Passionate About Customer Satisfaction

By Jennifer Maul
January 11, 2012


Just before the holiday, we launched Vendavo’s annual customer satisfaction survey. How do we measure this? We use the Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is based on the idea that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. By asking one simple question – How likely is it that you would recommend Vendavo to a colleague? – we get a clear picture of our customers’ view of our performance.

This is the third year of the survey, and every time I sit on pins and needles as we eagerly wait for responses. What do our customers think of us this year? Have we made improvements since last year? Will they promote us? Is someone a detractor? Why? Will our NPS be higher than last year? Are our customers satisfied? Who is unhappy? Where do we need to improve? Okay, it’s not eagerness – it’s definitely anxiety, and it’s not just me.

 Our relationship managers fret about it (in fact, for any Detractor response, we go into investigative mode and talk to them immediately).

Our functional leaders ping me on how we are doing mid-survey.

I read summary reports every two days. I calculate the NPS daily.

Our CEO reads the interim survey report as if it were a favorite classic Tarzan story.

The point is we really care about the results and each individual response.

It struck me as we near the closure date of our survey how much emotion a great company should have for its NPS results. If you are not going to get passionate, fired up, and pulpit-y about what your customers are saying, then don’t survey. At Vendavo, we are very passionate!

 I want to see action – improvement plans for areas we need to fix.

I want conversations – with our customers about the topics we need to improve.

I want gratitude – for our customers taking the time to respond and tell us how we can do better.

As we study all of the responses, determine correlations in the data, read every text response for patterns, and calculate metrics and trends, I can tell you that our Net Promoter Score increased year-over-year. A NPS greater than 50 is considered exceptional, and Vendavo’s is well north of that. Yes, that’s great, but we have work to do, first by creating improvement plans per function to respond to what we learned from our customers. For Vendavo, it’s about taking action on what our customers are telling us – doing our level-best to be better.

If you are interested in hearing what our customers say about us, you can check out our customer videos.


– Jennifer Maul


  • benchmarking , customer loyalty

    Jennifer Maul

    Jennifer holds Bachelor of Science degrees, magna cum laude, in Business Management and Management Information Systems from the University of Maryland. Follow her on Twitter: @jmaul_svp