plumbing, HVAC, or electrical home service company. That's what they knock out of the park and they did a great job for me.

Thanks for checking out Owned and Operated. On this episode, John and I go over NPS, or Net Promoter Score, which is what customers think about you and how we are going to increase our Net Promoter Score in the next few months. So listen in and enjoy.

Welcome back to Owned and Operated.

Jack Carr: Welcome back. How's it going? John?

John Wilson: Welcome back listeners

Thanks for being here. We're excited to spend this 15, 20 minutes with you. So, something that was interesting today was that we got to the next stage of our net promoter score project. So this is something that we started working on. We set a goal for this a couple years ago that we want a net promoter score of 80%.

Jack Carr: That's neat. Yeah, I've never heard of that before. This is the first time I've heard that term. I mean, it's kind of an obvious thing when you say it out loud. But can you speak to more like how you found that and what that means to you?

John Wilson: I think so net promoter score is like basically a ranking of your customer experience from that like how they found you so like marketing to your call center to your dispatch to your technicians all the way to when they paid their bill and left a review. So they're basically ranking your customer experience from marketing to accounting which is kind of like, that's a journey.

And the goal is you're trying to make raving fans. So you want people that will promote you to their friends and to their family. So how do you have such an amazing customer experience that they do that? So Net Promoter Score is a way to measure customer experience.

Jack Carr: That's awesome. And like what tool are you using to grab that just surveys? Or how are you saying like, we are winning at this in 10 seconds? Or how are we losing at this.

John Wilson: It seemed complicated to us to measure. Because this is a measurement thing. So like, yeah, it's surveys, it's requests for information. So we began the Net Promoter Score project maybe five, six months ago. It was on our three year plan to even figure out how to do it at all.

Let alone do it. And then we figured out how to do it with the marketing team and they began implementing it. So it's there's over phone surveys. There's text surveys and it's basically what did you think about this and it starts off with the one question afterwards would you refer us to a friend?

Yes, no, if they say yes No, then it leads into a next series of questions ask like why they wouldn't like how was your experience booking the call? How was your experience finding our service? What did you think of the technician? How was that experience? When you went to pay your bill, how was that experience?

So it gives you things to work on, to continue improving. Cause I think, otherwise you're shooting in the dark, at like, how do we improve our customer experience? Like call center's always been a difficult one. I'm sure other people have this problem, but call center's a tough thing to get really right.

And so over the years we've gotten a lot of feedback on our Call center. And not necessarily as direct as we would have liked because we want to make an amazing experience. We want to be the best to work with. So we've done a ton of work on our call center and now it's like was that work good enough? Where else do we need to improve? Which part do we need to improve? So stuff like wait times. Like hey, we want to pick up in seven seconds. Why it's a better customer experience.

Jack Carr: That's interesting. So we've been working on that as well. I didn't know the term that you're utilizing right now, but that's a neat term. And it's a good way to think about it. So, we were just contemplating, right? Cause it comes back to what putting yourself in the shoes of the customer and walk, well, you can physically ask them, right.

And say, Hey, what are the issues you're having? But it's also saying, what would make the better experience with the outcome being driving word of mouth, essentially word of mouth leads and lead generation. And so that was the question that we asked ourselves very recently was, Hey, what part of this process is not driving great customer service?

I mean our phones are okay or this is okay this okay How do we create this process to be better that standpoint? And so i'll give away a little bit of the juice I was talking about with you Pre this is we started a program where after we're done with installations, right? Especially split installations.

It rains a lot here in Tennessee. It's very humid grass is wet. We're always wearing booties you have the shoe covers going to people's houses, but what we run into is shoe covers rip when you pull down an attic insulation falls I mean, it's not an extremely clean process. We'd like it to be, but we are in people's million, two, three, four million dollar homes that they've had cleaned a week ago, and we're trying our best not to muck it up, but sometimes it's inevitable.

And so, we've asked at the end of those installations, we've given our guys vacuums. We said, Hey, have we cleaned to your satisfaction? Have we cleaned up after ourselves to your satisfaction is the actual direct term. And if the answer is no, well, here's what we'll do is we'll go ahead and get cleaning crew out here tomorrow to go ahead and handle this for you.

But with the whole goal of, like you said, to increase the user experience. I know you posted on this, but what kind of things are you doing that you have found the seven second pickup? Is there anything that you're actively installing into your business that is really focused on driving Yeah,

John Wilson: Yeah, did that a while ago, but there's like little stuff that you'll find out that matters or like hey, this creates a poor customer experience. Like recalls so like a thing that we're working on right now which is surprising that it's as big of an issue as it is so like the business gets big the call center gets big there's you know process whatever and something that we're struggling to do is just book the recall.

So a customer will call in upset because they have a recall on our work. They're right to be upset like something didn't work either a part failed or our craftsmanship failed one of those two things happened so like yeah, they're going to be like not happy that they're having to call us back after they paid us good money to do it right the first time. Makes sense so they call us back and they share with the call center like and normally the conversation is I want to speak with a manager or I want to do something like this.

I have this issue. So the call center is doing what the customer is asking for, which is creating a task on ServiceTitan for the manager to call that customer. But the problem is, that's not what the customer wants. Like, that's not what the customer actually wants. The customer may want to talk to the to like vent frustration, but what the customer wants is their problem to be solved. It sounds like dumb but one of the issues that we're having right now is literally just booking the recall. So like hey, yes that manager can talk to you. But like that customer they don't need to talk to the manager what they need Is for you to book an appointment for us to go out and fix that recall because the manager might take two or three hours or maybe it's at 5 p. m and it'll be a day until that manager calls that customer back and at that point it's like even escalated. Because oh, it took a whole 24 hours for you to get back to me, which again, they're right to be upset because we didn't just book the recall. So, if you look at all these little individual moments inside your business, there are so many different things to tighten up and improve.

Something we're trying to do is how do we shorten our call time? Like when we go to book an appointment, our call time might be in the eight to nine minute range. That's a problem or reducing hold time. So there was a moment end of in the fall last year. And this is probably just like call center stuff.

John Wilson: So like, you know, last year we had this whole marketing thing. I made a joke about it on Twitter today, but like our call center went from handling, Let's say 1500 contacts a week to handling four to five thousand contacts a week. So very big jump in number of contacts because our lead generation was very successful and we had to go from four people in call center five people in call center on inbounds to like 15 seven days a week. So a lot of this sort of pain point is like basic stuff, but hold times jumped dramatically So like someone would call in you know, the call taker doesn't know how to answer that question, so they get hold for like two minutes waiting for someone to answer that question.

Then they come off hold. Then they go back on hold. So, know, we would have 15 minute appointments to book a toilet repair because that customer went on hold two or three times. Which obviously is a very poor customer experience. So I think like my point is there's always something to improve. There's always like a way to get one or ten percent better and it's just continuing to find those things and like push on them surveys help you

Jack Carr: Yeah, a lot of it's finding the biggest pain points, right? You're trying to locate the biggest ones in the process that are going to drive the most amount of return from a customer happiness standpoint, and what's going to make you stand out. I mean, it's extremely important for a large company.

Don't get me wrong, but the smaller you are, there's almost a larger impetus on making sure that it's working for you and it's working for your team because you know, maybe you can't offer price cause you don't have the purchasing power. Maybe you can't offer this, but what you can offer is an experience.

John Wilson: If you like what we talk about on our social media, on Twitter, on this podcast, then you should be signed up for our newsletter. Go to ownedandoperated. com where every Friday we break down our business, we break down insights, things we're learning, things we're working on, and it's good stuff. Check it out, ownedandoperated. com.

Jack Carr: We talk about that a lot is you have to find your angle. And I think in my mind, one of the angles for smaller companies is, Hey, you're working for Joe down the street, like he's your neighbor versus you're working for. I don't know, radiant in Austin, who's going to be this monstrous company.

And so you have to lean into whatever your strengths and skill sets are. And so it becomes all that much more important for you as a growing company to set those in place right in the early days, just like you said, the call answering, how can we make you smile? I mean, that makes me smile thinking about it because it's a little silly, but at the same time, like, It's part of the culture. It's part of the business. It's part of these things you set up early on that go through until a hundred million. This is not something you think you'll be saying at a hundred million.

John Wilson: Yeah, I mean I think some version of and then I think it's like the question we have is how do we keep driving that forward? So, you know you talked about this awesome change where your guys are gonna say Hey, did we clean up well enough and that's great. So now the real challenge is how do you make sure in a year?

You're still doing that? We've implemented plenty of processes that have fallen off. So like, what accountability can put in place to drive that? So is that happy calls? Is that ride alongs? Is that customer surveys? Hey, did we ask this end of your call? So you have to find these ways to make sure that this great change that you just implemented will continue on and do exactly what you want it to do.

Jack Carr: 10 installation crews cleaning up after 10 installation crews now becomes almost a full time job of someone sitting there and scheduling and managing cleaners to come in behind people. So it is being very intentional and careful. I mean, I think the way we're trying to grow this program is, hey, the real issue isn't actually that we need cleaners to come in behind.

It's that we need the installers wearing their booties, making sure if they have holes in their booties, that fixing it. And then having a vacuum on their truck, that they're able to then just. And I think that will cover but yeah, it's a really good point is you could see where that could go out of hand really quickly and then it's no

John Wilson: It's no longer valuable.

The amount it's like staggering. The amount of processes and SOPs and systems that we've put into our business that one person along the line decided that they didn't like and then it totally disappeared off the face of our business until three years later when you're like, hey, what happened to that thing? Like, why aren't we doing that thing anymore? Like, where did that drop? And then you find out, one person three years ago, didn't like it, and you didn't have any measurement to catch it. So we run into that a lot, actually, in accounting and HR.

Where it's like one person departments, when we were smaller. Where like, hey, I need this document signed. And this document says, you can't text and drive. Or you can't drive drunk. Any variation of that. We had someone in HR that decided that they didn't like that document anymore, so they stopped having people sign it in onboarding.

Okay, cool. 24 months later, you get in a car accident because someone is texting and driving, one of your drivers, and insurance can go two ways. But they always start with, what's in the handbook? Did they sign an agreement saying that they couldn't text and drive? Like, common sense doesn't matter, so if you're listening to this and you're like, they should know, you are already in the wrong, like, they shouldn't know, you should know, And where's your documentation saying that they can't do this?

And where's your accountability? And where's your training? How often do you train on the fact that you shouldn't text and drive? So, it's like, you have to drive this process. Then you have to build all the other backstops because if you don't then it does it will drop like it will fall off because one or more people will decide that they don't like vacuuming other people's floors.

Jack Carr: And then when you bring in that second person after them, the next HR person after they left, they don't they they don't know the difference too. Their expectation is that everybody has it.

As we're going into our recruiter, HR position hire, it's definitely something I'm thinking about a lot.

That's a whole other conversation on HR and recruitment in general, but in the terms of, kind of customer satisfaction surveys and everything, you know, it's an interesting thing to How do you manage and this is the question for you is do you manage all of them?

Or everything you've ever set or are you just putting a you know, focusing on the few big rocks or the boulders when doing this because there's so right?

John Wilson: We focus on the big ones. We focus on the ones that customers are verbally telling us they're dissatisfied with. And then working backwards think, you know, things that we believe they'll be long hold times. Slow response times to book appointments. There's obviously a lot to improve, but it's like, what's hurting and then how can you just make a better experience?

But yeah, NPS is the way to measure it. And I think as we continue on, it's going to have a more and more important part of our business because it helps measure us all.

Jack Carr: Yeah, and so for me as someone who's really never heard of NPS prior to this conversation is there a good resource, a good book, a good something that somebody could go out a look at other than Googling they would help them out.

John Wilson: Google Net Promoter Score, Google the book Raving Fans, and the best way to do it is surveys. Like, it's not even that complicated but surveys. Hey, what did you think about this? What did you think about this part? How did you feel about our app? How did you feel about our pricing structure?

How did you feel about our technician? We're always focused on what happens in the field, but you know, like, the field is 40 50 percent of what we do, most of our other interactions with that customer happen outside the field. Like, the field is almost the last interaction. That's the bottom of the funnel. Like, what happened with the dispatch? What happened with marketing? What happened with our call center? How quick did we text back? Like, there's so many other things before that technician even gets inside that house.

Jack Carr: Yeah. I mean, I think a big part of that too is getting the right software, the right systems in place to actually gather that information, it sounds like, right? I don't know, I've never used it beyond transitioning off of it. But Housecall Pro, and someone's saying, Well, you can't, like, can't look at those things.

And I'm going, Yeah that's why we're paying money for ServiceTitan. We're not sponsored by ServiceTitan. We've said it many we wish we had another option, but you just don't. And to have that great data all in one spot without having to, 20, 000 API's and processes and different applications is not possible.

So that data seems extremely important. So making sure that you're having a way to gather that data and have that information to be able to make judgments based off of his, it sounds like it's really important when implementing kind of this overarching system.

John Wilson: Yeah, Right. only way you get big is if customers like you and want to give you money. And that's just the reality that, yeah, like, they don't want to work with you. You're a plumber and you're expensive. They have to work you. So, how do you make it a good experience that they tell friends about?

Jack Carr: Yeah, because I mean at the same time also we've talked about it before that you can go and you can go be a different company I mean, this is kind of really residential home service base. You can say the same thing but if you're in commercial or you're working with just property management companies your experience is a little different. So really keeping the viewpoint of who your customer important.

John Wilson: This was good.

Jack Carr: I'm glad I learned something new today. This is neat. I have a word to utilize for this process that we're putting into place.

John Wilson: Awesome. Well, thanks for tuning in everyone to Owned and Operated. If you like what you heard, make sure you give us a five star so other people can find us on the internet. Then check out OwnedandOperated. com for our workshop, sign up for the newsletter, check out the YouTubes. Should be fun.

All right. Thanks for listening.

Thanks for tuning in to Owned and Operated, the podcast for home service entrepreneurs. If you enjoyed today's episode, please hit the like button and subscribe to the podcast. If you have any questions or topics you'd like us to cover, feel free to reach out. You can find me on Twitter at at Wilson companies.

I'll see you next time.

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