Growth Customer Experience Productivity Business IQ Trends Success Stories Tech Solutions Awards Business Tools Subscribe Tech Enquiry
Customer Experience

Increase your NPS, improve your customer care

Anneli Knight
Smarter Writer

Anneli Knight is a journalist, writer and academic with a background in law and finance. She lives in Byron Bay

Anneli Knight
Smarter Writer

Anneli Knight is a journalist, writer and academic with a background in law and finance. She lives in Byron Bay

The old saying: If you please a customer they’ll tell one person, but a bad experience and they’ll tell seven. Here’s how to flip those figures and get the good rap ‘brand ambassadors’ to tell seven people.

Birdsnest is one business that has been able to get seven happy customers to spread the word and has grown exponentially because of it.

Jane Cay launched online women’s clothing store Birdsnest in 2004 with three staff. By 2015 her business had an annual turnover of more than $20 million. Today it employs around 140 people and supplies over 200 brands (including 8 that they design themselves). And Jane’s happy to share the secret to her success.

“Our strongest growth has been through word of mouth. We’ve chosen to grow from a small budget, and we haven’t thrown our money at marketing,” says Jane.

woman holding cat whilst being advised on food by veterinarian

The finest are friend referrals

“The best referrals are word of mouth and generally that (referred) customer, even on their first purchase, will take more risks because they’ve already heard it’s easy to return things,” says Jane.

Jane’s philosophy for top customer service comes back to creating a happy workplace.

“Ultimately if you have a happy team, if they truly care about their role and what they do, about their contribution, then that automatically rubs off on your customers. My message is love your team, and they will love your customers.”

Birdsnest has created clear guidelines for staff, including mantras such as, ‘If in doubt, be generous’ – and every single parcel that is sent out of the warehouse includes a handwritten note to the customer.

Along the way Jane discovered the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and this has been a measure that Birdsnest is responding to very seriously.

The score is developed based on the rating that your customers give you on the question: ‘Would you recommend us?’. If you receive an enthusiastic ‘yes’ score of nine or 10, the NPS rating gives you plus-one point. A score of seven or eight is neutral, and a score of naught to six gives you a minus-one point.

“My message is love your team, and they will love your customers.”

- Jane Cay, owner, Birdsnest
Discover more ways to improve your customer care

Subscribe to Telstra’s Smarter Business™ e-newsletter

Find Out MoreDiscover more ways to improve your customer care

A high score equates to more profits

Research by global management consulting firm Bain & Company has shown that companies that achieve long-term profitable growth have Net Promoter Scores two times higher than the average company.

Jane says she attended a customer service conference in 2014 and NPS was the buzzword. The airlines were talking about how to shift their NPS from negative to positive, says Jane.

As an experiment, the Birdsnest team spent a year focusing on the customers who returned a low NPS score, and through this process improved their returns system and updated their website.

“Our main goal is understanding our customer and improving their experience,” says Jane.

In another experiment, they focused on the girls who rated Birdsnest nine or 10. One idea that came out of this process was to send these customers extra print brochures to distribute them to their friends, says Jane.

“These are the ones we want to talk with and do great stuff with – to make sure these people continue to feel appreciated.”

Originally published February 11th 2015. Updated July 30th 2019.

Make your customer service the best it can be with Account Management Support.

Telstra’s dedicated support team are trained business experts.

Find out moreMake your customer service the best it can be with Account Management Support.

Open for business sign
Trends
How-to: Keep your business thriving during COVID-19

Australian businesses are adapting to life in the time of COVID-19. With some quick thinking and a little ingenuity, businesses across the country are finding opportunity in th...

Cat Webb of Good Times Pilates
Trends
Responding to COVID-19: A Q&A with Cat Webb, owner and operator of Good Times Pilates

Good Times Pilates in Melbourne’s inner-north is more than just a place to work out. If you’ve been before, you’ll remember the delightful scent, the quality service and the su...

William On Shippit
Trends
Responding to COVID-19: A Q&A with William On, CEO and co-founder of Shippit

Shippit is a technology platform that powers delivery for retailers across Australia, connecting e-commerce stores with courier companies. When the realities of COVID-19 struck...

Man smiling working from home
Productivity
Productivity
Make working from home work for you

Turn your home office into a productive hub by dressing the part, utilising time-saving technology and maintaining work-life balance. If you have the right building blocks in p...