So is customer happiness your business model?  It should be.  Delivering experiences that beat customer expectations results in happiness and drives growth; according to Bain research, companies that are best in class at creating customer happiness by delivering experiences that beat expectations grow at twice the rate of their competitors (see here for overview and data).

But how do you know if you’re delivering expectation-beating experiences?

Easy. Simply ask whether the experience delivered is worth recommending.  That’s the solution offered by the Net Promoter System, a system for reorienting a business around end-user experience – the people who ultimately pay your salary.  Apple has successfully used the Net Promoter System to enter the field of retailing as a newbie and quickly dominate it; Apple retail today sells more per square foot than any other retailer.

Based on a simple question; propensity to recommend (based on your experience, how likely are you to recommend us on scale of 0-10?) the NPS score is like a Quality Seal (like ISO 9000) for customer experience.  Forget the Klout score for influence, your need the NPS score for customer happiness. To get your customer happiness score, simply take the percentage of your customers who score you 9 or 10, and subtract the percentage who score you 6 or less. That’s your happiness (NPS) score.

Award yourself an NPS smiley – your quality mark for customer experience – only if your score is higher than your top competitor (note the Bain NPS smiley is proprietary, you’ll need your own).

What’s all this to do with social commerce?  Well, the value of selling with social media is that it helps you monetize the recommendation economy.  By creating smiles, you drive recommendations which drive sales, and do so more efficiently with social media.  The secret to selling with social media?  Make happiness your business model.

Of course, like all business solutions, the Net Promoter System is not perfect, but it’s a great way to put you on the path of true growth and sustainable profits by making customer happiness your business model.

Here’s a short FAQ we put together this week on the Net Promoter System for a brand looking to make customer happiness its business model.

What is the Net Promoter System? An open-source business system developed by Bain, Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix to drive consumer-centricity; building companies and brands around end-user experience

What Problem Does the Net Promoter System Solve? The NPS solves the problem of revenue lost due to a lack of consumer focus on end-user experience; 80% of CEOs think their brand delivers a superior brand experience; 8% of end-users agree

How does the Net Promoter System Work? At it’s most basic level the NPS adds stage-gates and feedback loops to marketing, service and innovation processes (simple screening/pre-testing and post-testing) – based on the need to consistently beat end-user expectations. For example, only if digital marketing content delivers an end-user experience that beats expectations will it be launched. The NPS smileys are like ‘Quality Marks’ (like ISO 9000) but for user experience, and come from a single experiential question; Based on your experience, how likely is it that you’d recommend…?

How much does the NPS cost? The Net Promoter System is an Open-Source system so is free to deploy. Costs involved are those of implementing stage-gates and feedback loops into business units. This can range from simple and systematic NPS pre-test and post-test surveys.

What can the NPS deliver for your brand? Enhanced growth; Brands with the highest NPS score in their category grow at 2x the rate of the category average. Apple, which has built it’s new retail empire around the NPS, has come from new-entrant to the most successful retailer on the planet with more sales per square metre than any other retailer.

What are the first steps you take with the NPS to test its value? Deploy NPS in one area of your business (service, marketing, innovation) or in one region/market by obliging all initiatives to pass the NPS test (delivering an experience that beats expectations, based on the one question NPS survey); if the NPS works, the unit market where NPS is deployed will outperform relative to others.

Where can we find out more about the Net Promoter System?: Read the book, read the summary – contact Bain, Satmetrix, or any certified Net Promoter Associate.