Net Promoter News: Smaller retailers mobilise CX, Gamification: Coming to a contact centre near you, Sprint links higher NPS with lower churn
Fashion brands have a degree of mobile sass, says UserZoom
UX specialists at UserZoom have released research into the mobile website experience of four leading fashion retail brands – Kenneth Cole, Guess, Bebe, and the moonshine-sounding White House Black Market.
The results showed that each site has “room for improvement” in terms of the search experience. Overall White House Black Market recorded the highest Net Promoter Score, of +26.
A quick scan of the interwebz shows that White House Black Market is indeed something of an innovator in the mobile space, introducing such things as mobile fashion alerts, where “shoppers receive text messages when they pass through specific geo-fenced areas.”
Notwithstanding the fact improvements can be made, the findings also seem to correlate with a recent Wired article which suggests that smaller retailers are delivering a better customer experience than their larger counterparts, by integrating mobile to create a seamless experience across in-store and online.
Of course, we need to be careful before comparing the shopper experience of retail giants to relatively small fashion brands. For one, a Best Buy shopper looking for an iPhone will have the possibility of buying the same product from numerous online or physical store locations, whereas a shopper wanting to purchase their favourite niche clothing brand may have far less choice in terms of where they make the purchase.
Nonetheless, as retail giants such as Best Buy, Target, and Walmart have recently been reported to deliver good mobile experiences for their customers, yet continue to suffer the ill-effects of showrooming, it may be an opportunity to look to smaller rivals for inspiration on how to deliver that elusive seamless experience that will transform showroomers into shoppers and drive up customer loyalty. Digital Journal
Gamification: Coming to a contact centre near you?
Incentives and rewards change behaviour and improve effectiveness. But according to a post by Ben Werner of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in the contact centre setting, traditional rewards and incentives do little to create an enjoyable workplace experience.
In order to drive up customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores, Werner instead suggests that contact centres should add elements of gamification to their workplace experience, such as ‘leader dashboards’ showing how many points, badges or other goals agents have reached and comparing it against their neighbours in real-time.
It sounds fun, and executed well could be a good driver of workplace culture. However, in our opinion, nothing beats a robust eNPS (employee Net Promoter) feedback system to ensure that staff become empowered stakeholders motivated to deliver exceptional service, rather than the passive mechanical voice at the end of the line that is the stereotype of the call centre. Forbes
Assalaamu ‘aleykum: CustomerGauge client launches eNPS survey in Arabic
Speaking of eNPS surveys, CustomerGauge client the Mohammed Y. Naghi & Brothers Group has become the first CustomerGauge user to launch an eNPS survey in Arabic. The consumer goods to foodstuffs distribution business is rolling out its survey to more than 3,000 employees across the Middle East with the platform’s eNPS (employee Net Promoter) survey tool. For full details, please see our recent blog post or the full press release.
Sprint links higher NPS with lower churn
According to its latest earnings call, the Sprint brand of Sprint Nextel has shown sequential and year over year improvement in its NPS according to “an important third party brand study.” The company said this correlates with reduced churn rates and is a positive sign as it focuses on recapturing as many of the 1.3 million Nextel subscribers it knows will deactivate in the next quarter. Seeking Alpha
- The 2013 US Net Promoter® Benchmark Study has been released, covering Financial Services, Technology, Online Services, Telecom, Insurance, Travel and Hospitality, and Retail. USAA (+78), Apple, Netflix (+50), Amazon (+69), Kaiser (+35), and Southwest Airlines (+66) are among the businesses leading the way in their respective industries. Press release
- OneNeck® IT Services announces its Application Management Division has earned a Net Promoter Score of 79 based on a recent survey conducted internally. Press release
Net Promoter News: AT&T’s Net Promoter fail, Travel Counsellors advise trust, Southwest customer experience flies north
AT&T scores marketing campaign success, Net Promoter FAIL
AT&T had a problem – a low NPS among young Asian American males. In order to increase loyalty, it sent out regular surveys and included a follow up question. It used root cause analysis and implemented a closed feedback loop to incrementally improve its offering, increase loyalty, and drive positive WOM and sales.
Actually, according to a post this week, instead of doing any of this, AT&T conscripted a marketing agency to drive up its score. interTrend Communications, an agency that helps brands connect with Asian Americans, created a cheesy whimsical web series with a crowd-sourced storyline called Away We Happened. The series heavily features AT&T, has received over 6 million views so far, and won an Effie in the process. Oh, and AT&T’s NPS dramatically increased from -11 to +39.
By many metrics, the campaign is a success. But using Net Promoter as a measure of success is misplaced. We may be preaching to the converted here, but Net Promoter is a system that has its strength in listening to customer feedback, making incremental customer-focused improvements in the organisation, and (sustainably) increasing scores and revenue over time.
In a worst-case scenario, a quantum leap in NPS such as this can obscure underlying customer service problems underneath the sugar rush of new Promoters. And unless feedback collection, analysis and closing the loop are embedded in the organisation, there is the danger of an equally swift drop in scores, with corresponding negative WOM and loss of market share or revenue. Marketing
Travel Counsellors advise trust
Travel Counsellors is an exemplar of travel industry trust and innovation and owner of possibly the world’s highest NPS. But whereas much discussion around Net Promoter focuses on customer service and loyalty, the key driver for Travel Counsellors’ growth is agent recruitment.
That’s not to say that customer relationships are not important, of course – according to chairman David Speakman, “We look after all the laborious admin so the individual ‘travel counsellor’ is left to build their own business by building relationships. TripAdvisor is the electronic mode of advice but it’s referred to; not trusted. We build our business on trust.” Insider Media
Southwest customer experience flies north
Southwest Airlines use of Net Promoter has helped propel it to one of the leading positions in terms of customer experience among American airlines.
According to a company rep, “We segment [Net Promoter Scores] by airports, but can also further refine the analysis by buying behavior, such as loyal or frugal customers. By looking at the scores, our employees can see where they need to step up.”
While Southwest is clearly on the right course, there is some possible turbulence up ahead. According to rival JetBlue, its leading NPS among US airlines gives it a “huge advantage” over its rivals. Forbes
- According to YouGov, the Apple App Store has the highest NPS of any app market place in Germany, and 84% of iPhone users regularly download chargeable apps. GooglePlay is visited by more users by percentage of market share, but only 58% of them regularly download chargeable apps. Telecom Paper
- Australian dealer groups have been advised to use Net Promoter to get a better understanding of advisers’ satisfaction with their services. Money Management
- TeleTech has conducted a test to find out whether delivering an exceptional customer experience as measured by NPS positively impacts sales, and had a positive result. TeleTech
Net Promoter News: ZocDoc’s customer love affair, British Gas lights up brand values, Forrester wags finger at marketers
The New Year is usually a time to make resolutions. This year, our resolution is to continue bringing your the most interesting tidbits from around the web on which companies are using Net Promoter, and also useful insights that our clients and readers can use in their own Net Promoter programs. On that note, on Tuesday January 15, CustomerGauge will hold a webinar to show how to drive b2b account management with Net Promoter Score.
But before we get started on Net Promoter News for 2013, let’s take a quick look back. Last year, Net Promoter News talked about more than 200 businesses worldwide that are using Net Promoter or which have had their NPS measured independently by a third party. Is your business (or your competitors’ business) among them? You can find out by checking out our complete table of organisations we talked about over the year in our last post - Net Promoter News: The Annual 2012.
And without further delay, let’s dive right in to 2013!
ZocDoc’s customer love affair
ZocDoc is an online service that helps patients find available doctors close to them – a much-needed service in a city such as New York, where the average waiting time to see a doctor is whopping 19 days but a significant percentage of patients cancel appointments or don’t show at all.
According to Mashable, the site is helping consumers make informed choices in healthcare in the same way Travelocity and others helped consumers make informed choices in choosing flights – through arming them with information such as availability, location, quality comparison and price.
From a customer service perspective, perhaps the most interesting thing about the business is that due to a shoestring budget, an enormous amount of focus was put on ensuring the early customers had a quality experience – in one case, one co-founder hand-delivered flowers to an elderly customer who had a doctor cancel on her.
This focus on the customer has helped propel the business to enormous heights. After a few short years, an incredible 1 per cent of the US population visits the site each month, and it secured $75 million in investment in 2011. But perhaps the most endearing quote in the post comes from co-founder Oliver Kharraz, who said “[Patients] literally write us love letters. Now I probably get more positive feedback in a day than I got in my entire medical career.” For the record, the business’s NPS ranges from the high 70s to low 80s. Mashable
British Gas lights up brand values
Seen in isolation, a Net Promoter Score is an imperfect way of understanding how a business is faring in terms of customer satisfaction. Which is why in our last post of 2012, we nominated the idea that in 2013 we’d like to see more companies talking about their feedback-inspired innovations rather than focusing only on their scores.
But even before we published, British Gas Call Centre did just that (Note: it doesn’t specifically say its innovations were based on Net Promoter feedback but we’re going to assume they are:). In the (highly recommended) post, some highlights include:
- The introduction of thank you cards, where employees can thank and recognise one another against the British Gas brand values.
- Reading poetry or nursery rhymes in order to practice making scripts sound less robotic.
- A drive to ensure that team managers spend only 10% of their time on emails, and 90% training their staff or communicating with people directly.
Also of interest is the fact that the organisation has found that used in isolation, Net Promoter Scores can be misleading. “The problem with the Net Promoter Score was that so much of it was outside of the customer service advisor’s control. Every time that we put up our prices the Net Promoter Score would drop by 10 points,” said GM Lynda Campbell.
Having said that, the company’s scores are up 20-odd points from when they originally started using the metric. Call Centre Helper
Forrester wags finger at marketers
If you are a marketer reading this, brace yourself: According to new research by Forrester, most of you are still lightweights in the field of customer experience. Among your failings, many of you are caught between being too data-focused or having too little research, and more of you mistake messaging for customer experience improvements.
But it’s not all bad news. Among the usual customer experience leaders such as Apple, Disney, Starbucks, Zappos, and a number of smaller, yet equally forward-thinking businesses, 2013 is likely to be a year of change. Forrester predicts a major swing to emotional insights, ecosystem maps replacing customer service maps, and a renewed focus on driving employee engagement, which coincidentally (or not) is one development we added to our 2013 wish list in our last post for 2012. Media Post
- Resort hotel Beau Rivage has claimed an NPS in the high 70s, with the article noting that Net Promoter is “a ranking used by most major hotels to gauge guest satisfaction.” Sun Herald
- In Indonesia, the ‘ Manly’ SUV Mitsubishi Pajero Sport has been recognised with the “Net Promoter Excellent” in an annual Net Promoter Customer Loyalty Award presented by local mag SWA and consultants Hachiko. Carmall.com
- As controversy over the use of the Net Promoter-based Friends and Family test continues in the UK health system, hospitals in the East and North Hertfordshire area have announced a score nudging +80 for December. Search for hospital scores. East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
- European IT biz Telema has announced a self-reported NPS of +30. Telema
Net Promoter News: BlackBerry could be the comeback kid, Philips cooks up a storm, SolutionsPT finds solution to fast-paying customers
The Big Apple loves Apple, but BlackBerry could be the comeback kid
In 2012, owning a BlackBerry is not cool. In fact, it’s so uncool that BlackBerry owners in New York apparently cringe, lie, recoil, and possibly even cower when somebody spots them with their embarrassing dinosaur technology, if this piece in the New York Times is to be believed.
But while New Yorkers are apparently too cool for a product that was a status symbol just a few short years ago, BlackBerry sales are relatively strong and poised for growth with the launch of the BlackBerry 10 in developing economies across Asia and Africa. In an apparent effort to drive advocacy across some of the fastest-growing smartphone markets in the world (Nigeria is in fact the number two fastest-growing smartphone market in the world after China), RIM will be tracking the BlackBerry 10 across African markets with metrics including Net Promoter. RIM’s Rory O’Neill told ITWeb: “We will be looking very closely at how many people promote BlackBerry 10 and that’s probably our most important measure. If we get that right, unit sales will come.”
Philips cooks up a storm with Family Rewards
Philips has operated a CRM initiative (measured with Net Promoter) in Singapore called Family Rewards since 2009. As part of the program, Philips holds activities including cooking classes in which customers have the opportunity to test its products. At this point, we’d like to suggest that a cooking class for Singaporean Chilli Mud Crab would certainly be welcome in our office (if you’re reading this in Philips Singapore, we’re serious:).
But the really interesting part of the initiative is how the business is using data to customise communications, and how this is driving customer satisfaction. Data is sourced from member profiles and ongoing behaviour (and presumably Net Promoter feedback, though this is not explicitly mentioned). According to the post, “Each month, the initiative generates more than 5,000 communication variants, ensuring it connects with its members in the most appropriate and relevant manner.”
In terms of metrics, the NPS for the program has risen by 57 per cent compared to customers not involved. The message is clear: Implementing a robust CRM program and embedding Net Promoter within it can offer business a clear framework with which to significantly – or even dramatically – increase customer satisfaction. And for extra good results, we suggest trying Chilli Mud Crab too. (Disclosure: Philips is a CustomerGauge client) Campaign Asia (paywall)
SolutionsPT finds direct correlation between happy customers and how fast they pay
IT biz SolutionsPT is one of the best small companies to work for in the UK, according to the Sunday Times. The company has embedded Net Promoter in its internal processes. The benefits it is seeing from this initiative include:
- A direct correlation between how happy customers are and how quickly they pay (emphasis added).
- Increasing customer satisfaction as reflected in its scores has helped raise turnover between 2011 and 2012, resulting in increased profitability.
- Net Promoter has helped change behaviour within the company, with credit control proactively talking to sales people to ensure solutions that are better suited to customer needs.
It’s also worth noting that staff turnover is also low for the industry, though the company doesn’t directly attribute this to Net Promoter. The Guardian
- DHL Express has been awarded with the ‘Best National Customer Service Delivery’ at the Irish Contact Centre and Shared Services Awards, with the criteria including implementation of performance improvement initiatives including “Net Promoter Approach.” WebWire
- Healthcare tech biz Acuo Technologies has claimed a 46% response rate to its Net Promoter surveys. Sacramento Bee
Net Promoter News: Apple’s sweet and sour Chinese growth, Facebook goes Net Promoter-esque, Telstra not making decisions based on NPS, yet
Apple’s sweet and sour Chinese growth
Citing an “inside source,” tech blog MiCGadget reports that the NPS for Beijing Apple Stores is below +40, which is not so great considering that in 2011, Apple’s 320 global stores had an average NPS of +72, with leading stores as high as +90. The post suggests the relatively low scores in Beijing are due to factors including an inadequate number of in-store customer service professionals able to cope with huge crowds, which has been caused in part by the challenge of finding, negotiating for, and securing suitable locations to open new stores.
But while Chinese fans are only lukewarm on the retail experience, product advocacy is red hot. In fact, the lengths that some Chinese fans will go to in order to own an Apple product is the stuff of legend. There’s the punter who lined up overnight for a new iPad despite already owning one, a delightful young woman who cloaked herself in a billboard advertising for an eligible bachelor because, in her plaintive words, “my husband did not buy an iPhone 5 for me,” and most extreme of all, a student who, ahem, sold a kidney to buy an iPad. This fanaticism is reflected in sales. The Chinese market jumped from being worth 2% of Apple’s revenue in 2009 to 15% this year – a trend that looks set to continue.
Of course, Chinese consumers don’t need to go to an Apple store to buy an Apple product. They can buy products online or elsewhere. And for this reason, strong growth is likely to continue. However, with fervor for its products running hotter in China than possibly anywhere else on the planet, but only seven stores in a population of 1.3 billion, a combination of underwhelmed customers, lack of retail space, and even entire fake Apple stores is undermining the iconic brand’s explosive growth in this linchpin market. Samsung, do you smell an opportunity? MiCGadget
Facebook goes Net Promoter-ish for Promoted Posts
According to shmula.com, Facebook appears to have launched a Net Promoter-esque survey to measure how its fans feel both about the overall product and also its new Promoted Posts feature.
I say Net Promoter-esque because it comprises of 10+ questions, rather than the standard two advisable for a Net Promoter survey. It’s a little too Researchism for our taste. However, two of these questions are classic Net Promoter.
- How likely are you to recommend Facebook to someone you know? (0 = Not at all Likely / 10 = Extremely Likely)
- How likely are you to recommend the promote option to someone you know?
Check out the link for screen grabs and more details. Have you seen the survey? shmula.com
Telstra not making decisions based on NPS, yet
Aussie telco Telstra said that it has not yet started making decisions from its recently-implemented Net Promoter program, yet, because it does not yet have enough data to work with.
According to Nick Adams, Telstra’s director of one-to-one marketing, “This is an enormous job we are undertaking but it is a multi-year journey and we are building advocacy into not only how we interact directly with our customers but also our decision making processes as well.” B&T
- SolutionsPT, an IT provider, announced that following from a negative NPS in 2007, the company has reached an all-time high of +45. According to the company, as its NPS has improved, the percentage of debt overdue decreased. The Guardian
- Dutch telco KPN announced it has seen a rise in NPS in the Netherlands and Belgium over the last quarter. It also said that in terms of market share it has performed to expectations in the Netherlands and strongly over the year to date in Belgium. Telecoms.com
- Fred Reichheld and Rob Markey take a look at some of the most common ways bias can creep into your Net Promoter data, and how to avoid them. Forbes
Net Promoter Vacancy
CustomerGauge is hiring! Client Operations Co-ordinator for German clients, Amsterdam
Net Promoter News: Apple crunches Samsung, Intuit gets fat return, Woolworths checks out customer satisfaction, Reichheld and Markey on Net Promoter best practices
Apple crunches Samsung, First Direct and Tesco Mobile on a high
Slide-deckerists Satmetrix have released the results of the European Net Promoter Industry benchmarks for this year, surveying 34,000 consumers across Europe, including 10,995 in the UK. The research covered areas such as mobile networks and handsets, banking, auto insurance, and internet service providers.
The leader this year was Apple, with an NPS of +69 (up two from last year). First Direct came in second with +62 (leading the banking sector for the third year in a row). Tesco Mobile was the top mobile network, with an NPS of +47.
In light of our (overly?) frequent reporting on Net Promoter in the mobile industry, it is especially interesting to note that despite Samsung’s recent growth, the iPhone has a significantly higher NPS. As may be expected, RIM fell dramatically from second to sixth place with an NPS of 18, and Motorola and LG finished in the bottom two places. Mobile Marketing Magazine My Customer (registration required)
Intuit gets fat return with online customers
There has been an interesting update to Intuit’s strategy of attracting new customers by providing free software to help people do their tax. At its earnings call last month, the company claimed a nine-point improvement in its NPS for customers that went to a store last year but this year used free tax software provided by the company. This was backed up by a solid earnings report.
A chuffed boss, Brad Smith, said, “There is very few things we’ve been able to do in our 20 years to get a nine-point improvement in Net Promoter.” Of course, Net Promoter is not 20 years old, but we get the drift. Seeking Alpha
Woolworths checks out customer satisfaction for bonuses
Aussie supermarket chain Woolworths said this week that that store managers’ bonuses are based on customer satisfaction, with Net Promoter being a key indicator.
According to a Nielsen omnibus asker, shoppers in Oz are most satisfied with the experience in Woolworths and its major rival Coles, which are also the country’s biggest two supermarket chains.
Woolworths made the comment after smaller rival Aldi was reported to have paid another survey company – Canstar Blue – thousands of dollars to say it had a five-star rating for most satisfied customers (based on results from Canstar Blue’s own survey). Herald Sun
Reichheld and Markey on Net Promoter best practices
Rob Markey and Fred Reichheld, authors of “The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World,” are writing a series of posts in Forbes on Net Promoter best practices. The first post summarizes key tasks in the development of a comprehensive Net Promoter system. Forbes
- UK family entertainers Essenden has announced that 18 months after implementing Net Promoter surveys, the company is ranked 2nd out of 172 UK customer-orientated companies for exemplary service as measured by Market Force. This was backed up by a healthy financial performance, details at the link: 4-traders
- Self-styled “digital finance company” Wonga has announced a company record NPS of +78 in addition to its remarkable growth that we touched on last week. This score compares favourably to Wonga’s +73 NPS reported in May, but as in May, we’re left guessing as to where the figure comes from. Open Wonga
Net Promoter News: You Can Be Sure of Shell Customer Service, Android NPS blues but iOS in pink, Transactional Net Promoter Score is “Need To Know Buzzword”
Shell puts customer service in the fast lane
Shell in the Netherlands has launched an intriguing campaign to find out what its customers think about its service via dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android.
As spotted by CustomerGauge staffer Chris, the pilot campaign runs across 14 stations, and the app allows customers let Shell know what they like about the Shell filling stations and what could be improved.
In addition, the stations have a device at the entrance where customers can select an appropriately happy, sad, or indifferent face depending on their experience.
It’s a simple initiative, and if we have one small suggestion it may be to include a mechanism to give feedback in-store as well as online. Shell Netherlands (in Dutch)
Android wallows in NPS purgatory, but will Apple continue to dominate?
Like a televised cage fight, consumers are watching battles by Android v iOS, Microsoft v anyone, Samsung against Apple, Nokia and Blackberry begging to be let back in. As smartphones march toward ubiquity, predicting where each of the major players will be in a year’s time is complicated by the fact that it is not just handset against handset, but also operating system against operating system, and even carrier against carrier.
New research in the US has found that:
- iOS is the most preferred operating system among IT professionals, with a Net Promoter Score of 69, well ahead of Android at 27.
- AT&T and Verizon are equally preferred carriers among IT professionals, with Sprint a distant third.
The low score for Android may be surprising for some, but it does seem to have some correlation with an earlier prediction that we reported on by analyst Ben Bajarin, who believes that partly based on Windows’ high NPS, iOS and potentially Windows will be the longer term operating system winners.
However, this is complicated by a number of factors, including Samsung’s momentum. Predicting the state of the mobile market in the medium term is best left to those more knowledgeable, but we are watching this space with interest. Red Orbit
Transactional Net Promoter Score dubbed “need to know buzzword”
MarketingWeek UK has named Transactional Net Promoter Score to its list of “need to know buzzwords in 2012.”
While we’re bemused with the idea of Transactional Net Promoter Scores being thought of as just another buzzword, the article makes some good points on the strengths of the metric and how it differs from regular Net Promoter surveys.
One of the more important considerations is that transactional surveys can potentially provide a much bigger data set than conventional surveys, as they ask for a response at the moment of contact, rather than once every quarter or other predefined period. For businesses that don’t often see customers face to face, such as insurance, Transactional Net Promoter Scores can also offer an opportunity to resolve a customer’s problem immediately.
Please check out this link if you’re interested in reading more about transactional surveys and how they have helped CustomerGauge clients, including insurance business nib, branded manufacturer Melitta, and more. Marketing Week
- Wonga, the financial services business that announced an NPS of +73 in May, this week announced it has trebled its earnings, with income rising 225%. The Guardian
- Recent research in the UK has revealed that “only 14% of service organisations have a system in place that accurately and automatically scores employees on performance in customer service.” For more insights into the state of customer service (or lack thereof) in UK businesses, see HR Magazine.
Net Promoter Vacancies
User Experience Manager – North America: LEGO, Hartford CT, US
Net Promoter Systems Analyst: Aerotek - Parsippany, New Jersey
Net Promoter News: AmEx cashes in, Apple’s in-store asker, Nokia talks up Asha’s NPS, SoDA pops 51 plus NPS Everywhere
American Express: Tracking Net Promoter all the way to shareholder value
A fascinating interview this week with Jim Bush, EVP of world service at American Express outlines how the company has used Net Promoter to propel it to the leading position for financial services brands in terms of customer service in the US, and how the company is tracking its Net Promoter improvement all the way to its shareholder value.
Among the insights:
- In the past, 75% of customer service training was on how a transaction was completed technically. Now, training focuses on how to create the relationship and build it through humanity, conversation, and engagement,
- No scripts. When a customer calls American Express, the Customer Service professional is presented with a customer profile and other relevant information. This allows the care professional to leverage the power of their personality to build a human relationship suited to the particular customer.
- The company sees a 10% to 15% increase in spending and four to five times increased retention from promoters. In addition, due to streamlining, operating expenses associated with service have been reduced. And even better, since the height of the financial crisis, the company’s stock has considerably outperformed the industry’s index.
Finally, a personal reflection by Jim Bush on his time in the role offered some interesting insights into what motivates a market-beating customer service professional. As with many people, he initially thought of customer service as a back-office operation. But as he considered the millions of interactions the company has with customers, he realized the following truth; “If we can unleash the power of that customer-facing organization, think of the value we can create.”
Not just for your customer, but for your bottom line! CNN Money
Steve Jobs on Customer Service
Steve Jobs famously once said “It is not the customer’s job to know what they want.”
But despite a significant number of punters taking this to mean that Apple doesn’t focus on what customers think, the brand actually uses Net Promoter to track customer sentiment very closely. A Business Standard article this week touches on how Apple uses Net Promoter to fine tune customer service in-store, noting that when customers make a purchase they receive an electronic receipt and sometimes a Net Promoter survey. Any negative responses are followed up by store managers, and results are aggregated and share internally. Customer service is not the reason the brand creates category-defining devices again and again. But it does take customer care extremely serious.
The article also mentions LEGO Group – which collects scores across both online and offline customer service touchpoints. Scores are distributed through the company monthly, and follow-ups are made on all negative responses. Since 2005, scores have improved 26 per cent. Business Standard
Nokia gives earning call, reiterates Asha NPS
In brief: Yesterday Nokia gave its Q1 2012 earnings call, and once again mentioned that its range of Asha smartphones has the highest Net Promoter Scores for any of the company’s mobile phone products. According to CEO Stephen Elop, this was due to the fact that Nokia “delivered consumers more aspirational designs and experiences.”
This may be so, but will it be enough to put a dent in Android sales, let alone Apple? It’s something we’re keeping a close eye on, so stay tuned! Seeking Alpha
SoDA gets Net Promoter Score, claims Outstanding Member Satisfaction
Another non-profit group has adopted Net Promoter as an important metric according to a Virtual Strategy. The Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) announced in a PR bragger their recent 51% Net Promoter Score, with 60% respondents falling into “Promoter” category. Chris Buettner, SoDA Director of Operations said he was pleased with the results, but was not complacent, and wanted to evolve the programs based on the results. Virtual Strategy
Net Promoter now available Everywhere says CustomerGauge
“These days, everyone is responsible for customer experience” says a senior Electrolux executive, “It’s not just the property of the research department or a customer service team”. Responding to challenges like this has resulted in the new platform from CustomerGauge who this week announced their “Everywhere” Net Promoter® solution, delivering customer feedback and scores to everyone in the organisation, on desktop and ipad devices.
Comments are delivered in real-time, with the screen updating as customers respond. New features include performance boost with a claimed one million records graphed in around a second, more ways of slicing and dicing data, and language options with German and Italian available already. Wilkommen, Benvenuto! CustomerGauge
Net Promoter News: OKC Thunder N-P-Sanity at +91, HireVue, Bill.com and Staffer gongs, plus Virgin America, Apple, Kaiser Permanente lead in US paneller; Facebook, Wachovia, American Airlines droop.
Oklahoma City Thunder and Match.com go 1-2 at CRM Excellence Awards
For those unfamiliar with basketball, the Oklahoma City Thunder is an NBA franchise formerly known as the Seattle Supersonics. And for those unfamiliar with online dating, Match.com is one of the giants, with more than 20 million members across 25 countries. What do these two companies have in common? They were awarded gold and silver in the Customer Experience category of the 2012 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards, announced this week.
While some are going have got Jeremy Lin-sanity, Oklahoma City Thunder have gone Net Promoter crazy, and was rightly recognized with gold after nurturing an environment that consistently “educates, evaluates, and congratulates” its employees – a key starting point to consistently delighting customers. The franchise has improved on an already strong Net Promoter Score – from +86 in 2008 to +91 last season, and ranks as the top NBA team in overall fan experience. The team is now a champion in terms of customer satisfaction – if they can repeat the performance on the court, the fans will be very happy indeed.
Match.com – and personals websites in general – have not grown without varying degrees of controversy over the past decade or so. However, Match.com for one seems to have a renewed focus on customer satisfaction, recently improving its email support, and investing in its customer care. According to 1to1 Media, customers that interact with Match.com customer care purchase at a higher rate than those who don’t. It must be all about a great first impression! 1to1media
Virgin America, Apple, Kaiser Permanente lead, Facebook, Wachovia, American Airlines lag in US customer loyalty
This week a new Net Promoter study across 30,000 US consumers unveiled customer loyalty leaders across 22 U.S. industry sectors and 200 brands.
Of particular surprise was how Facebook is perceived this year. Despite an incredible run on almost every metric you could imagine and a much-hyped IPO, the social network lost 21 points compared to last year’s benchmark, to fall to +31. Facebook has consistently proven doubters and naysayers wrong, and we would hesitate to predict and kind of sharp change in its growth trajectory or performance. However, the size of the fall does have us wondering – is Facebook losing a little mojo?
Elsewhere in the tech world, usual suspects Apple and Google both continued their stellar performances, with Apple scoring +71 for its hardware and +68 for software, and Google achieving +56.
Also of interest:
- Major health insurers were viewed poorly by many customers, with an industry average of +4, though Kaiser Permanente bucked the trend with an NPS of +33. For life insurance, State Farm led with +28.
- Financial institutions have copped a shellacking in the American press over the past few years, and this is reflected in their Net Promoter Scores, with seven banks having more detractors than promoters. The worst was Wachovia, at -15.
- American Express scored +43, ranking top among credit cards for the fifth year in a row.
- Despite the sluggish economy, Travel and Hospitality had some clear winners, with Virgin America the top airline at +66, and JetBlue Airways at +64. American Airlines lagged at -5.
- Auto glass repair specialist Safelite AutoGlass led the auto service and repair sector with +48, beating Goodyear into second place by more than 25 points.
- Telecommunication providers continued to struggle. Verizon, the highest scoring Internet service provider, had an NPS of just +18.
Source: SatMetrix / Market Watch
Bill.com hits customer service nail on the head
This week, online business billing and payments service Bill.com announced an 8 point jump in its Net Promoter Score over a nine month period, and though it does not announce its actual score, says it has now surpassed companies including American Express and Google (which presumably means at least in the high 50s, according to figures in the article above).
The company attributes this to an increased investment in its customer service offering, and goes to considerable trouble to outline the steps it has taken in this area in an admirably-detailed piece of self-promotion.
The full details are available at the link, but there were a couple of interesting points that really jumped out.
The first regarded the introducing new users to the technology. Many people experience difficulties when learning a new system, and recognizing this frustration, Bill.com created a “New Customer Success” team to walk users through the technology step-by-step. According to the company, 90% of customers that use the service become active users, and 98% of are satisfied with it.
The second thing that jumped out was a much smaller detail. The company uses two spokespeople in its release. The first is the CEO, Rene Lacerte. And the second is Kathleen Long, who has the still-unusual but increasingly common role of “Vice President of Customers.”
“When asked, ‘Have we resolved or made a plan to resolve your issue today?’, 93% of customers now say ‘yes’,” said Long. Now that’s a tough figure to beat! Market Watch
HireVue ratchets up new business, promotes Net Promoter Score
A few weeks back we took a brief look at the US HR industry and the role it is playing in slowly turning around the economy.
One company, HireVue, has brought a new dimension into the recruitment game, by providing a digital platform to recruiters so they search prospective talent by browsing and streaming interviews whenever and however they want – even from a smartphone.
It’s a very strong concept, and the company has just announced triple digit sales growth, 70 new enterprise customers, and numerous product enhancements, with all this backed up by a strong NPS in the +40s.
With this kind of growth, there is no doubt that competitors will emerge with other innovative ways to connect recruiters with the right talent. This will be a very interesting space to watch in the near-term future, and as innovation continues to develop, let’s hope HR and recruitment can play an increasingly effective role in driving global economies out of a standstill! Market Watch
Staffing Industry Analysts gives gong to best staffing firms
In more US awards news, global advisor Staffing Industry Analysts announced the winners of the 2012 Best Staffing Firms to Work for, winners being divided by size and selected using Net Promoter Score.
The winners included LiquidAgents Healthcare, TekPartners/MedPartnersHIM and Collabera Inc. Full details: Bradenton.com
Net Promoter News: GOOG v AAPL, TW Tel- Tell NPS, The 10 Ways, Lawyers get the metric, E-ON Excellence
Google v Apple: Which is more innovative?
Google has a lot of fans, but according to a new book, it is arguably not at the cutting edge of innovation.
In What Matters Now, management expert Gary Hamel outlines four mental models found in organizations and advances a theory that only organizations that put innovation at the heart of what they do are true leaders in delighting their customers. Google doesn’t make the cut because instead of putting innovation at the centre of the business, it works on a model where only 20% of employee time is ostensibly used for innovation purposes. As supporting proof, he notes that after more than 10 years (several lifetimes in internet years) its original business model still generates 90% of its revenue.
In terms of true leaders, What Matters Now cites Amazon, Salesforce, and Apple as examples where the entire organization is devoted to continuous innovation and finding new ways of delighting customers. So what is Apple’s secret? Well if everyone knew that we’d be communicating telepathically with our machines by now. But we do know one thing. Apple is one of the leading exponents of Net Promoter Score. Source: Forbes
tw telecom talks up Net Promoter Score
If continuous innovation is indeed the key to delighting your customers and encouraging them to become advocates of your brand as Gary Hamel suggests above, he has some evidence here to support him. At their Q4 2011 earnings call on Feb 9th, fiber-pullers tw telecom CEO Larissa Herda released an impressive set of financial results, which she put down to two things – strategically releasing new products and that the company recently increased its Net Promoter Score to its highest level ever.
“This key metric not only measures our customer satisfaction and loyalty, we believe it played a key role in propelling our revenue growth in 2011,” said Herda.
Also this week, the CEOs of Tucows and Rackspace Hosting both mentioned Net Promoter in their earnings calls. While both were upbeat, we are always left hanging for more when a senior executive in an earning call says something like “customer satisfaction, as mentioned by net promoter score, continues to increase,” (Tucows) or “we want to generate incredible customer outcomes, we measure this customer loyalty through the Net Promoter Score” (Rackspace).
Note to CEOs: The details always tell the story! Seeking Alpha
Ten ways to improve your Net Promoter Program
A couple of weeks back we talked about one smart cookie (David Mitzenmacher) who summarised the entire NPS process on the back of a napkin. NPS is a simple system – that’s a sign of its effectiveness and also a key point of its attraction. But there is more to the metric than simply “root cause analysis” and “closing the loop”.
With this in mind, Alain Thys, managing partner at Futurelab, has put together “ten ways to take your Net Promoter programme to the next level.” It’s well worth a look, and helps shed some light on the different ways Net Promoter can help businesses effect positive change in serving their customers. Futurelab
Net Promoter – It’s the law!
Adrian Dayton writing in the National Law Journal ponders the question “Which metrics matter most?” for lawyers. In a laundry list of measurements, Fordham University professor Silvia Hodges, suggests “a more client-focused approach, the Net Promoter Score, [...] obtained by asking clients to report on a 0-10 scale whether he is extremely likely to hire you again or not at all likely. A high net promoter score means you’re keeping clients happy and earning referrals.” National Law Journal
Reputation Management and E.ON’s NPS Centre of Excellence
On January the 25th in Munich, the Reputation Institute and Bain & Company hosted an event to share knowledge on, you guessed it, company reputation management.
A couple of the more interesting observations included that most people buy a product based on on what they think of the company rather than what they think of a product, and that reputation-based communications strategy only has a chance to work if it has management 100% behind it.
While these are valid points and worthy of further discussion, there was one other nugget of information that we would love to hear more about. Energy provider E.ON is a company that takes NPS a step further than most. Not content with just running the occasional survey, it has “an entire NPS Center of Excellence.” Furthermore, it was noted by centre director Adam Elliott that “when you have your results you have to change the whole business.”
Innovation, it seems, is the thread that runs through all NPS news this week! The Financial
Diary note: Next Wednesday 22 February join the free Net Promoter webinar: Customer Service Fire-Fighting – Basic workflow for Customer Rescue (how to use Net Promoter with automation of customer responses to turn negative customer experiences into evangelist gold). Register here.