More on the always-fresh topic of customers ...
Fred Reichheld is the God-Guru of Customer Loyalty. He pretty well took the anecdote-laden field and put (VERY) hard numbers to a previously (VERY) soft topic.
Now he gives us another, related home run observation backed by, as usual, a ton of unimpeachable data: There is one question/measure (just one!) in the "happy/pissed off customer" universe that correlates ... perfectly (BIG WORD) ... with subsequent revenue growth. Namely: "How likely are you to recommend [company] to a friend or colleague?"
Reichheld calls this the "net promoter score." For instance, in wretched airline world, you guessed it, the golden oldies cluster tightly at the bottom ... and Southwest is off-the-charts positive.
Source: POINT (Advertising Age)/November 2005