A net promoter score measures customer experience and helps predict business growth. It can be a challenging obstacle to overcome. The consultancy who created it, Bain & Company, sets the bar even higher for B2B companies—anything less than 60 percent is considered a red flag.

That’s why it was pretty big news for Bales, a metal surface solution company, to learn that their NPS has gone up four points from 2019 to 77 percent and maintained the high level throughout the pandemic. The average NPS score in manufacturing is a meager 53 percent—but why does all of that matter at all? Because companies with a high NPS score tend to grow four to eight percentage points above their market’s annual growth.

Finding new ways to grow means preserving a family legacy for Stacey and Sara Bales. They inherited the business from their father after his abrupt passing in 2009. Understanding their customers and employees has been critical from day one.

“We don’t know everything, and we don’t act like we do,” Stacey Bales, now President of the company, said in a recently published Forbes article. Having to pick up where their father left off without any pre-planning was hard, but it kept them open to what their employees and customers had to say. “We really wanted their help,” Stacey said.

Her sister Sara, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, has played a considerable role in maintaining that relationship.

“Sara has stayed close to our customers and really understands what their challenges are,” Stacey remarked. “We focus on helping them resolve their problems.

Red Caffeine has supported the sisters along the way. First with rebranding efforts in 2014, and most recently with marketing automation to improve lead generation. The campaign included establishing automated marketing systems that allowed Bales to collect data in real-time and tools that batched follow-ups to prospective leads instead of manually following up on each email. Automation helped Bales reach over 200 customers in just six months.

Knowing that repeat business is essential to Bales, automating customer feedback was another way to enhance the high-touch experience. After each order is shipped, the customer receives a short survey. Taking a page out of commonly used B2C feedback strategies allows them to measure satisfaction near real-time and respond quickly if necessary.

“We know now more than ever that the customer is king, ” says Kathy Steele, CEO of Red Caffeine. “The pandemic has accelerated the need to leverage digital options for sales and marketing. But businesses can systemize communications and still provide a customer-centered experience.”

Automation is showing up in every facet of our lives, and progressive thinking leaders like Stacey and Sara Bales are utilizing these tools and the insights to improve their entire business.

Kathy Steele


Meet The Author

I am passionate about people, obsessed with helping businesses grow, and love to support the underdog cause in my community. As a business leader, I'm an educated risk-taker who persevered through challenging economic conditions and a business divorce to be a two-time honoree on Inc. Magazines Annual List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies.

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