Let’s play make-believe for a minute.  Imagine if your truck just delivered an order to your customer and an invisible version of you could stick around to observe the family for the next several hours.  What do you think you would witness?  What do you think would be said?  Would you be happy about what you see?  Would you be embarrassed or proud?  Do you have a vision of what you expect each delivery to look like and do you feel confident that the team executed on that vision to the letter, so much so that you would bet your life on it?

If we’re being honest, I would venture to bet that not many people would stake their life on that.  Delivery is a tough part of the business, maybe the toughest. Certainly the least fun…. I’ll say it, it’s the worst job in the company.  I can prove it. Most owners spend time on their floors.  Most owners will travel to Market and spend time with their buyers.  Dropping by accounting and HR is critical for a CEO to do in any company.  Surely you walk the warehouse; that’s where a lot of the money is.  However, I’ll bet owners don’t enthusiastically don the coveralls and slide into the jumpseat of the truck for a ride-along.  I owned stores, and I never did.  Ya know what?  Shame on me.

The truck is where a customer finishes their transaction.  That final interaction when all of our efforts of marketing,  merchandising, selling, ordering, routing, picking, deluxing, and prepping culminate into one hopefully happy person.  A person who was once a stranger with a dream and is now in our database.  We know where she lives, how she lives, her email and phone number.  Heck, we may even know her social security number.  We 100% know when she’ll be home.  We know all of that, but do we know if she would recommend us to her friends?  Do we know if she was so excited about the experience she had with us that she would rave about it from the mountaintops?  It’s scary to wonder if we’re worthy of all that trust.  So worthy, in fact,  that she would give us money for nothing more than a promise to deliver ….. someday. So worthy that that she trusts us to send two guys to her home whom she had never met before and who would be safe, clean, and odor free.

There is a metric to understand what that is.  It’s called a Net Promoter Score and it’s a number most larger enterprises work toward in earnest every second of every day.  Friendliness and efficiency at retail are critical.  If we want to earn the business, then the stars must align in a prescribed process, so that the customer can enjoy the symphony….. and have no other choice other than to be impressed and moved to tears by it.

It’s a very simple number to arrive at.  If you have a scale of 0-10, with ten as a perfect score of joy and love, and you ask your customers to honestly rank their experience by asking if they would recommend your store to their friends and family based on the experience they just had with a number,  you would know exactly how you’re doing.

0-6 are called DETRACTORS 😡

7-8 are called PASSIVES  😐

9-10 are called PROMOTERS 🥰

Some schools of thought will tell you to ignore the passives, subtract the detractors from the promoters, and you’ll be left with a Net Promoter Score, or NPS.  Advanced measurements would tell you that passives are really detractors +, but detractors nonetheless.  Still others would say that any non-response to the questions could be considered a detractor because the apathy is so obvious that you know they couldn’t care any less about you if they won’t even answer a question.  Not what I would be striving for.  In its most basic form, the goal is to, without anyone gaming the system by begging for a good score, measure your number each day as it is the only measurement available to us to gain insights into what we are really doing to our customers.  If you are bold enough to ask this question, this “ULTIMATE” question, then are you bold enough to ask a follow-up and inquire why you were awarded that score?


If you ask this question, they’re gonna tell you.  You will need strong shoulders to listen to it and a stronger character to shut up and not get defensive about it.  There is no arguing with other people’s feelings.  They have them and they’re valid, so suck it up.  Be grateful that you are getting the feedback so you can show the grace and dignity required to learn and improve from it.  Own it.  Remember, to forgive is human.  We love to forgive and let people off the hook.  Even Michael Vick, one of the best quarterbacks to ever play, got his job back after he was arrested for the heinous crime he was charged with.  Look it up if you don’t know.  An “I’m sorry and here’s what I’m going to do about it” goes a long way.

If you can handle the truth, and you want to be the very best retailer in the biz, then embrace NPS and go deep with it.  Of course, CeXperentia can help you get the insights you need to take it to the next level with our exclusive MEDALLIA software.  Medallia was named the best customer experience management software in the world by Forrester and we have it exclusively for the furniture industry.  We ask all the questions and use AI to close the loop and address your customer’s concerns so that you have actionable data to use to grow your business and absolutely destroy your competition.