As chief executive of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, Tom Kern had a professional interest in ensuring that tourists love Steamboat Springs, a resort town in Colorado. For this reason, the visitor survey results he received in late fall 2013 concerned him.
The small-business community’s preliminary Net Promoter Score — a rating derived by asking customers, “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?” — came in at 70 of a possible 100 (the final tally was 68), meaning that, while visitors liked the town, many were not excited enough to spread the word. Worse, the score had dropped seven points from the previous survey, in 2010.
“How could we be a 70?” Mr. Kern asked himself. “We’re such a friendly town.”
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