If the senior living industry was being graded on Customer Satisfaction and the measuring stick was whether they conducted their annual surveys, then it is probably safe to assume that the industry would earn an acceptable score. However, if the measuring stick was defined by the action plan that is put into place after receiving the feedback, the score on that report would be altogether different. But, let’s not be so quick to judge. For some organizations, it would require creating an entirely new department to manage the action plan. To make matters worse, you have to try to prioritize what changes should be made, and when to make them (any pray you have the budget). Complicated, right?

I think we can all agree that most leaders want customers to be happy. However, the challenge is how to know what customers are feeling and how to establish accountability for the customer experience. Based on how we are currently conducting our Satisfaction Survey program, this conventional method often does not work. Why? Because the results don’t make it back to the front line in a timely and individualized manner to actually drive behavior change.


What if it really could be simplified? What if we really could boil down the future of our company by just one question? I am here to tell you that you can. Years of research by Fred Reichheld and Bain proved that a single question could be correlated with customer behavior.

“What is the likelihood that you would recommend to a friend or loved one?”

This question is now referred to as the Net Promoter Score (NPS). High scores on this question alone correlated strongly with repurchases, referrals, and many other factors that determine the growth of a company. Whether you asked for it or not, you now have the “crystal ball” to see your company in the future. Sadly enough, this won’t be enough for many of you to make a change. Studies have shown that 80% of companies know and understand the changes they need to make, yet only 8% actually make those changes.


So, based on this one question, let’s talk about the advantages of using an NPS.

It’s simple. The question is based on a scale of 0-10. Simple right? Ok, so I said it was just one question. However, if you do not receive a top score (9 or 10), you will want to ask why. The NPs is a simple number that can be tracked from week to week, month to month, and year to year; just like your profit.

It’s Easy to use. Our system allows you to conduct the NPS survey via email, web, and/or phone. The scores get reported in real time, so everyone can see how they are performing. Plus, you receive the verbatim comments in real time as well, so you know specifically where the challenges are.

Immediate Follow-Up. Because you receive the feedback in real time, you have the opportunity to follow up immediately. Obviously this would require the respondent to provide their contact information. However, even if the feedback is anonymous, you have created a training opportunity with each NPS response.

It can be used anywhere. The simplicity of the NPS makes it an effective tool to collect data from anyone. Imagine collecting the customer experience upon completing a tour. Or, what if you had a kiosk (you could use an iPad for this) in the lobby and allowed residents and family members to answer the question anytime they desired. You can (and should) use the NPS to gauge your Employee Satisfaction. Now, let’s really get radical. Why not give everyone in the organization a URL in which they could answer the NPS at any given time?


I guess the question you have to ask yourself is how much you truly care about the growth of your organization. Will you be the 8% that actually make a change? You’ve been given the proverbial “crystal ball.” Now, it’s up to you to decide. The ball is literally in your court.

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