Using Net Promoter Scores To Inform Customer Service Strategy

The pro of Net Promoter Score (NPS) is that it is simple. The con is it’s too simple. But is that too simple a con?

For those of you not familiar with NPS, it is a feedback measurement that examines how customers view your company. Most commonly, NPS asks: "How likely is it that you would recommend [organization X] to a friend or colleague?" Respondents are asked to answer this question on scale from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). Customers are classified as either promoters (answered 9 or 10), passives (answered 7 or 8), or detractors (answered 6 or less). The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

Suhail Khan, vice president and head of customer experience at Philips, has written a Harvard Business Review blog post outlining how Philips uses Net Promoter Scores to understand customers. It began using Net Promoter Scores during an initial pilot in late 2006 and has since embraced the tool to try to become an "outside-in, customer-focused organization." One of the points Mr. Khan makes is how NPS impacts Philips’ customer service strategy, including driving the decision to extend the company’s customer care center to weekends. 

I’ve spoken with many eBusiness execs who have implemented NPS. Among these, virtually every one who finds NPS insightful is working in an organization with wide buy-in about using NPS feedback to drive customer-focused corporate strategy. eBusiness leaders in these organizations will agree that dismissing NPS as too simple is missing the point: While it is true that NPS does not provide diagnostic insight, NPS’s strength is that it is a simple measurement that can provide a common metric to represent the pulse of your customers. 

Has NPS had an impact on the customer service strategy in your organization? Are there other metrics that you've found helpful to determine overall or touchpoint strategy?

Comments

Diane, you say that NPS "is a

Diane, you say that NPS "is a feedback measurement that examines how customers view your company." This is not true, it is a loyalty metric and what you suggest is not accurate. The follow up question that follows the "ultimate question" is where a company gathers their data which influences decisions.

Hello Marc, I think that your

Hello Marc,
I think that your NPS definition is the extension of mine - that it is a measurement of how customers view your company and - as you elaborate - what that means to their loyalty. I believe NPS describes itself even more specifically, describing itself as a metric that links to growth. I appreciate your comment.