Why follow up with detractors?​​​​​​​ Saving relationships and improving client service  

What is a detractor?

A client who has given a score of 0 to 6 in response to the question – how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague? – according to the Net Promoter System* global standard.

What does a detractor score mean?

The client:

  1. Is not an advocate for the firm
  2. Is not looking for opportunities to recommend or refer the firm
  3. Won't contribute to firm growth
  4. Might be a retention risk
  5. Is a likely source of brand damaging word-of-mouth.

Overcoming bad word-of-mouth?

After hearing a negative recommendation, potential clients usually need to hear a number of positive referrals before they are likely to again consider becoming a client. As a result detractors can do more harm than is outweighed by their fee contribution.

Why is detractor follow-up important?

It is vital the firm learns the reasons why the client is not very likely to recommend the firm. If it is because their own experience is below their expectations, then this needs to be explored in detail, so that adjustments can be made.

Not following-up undermines the NPS program

Not bothering to follow-up sends a poor client-service message and undermines the survey process itself. A client may well think – why should I continue to participate if it makes no difference and no one even acknowledges my feedback.

The growth potential

Making changes designed to address the concerns of a client can help, not only ensure the client is retained, but over time improve their level of satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy – turning a drain on firm growth into a promoter of growth.

*Net Promoter ScoreⓇdeveloped by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Co

Greg Tilse