The Net Promoter Score, the debate continues…


For years now, it feels like I go through phases where clients ask me “what do you think of the Net Promoter Score?” and we have lots of meaningful chats about it, then I hear nothing about it for a while. Well it seems it is back on client’s radar again, so I thought I would jot down my point of view on it. I should point out that my perceptive on the score is based on my experience of how my clients have been either ‘gathering the score’ or ‘using it’.

Let me start of by saying that I believe it is without doubt a useful measure of customers relationship strength, but I believe it is limited in terms of providing strategically focused outcomes. I base this thinking on the fact that it is often used in a manner which makes the score one dimensional when a multidimensional measure of the strength of the customer relationship is something we should be striving for (in order to better reflect lived experiences). A single score can be limiting, for example if you have a low NPS score it’s important to understand “why” the number is low so that you can improve that score. Thus additional research to determine why people talk positively or negatively is still necessary if all you have is the NPS score (which is often the case, especially if just ‘adding it on’ to a survey).  

A potential ‘recommendation” is more often than not an effect of service received, the NPS can initially measure this for you and in time monitor this, but it does not give analysis that will enable you to measure the underlying cause of likelihood to recommend, you need to explore the “effect” of service (and other relevant metrics) on recommendation and identify opportunities for improvement. In addition, is just collecting a standalone NPS measure it is not effective for predicting business performance as it provides no direction about what to do, that said a standalone NPS may give you a “motivational” score should you need to improve but little or no guidance for management on “what to do”.

Furthermore, you also must consider the market in which your (or your client’s) company operates, I believe the NPS is better suited to business that operate in a market where customer interactions are fairly simple and are confined to a limited number of possible touch-points (namely business-to-consumer retail settings). It is far less suited for a company operating in a market with complex customer interactions and a multitude of possible touch-points and processes to manage (namely business-to-business or where complex service relationships exists with consumer, such as financial services).

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3 Responses to “The Net Promoter Score, the debate continues…”

  1. maddpeter1 Says:

    God you’re smart!

    I hate that this measure has permeated its way into any survey. It’s a cop out from having to develop more meaningful metrics. We even use it in surveys on training programs… who on earth is going to recommend WHS training to anyone?!!!!!

    On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 at 04:46, MacArthur’s Mutterings wrote:

    > macarthursmutterings posted: ” For years now, it feels like I go through > phases where clients ask me “what do you think of the Net Promoter Score?” > and we have lots of meaningful chats about it, then I hear nothing about it > for a while. Well it seems it is back on client’s radar a” >

  2. Happy Staff Equals Happy Customers | MacArthur's Mutterings Says:

    […] maybe it is time to spend less time worrying about your NPS score and more time worry about how satisfied your staff […]

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