IRIS Accountancy Practice Solutions (APS) today announced that the results of its new customer satisfaction survey saw a 60 percent improvement in 2009.
The company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), an internationally recognised methodology that measures customer satisfaction and company performance, leapt from 29 points in April 2009 to 48 points in December 2009. The NPS survey solicited feedback from more than 2,000 IRIS APS customers.
Commenting on the increase, Phill Robinson, managing director of IRIS APS, said: “Customer satisfaction and retention is deeply rooted in the delivery, maintenance and support of a robust and high quality accountancy practice solution. Such an improved score reflects our efforts to continually innovate, differentiate and improve what we’re offering to the market.”
IRIS APS is part of IRIS Software & Services, the largest privately-owned software company in the UK. It serves the UK accountancy sector under three brands; IRIS, PTP and Drummohr. IRIS APS holds a market-leading position with 14,000 of approximately 28,000 accountancy practices in the UK relying on its products and services to run their businesses.
In early 2009, IRIS APS set itself a three-year timeline to achieve an NPS of 50 points. Tracking NPS on a regular basis will help the IRIS APS executive team focus on the basic engine for profitable growth, customer satisfaction and retention.
Robinson cites improvements in product management and customer service processes as the main reason for the recent rapid jump in customer satisfaction: “By taking steps to improve these key processes, our three-year customer satisfaction target was almost achieved within the first year. During this period the number of promoters among our customer base grew by 27 percent, while our detractors fell by almost 46 percent.”
The company’s product management teams have looked at a number of ways to improve the customer experience by listening closely to, and responding to, customer product requirements. In addition, by implementing a comprehensive customer service training programme, the company has seen its average speed of answer (ASA) achieve its best levels in four years, despite a significantly higher call volume.
Despite the success of the first year, Robinson is determined that the company will take further steps to improve the customer experience. He concluded: “Customer satisfaction is an ongoing process and NPS will continue to be our benchmark for measuring this. Our long-term goal is to be measured alongside the very best brands, which makes NPS integral to identifying areas where we can improve our business in the future.”
NPS is based on the fundamental perspective 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 you recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague?” you can track these groups and get a clear measure of a company's performance through its customers' eyes.
Customers respond on a 0-to-10 point rating scale and are categorized as follows:
Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth. Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings. Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth. To calculate your company's Net Promoter Score (NPS), take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors. More details at: www.netpromoter.com
IRIS Software & Services is the UK’s largest privately-help software company. It is the market-leading provider of fully integrated software and services to UK accountancy firms. The company has over 14,000 accountancy practices of all sizes and has 40 per cent of the countries top 50 firms as clients. IRIS is headquartered in Datchet, UK. More details at: www.iris.co.uk as well as the company’s official CEO blog at: http://www.irisblogs.co.uk/
James Carter/Emily Gallagher
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