I chose to separate recommendations from referrals. Though they probably could be grouped together, the distinction helps segment customers into two groups: one that signals intent a little more passively but makes a statement nonetheless, and one that deliberately tells people their point of view regarding a brand, product, or service and is potentially vested in the process (directly or indirectly with respect to credibility, integrity, and even some kind of reward).
Satmetrix’s Net Promoter Score is based on the response to this simple question: “To what extent would you recommend product or service X?” On a scale of 1 to 10, a 9 or 10 would indicate a promoter, a 7 or 8 an indifferent, and 6 or below a detractor. I’ve always loved the fact that 5 or even 6 out of 10 is actually considered to be negative or even detrimental to the brand at hand. On a typical scale of 1 to 10, a rating of 5 might typically considered to be average, satisfactory, or just okay. Using Net Promoter as a benchmark, however, it is a glaring indictment of why the term “customer satisfaction” is fundamentally flawed in terms of its INability to create the kind of loyalty that prompts future purchases—from the individual at hand and/or his or her circle of friends.
Recommendations are typically sought by those in need of credible advice. Our networks have traditionally been pretty self-contained, manageable, and controllable: our friends, family, and/or coworkers. Today, however, ...