Thursday, May 17, 2007
Net Promoter Score — Beware the Ceiling
The popularity of Net Promoter Scores as a means to link customer experience execution to financial value creation has been astounding. In just the past two years, American businesses of all sizes, types and structures have begun asking customers about their proclivity to recommend it and the reasons why or why not. Whether you’re a fan of NPS or prefer other methodologies, it would be difficult to dispute that, in the aggregate, this has been a very positive trend that has elevated the consciousness of executives to the link between investing in customer experience improvement and creating shareholder value.But what happens when we, as consumers, begin getting so many surveys asking about our likelihood to recommend that we become numb? What happens when we realize en-masse that we can end the call quicker by just answering “10” and “no.”It’s not hard to envision how the simplicity of NPS surveys will eventually lose effectiveness. Familiarity breeds contempt. Respondents will lie with greater frequency. NPS scores will begin to rise — artificially — while the relative competitive gaps begin to disappear. By that point, it will be too late. We’ll have unknowingly made some bad decisions on increasingly flawed data and be left without a transition strategy.This scenario may not play out for some time yet. But I think it’s helpful to be aware of the inevitability of it; to build early indicators into our current NPS review processes; and to begin imagining what the next solution may look like.If you’ve had any particular experience with this dynamic, I’d love to hear from you.