Recently the Wall Street Journal sparked a discussion about the Net Promoter System (NPS) in an article titled “The Dubious Management Fad Sweeping Corporate America.” While it isn’t perfect (what is?) it remains a simple and useful corporate tool.
As you decide what works for your company, here are two useful references (with points and counterpoints).
The first is a thoughtful article written by the Temkin Group titled “Is NPS A Dubious Fad?”
The second is a study by Lumoa who asked 30 CX influencers if they would recommend the net promoter system (NPS). Basically an NPS on NPS. Since I was one of those consulted I’ve included my thoughts below.
“How likely are you to recommend Net Promoter System to your CX colleagues? (on a scale 0 to 10, where 0 is not likely at all and 10 is very likely).”
Two notable advantages to NPS are its simplicity and notoriety but what I appreciate most is that NPS is judgmental and predictive.
NPS is judgmental because it assigns a value to each response. The usefulness of NPS comes from the research that has gone into correlating scores with marketplace value. Customers who rate you low (detractors) harm your company while those who rate you high (promoters) help your business.
As a comparison point, consider traditional surveys. Scores range somewhere along the good – bad continuum and a company might compute an average score of 8.8 and declare victory. But how valuable is 8.8? And what about the customers that pulled the average down? This method fails to indicate how good or how bad.
The other key value of NPS is its predictive nature. Because of the words “likely” and “would recommend” the question asks about intent and is forward-looking. Traditional surveys help understand how your company did, but fail to tie past performance to future results. NPS bridges that gap to give companies a powerful tool to transform their businesses.
The pivot point is that regardless of which system Customer Experience practitioners use, they must ensure that the company is aligned to deliver an intentional experience to the customers they choose to serve. Otherwise, the “accidental” experience will be reflected in entirely predictable survey results.