Making your customers your biggest advocates

How your customers can speak up for you

Hertz_logoViasat logo

The brief

Hertz Europe car rental is a major travel sector business with over 4m vehicle rentals per year across Europe.  With a mixture of ‘corporately owned’ markets including the big five – UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain; plus independent franchised markets including Sweden, Portugal, Austria the need for leadership is clear, but the reality across diverse markets and businesses is a real challenge.

Viasat Broadcasting operates free-TV and pay-TV in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, with emerging market operations in the Baltics, Russia and the Ukraine.   In total Viasat operates pay-TV platforms in 35 markets.  The emerging Eastern European markets are fast paced and dynamic, with multiple languages, with social, regulatory and political challenges, and with distinctive local cultures.

For both businesses, effective customer service is a ‘must have’ which acts as a hygiene factor customers expect.  Also for both businesses, exceptional customer service can act as a differentiator when compared with competitors.  So putting the customer at the centre of business thinking is an important element of strategy.


Well executed ‘Voice of the customer’ programmes can give businesses an opportunity to understand and respond to customer needs and opinions.  Businesses which can build systems which capture customer feedback, and use it to trigger change can gain a market advantage.

NetPromoter (NPS) has become the benchmark for voice of the customer programmes.  Since the first thinking was published in 2003, NPS has gathered momentum to become the most popular and most effective mechanism for capturing and acting on customer feedback.NetPromoter

NPS invites customers to answer a few short questions, then to explain their answers in their own words.  The key question “Would you recommend us to your friends and family?” has been proven to correlate closely with business performance.


At Hertz we focussed on understanding and acting on NPS customer feedback from members affiliated with Hertz through different levels of membership.  This understanding drove several strategic initiatives including treating high value customers better, and making major capex investment in ‘fast-track’ facilities at major airports.

At Viasat we advocated a new strategy of making customers into ‘ambassadors’ who would recommend the product and brand – so initiating a new NetPromoter programme became crucial to the strategy, with regular NPS reporting becoming the key measure of progress, and of the success of the strategy.

The big difference

At Hertz the focus on high value customers led to improvements in spend and revenue varying from +12% to +25%, with an ROI of up to 40:1.  Meanwhile the agenda for capex investment in major airports led to 4 facilities upgrades in the first year and a further 8 in year 2.  These locations saw performance improvement of up to +10% in NPS score, +15% in airport market share and +20% in revenues from high value customers.

At Viasat the new strategy gave a shared sense of purpose across several emerging markets.  The shared strategy led to a clear management agenda, so that markets could exchange learnings and define best practice.  Within 3 months NPS scores started to improve, within 9 months NPS scores had improved by an average of +18%, and customer churn had reduced from 15%-25% to below 11% for the emerging markets.

Click here to read more about our thinking in operating NetPromoter programmes for customer feedback..

Or click here to get in contact