Thursday, June 13, 2013

Maniacal Client Focus… It’s measurable!!

There is not a single enterprise in the world that doesn’t have client centricity at the core of how it defines itself. What differentiates some from others is to what extent they take that client centricity.

The most extreme form is what we at Genpact call… a maniacal focus on clients!! By that I mean doing whatever it takes to truly delight clients… not getting bound by contractual obligations or service level agreements… but taking decisions that deliver value to the client even though the decision may hurt you as an enterprise.

Here’s an example. A few years back we started an initiative called ‘Destroy Your Revenue’ where we told about 200 people in the company who served a strategic client, that let's say your revenue is a million dollars a year. If they could come up with ideas that actually reduced the bill for the client (by eliminating work, finding ways to do it differently) then their revenue and the company’s revenue would go down, and that’s fine because we would have added value to the client. The initiative was a success and we got tons of ideas that contributed to actually destroying our revenue. Here’s what happened next… the client fell in love with us… gave us more business… and we grew faster than ever before!

Most importantly, being maniacal means going above and beyond customer satisfaction (which is basic hygiene) to turning clients into passionate loyalists for life. because as we all know companies that ignore loyalty tread thin ice when it comes to financial success!! Given the link between loyalty and increased market share… higher revenue… lower costs, it’s critical to invest time and resources into developing loyalty programs. Building loyalty is critical at any point, but it takes on added meaning in today’s volatile world. Customers are more fickle these days… their expectations are greater. An effective loyalty strategy is not merely about keeping customers at all costs… it’s about developing loyalty among the most valuable customers. Therefore, it’s important to constantly relook at and realign the strategy guiding loyalty programs… and align it to the organization’s marketing strategy … because attraction and retention of clients go hand in hand.

The way to do this is have a dedicated customer loyalty and retention function and then use the data from that program to form the basis of the strategy guiding it. And then define the customer lifecycle and align to it their loyalty and retention efforts. It’s not about revenue creation…it’s about creating value that leads to revenue creation!! Companies need to focus on building value for clients that turns them into true evangelists and advocates – research shows that loyal customers spend more, become brand advocates and are much less likely to succumb to the overtures of competitors – that beats any marketing strategy hollow!!

At Genpact, we invest heavily in measuring, monitoring and building client delight and loyalty, at a granular level. So twice a year, we ask about 5,000 people in our client organizations whether or not they would promote us to others. We don’t just ask ‘are you satisfied with what we do for you’ but ‘will you promote me and what we do to other organizations?’ This is the Net Promoter Score methodology which is based on the theory that ‘willingness to recommend’ is a strong indicator of loyalty and growth…because when clients recommend you, they’re putting their reputations on the line. And they’ll take that risk only if they’re intensely loyal and believe in your value.

We drive the NPS methodology and its learning across the entire organization in a very structured and granular manner and we’ve been doing this for several years now. In fact, NPS is the most important metric that business performance is measured on – it’s embedded in all our processes, depicted visually across the floors, forms the criteria for rewards and recognition and is ingrained in every employee. As a result, we are at a historic high of 64% NPS which puts us at 1.8x of the market average. A recent Satmetrix study showed that average B2B & B2C NPS across mid- senior- CXO levels has been in the range of 23-24%.

In fact we’re now taking the NPS methodology over to the employee side of things to measure engagement (vs. satisfaction) and use that as the benchmark of how employees measure us… how we prioritize employee investment… and it makes sense doesn’t it…Clients and employees actually exist in a virtuous circle, where one drives the other. Investing in employees and empowering them can lead to increased employee engagement and productivity, which results in superior service delivery. This in turn translates into higher client satisfaction and loyalty and thus improved sales levels and better business results. Re-investing some of the profits into employee development continues to fuel growth and brings us back full circle!!


  1. very true sir...

  2. Great article. Indeed many smarter organizations have started looking at their employees ahead of their clients. The philosophy behind that is satisfied and highly motivated pool will always not extra but many miles to add value to the client.

    Looking at our NPS and if we benchmark against the competitors it really makes us feel that even if the toughest times your client will support us and help us in our growth.

  3. Shows very clear intent of looking at growing by creating stickiness with a customer. Which is actually a game changer and a key differentiator in the market. Also, if we can turn the NPS around for employees as well it will be another "firsts" in Genpact's history!

  4. Very true in the present world. It no longer matters if you are doing what you are supposed to do, it only matters when you go over and beyond your call of duty and bring values to the customer

  5. Just Awesome...

  6. We do a great job of measuring customer loyalty but not really sure if we do an equally great job at building customer loyalty. The focus of the company seems to have now shifted from driving OpEx for existing clients to driving revenue by adding newer accounts, to be able to meet the revenue targets. NPS scores might not really be reflecting this as yet because more often than not, we pick and choose whom to send the survey. But I am sure, sooner than later, NPS scores will also reflect this shift..

  7. salud.domagas@genpact.comJune 24, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Has there ever been a study on how much new business has come from customer referenciability - on our NPS? We must negate the other extreme that our clients are just going through the motion of responding to a form, or being "passive promoters". Do we know if the "promoter" is substantiated by real references and new logos arising from that "promoter". As the NPS goes up, does the new business show the same positive trend? Where is our new busines coming from - new logos, new mining within the same customer? Is there direct referentiability - attributable to promoter status? Just some random thoughts which the customer loyalty team might consider looking at, if it has not done so. And it there is such a study, it would be good to know the the results.

  8. Interesting. NPS as a measure has great potential for renewed business, customer contact and reference. All the best Genpact

  9. Simple can be extremely beautiful - what a simple and logical way of retaining and attracting the clients. But then I guess simple things are not so simply understood by everyone and thats why Genpact stands out as the company that it is - loved & respected by clients and employees!!!

  10. Being a new employee it is good to know that on what line the company thinks about the customer and the employees.

  11. Greetings Tiger,

    I agree as you said Net Promoter Score methodology drives loyalty and growth.

    I have two questions for you

    a)Will NPS be able to detect changes in Performance?
    b)How often NPS should be measured ?

  12. Just wanted to thank u for ur advice in ''Tiger: Helping Clients Tame the Market''... I was just delaying many decisions that I should have taken ages back ... some how dint do it ... though I did it late I manged to deal things better ... what u write is not only applicable to business alone they apply to life too ... thanks

  13. Disruptive and thought provoking. This non-traditional thinking is what forces us to come up with ways to really benefit customers. But how do you incentivise and encourage this behaviour i.e. rewarding reducing revenue? Possibly by measuring increased margins, while scope of work delivered (output) remains the same. And the correlation to NPS that you have mentioned is absolutely true in this case.

  14. In a Software & Internet Services industry, I happened to look at some analysis around 'Willingness to Recommend' vs. 'Willingness to Renew' and the results were tangential. Such circumstances forces me to reframe the traditional question of 'Willingness to Recommend' to 'Ceteriss Paribus, willingness to Partner'?. Further the interpretation of results depend on timing of survey inrelation to renewal, respondents inrelation to decision making authority, incremental revenue inrelation to the pie owned inhouse/ other 3rd party providers as a function of their business growth line, etc...a more robust formula is still needed!

    (Gita says) Do your duties responsibly for remarkable results, the same here translates to think-the-process-keeping-customer-in-mind....

    Tiger: Do you believe, the industry needs that magic formula (beyond NPS) the intelligence industry starts with measurement as fundamental?