Customer Experience and NPS: A Win for Everyone

Ira Busman

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In 2013 Okuma Customer Service implemented our Net Promoter Score (NPS) initiative, which is a survey system designed to collect specific feedback from customers about their machine installation experiences. We highly value this feedback (thanks to those of you who have participated!), and now we use the NPS program every year. In 2017, we expanded our customer survey process to include existing and returning customers.

Motivation for Continuous Improvement

Each customer is contacted via phone call and asked a series of questions relating to overall satisfaction, product delivery, applications/engineering support, distributor responsiveness, training and support needs, and suggestions. The customer is also asked to rate their likeliness to recommend Okuma to someone else based on their installation experience. Customer responses to the NPS questionnaires are broken up into three categories: Promoter, Passive, and Detractor, defined in the graphic you see below. Overall, the NPS survey is a measurement of a customer’s loyalty to the Okuma brand and serves as motivation for continuous improvement. This, of course, ultimately benefits you, the customer.

Promoters (9-10 rating)Loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth
Passives (7-8 rating)Satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings
Detractors (0-6 rating)Unhappy customers who can damage your brand & impede growth through negative word-of-mouth

OUR FOCUS ON CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

“Customer experience” is something we focus on a LOT here at Okuma. Even our Mission Statement, “We passionately pursue a customer for life”, is designed to help us remain focused on delivering high-value customer experiences. When we pursue a customer for life, our behavior is built around maintaining a relationship first. Then, over time, we work to earn trust and loyalty that enriches that relationship to the point where we’re engaged with those customers for a lifetime. How do we earn trust and loyalty? By delivering something extra – perhaps something that’s extraordinary and unexpected – every time we interact.

EVERY DAY’S A “PLUS ONE”

We refer to doing something extra as a “Plus One.” If you have a customer, and you’re satisfying their needs 100%, we work to take it to 101%. I can share countless examples of Plus One actions taken in support of our customers.

We have a remarkable story that took place at Karlstadt Machining in Ohio. This particular customer was anxiously awaiting the arrival of a brand new GENOS M560-V vertical machining center, which they needed for an urgent production run. On the day the GENOS was scheduled to be installed, there was a big blizzard in their town, and the snow got so bad, owner Dave Karlstadt had to take his tractor down the road to tow the delivery truck in for the last two miles. Knowing how much they needed that machine, the Gosiger service technician stayed up all night to get the GENOS installed and running. And he was successful; they ran parts the very next day. What a great example of doing something extra and extraordinary to serve the customer.

KICKING IT UP A NOTCH

In April 2018, Okuma America hosted our annual Distributor Service Meeting at our headquarters in Charlotte, NC. This event is attended by service personnel from all of our distributor locations, and this year we surprised everyone by announcing a new competition. We evaluated our distributors’ Net Promoter Scores for 2017 and learned that Gosiger had earned the highest overall score. Therefore, meeting attendees from all Gosiger offices were presented with our first annual Customer Satisfaction Leader Award. Please join us in congratulating Gosiger for earning this important honor for 2017.

A WIN FOR EVERYONE

The new NPS trophy will stay with Gosiger throughout the year. After that, the trophy will return to Okuma for the next Customer Satisfaction Leader to be awarded in April 2019. Our distributors truly enjoy the competition, and each one likes to win. So you can expect they’ll be working hard to Plus One our customers every chance they get, and that means this program is really a win for everyone. Let the competition begin!

Ira Busman is Vice President of Customer Service, Okuma America Corporation.

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