Net Promoter News: KFC’s mobile asker not so Finger Lickin’ Good, Schwab’s rebound, NPS’s gift to Edible Blooms, Philly Insurance catches the cream
Commentary on Net Promoter often refers to the metric as a single question. But often overlooked is the fact that equally important to the question “Would you recommend this product or service to a friend or relative?” is a follow-up question, most simply framed as “Why?”
In this week’s News about Net Promoter, we take a look at one example of a global brand that has implemented a survey without asking the follow-up question, and another that did not just ask the question, but implemented an entire system around customer feedback with stunning results.
KFC’s mobile survey less than Finger Lickin’ Good
Following a purchase of some good old fashioned fried chicken, eagle-eyed blogger Pete Abilla has spotted KFC using a seven point transactional Net Promoter survey, where 1 was presented as “Very Unlikely” that the customer would recommend KFC to their friends and family, and 7 as “Very Likely.” He had the presence of mind to take a screen grab and also share a few observations on his blog.
What’s to like
The survey was sent to Pete’s iPhone as he was in the car, presumably leaving the KFC after purchase. The availability of the survey on a mobile device makes for easy accessibility for the customer, and with smartphone devices well on the way to ubiquity in most developed economies, mobile surveys make a lot of sense.
The survey is simply designed and asks only one question – the classic Net Promoter question of whether the customer would recommend the restaurant to family or friends. As Pete notes in his post, the response rate to this survey is likely quite high.
What’s not to like
Net Promoter is a simple metric, and a Net Promoter Score is useful as a benchmark against which to measure your own performance. However, knowing your NPS does not help you improve your customer service per se. It is equally important to ask the follow-up question – “why/why not”? This is where you will find the nuggets of information needed to improve your customers’ experience. Adam Ramshaw of Australian NPS shop Genroe (and CustomerGauge partner), says that “NPS without feedback is like seeing your car’s speedometer but not having access to the brakes or gas pedal. You know exactly how fast you are going but have no way to speed up.” Seeing a high NPS on its returned surveys may give KFC employees a short-lived feel-good talking point (if the score is indeed high), but beyond that it has almost no use.
Also, Pete notes that KFC placed a small space between “Unlikely” and “Likely,” which he suggests “may be to better discriminate between choice options.” However, after managing HTML coding on these NPS surveys for some years, we suspect that rather than a deliberate design this may be a sign of inexperience on the part of the coder. It appears that the extra space has been added due to the width of the word “Unlikely” in the table cell. [Editors Note: At CustomerGauge we make sure all the options are equally spaced, and the label is vertically centered above the radio button to ensure this does not occur on our surveys]
Finally, with some care and attention, it would also be possible to create a standard 0-10 scale, so we’re curious why KFC chose to use a seven-point scale.
Do you have any observations of your own on KFC’s survey? Do tell us below! Source: shmula
Charles Schwab’s Net Promoter rebound
In 2004, the financial services firm was struggling, and in an effort to arrest its slide, it implemented a Net Promoter system (not simply a survey) in order to identify its weaknesses and transform them into strengths.
Crucial to the success of implementing a Net Promoter system is asking not one, but two questions as outline above, with the second being “What is the primary reason for your score?” – the question that KFC appears not to have asked in the survey above.
Based on responses to these questions, Charles Schwab developed processes for short-cycle, closed-loop feedback, learning, recovery and action, and made it a top priority to earn the enthusiastic loyalty of customers and employees through all echelons of the organisation.
The implementation of this system paid significant dividends across Charles Schwab’s business from improved customer experience all the way to the bottom line. By 2008, its stock had tripled, and it had regained its industry-leading position. Earlier this year, it earned the highest score for investment firms in the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings, which analyzes feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate 206 organizations across 18 industries. Forbes
Net Promoter’s “incredible” gift to Edible Blooms
Alex outlines eight tips that Edible Blooms has learned from its experience with Net Promoter, but in the interests of brevity, one that we found particularly interesting is that although Edible Blooms surveyed customers prior to Net Promoter, since launching Net Promoter the company’s feedback response has increased by more than 10 times.
Part of this is no doubt due to the simplicity and speed of the survey for customers to fill out, but Alex also notes that Edible Blooms used to survey customers “too early, before they could really assess how we went.”
This makes for an interesting contrast with KFC, for which a survey within a couple of hours seems to be quite appropriate. Have you experimented with the timing of your transactional surveys? Maybe this can hold the key to increasing your response rate that extra few percent! MarketingMag
Philadelphia Insurance catches the cream
Soon after joining Philadelphia Insurance Companies in 2009, VP of Ops Seth Hall noticed that despite a number of different metrics and methods used to capture customer feedback and measure satisfaction (one of which was Net Promoter), the data which was being collected was not being put to use in order to effectively identify areas of improvement.
In an effort to bring the voice of the customer back into the business in a structured, consistent, and actionable way, the company implemented a customer satisfaction program in 2010 (that also included Net Promoter surveys). Philadelphia Insurance Companies has seen its NPS scores increase from the mid to upper 40s before implementing the VOC program to 51 at the end of last year.
The lesson of this experience appears to be related to the observations made above about Charles Schwab – getting feedback is important, but embedding it on the organisation, assessing and acting on that feedback is the real key. 1to1media
- Fred Reichheld, the brains behind the Net Promoter, was the keynote speaker at the 2012 CARSTAR Industry Conference in Ottawa, with his speech drawing heavily on NPS, customer satisfaction and retention, and how loyalty is linked to revenue growth and profitability. Collision Repair Mag
- BMO Retirement Services has claimed its NPS has trended “generally upwards” since 2007. Sacramento Bee
Net Promoter Vacancies
We occasionally round up some NPS job ads – let us know if you want to see more:
- Net Promoter Score Manager: Financial Services, London
- Manager Consumer Experience (NPS): Interim Manager Consumer Experience, Amsterdam, NL
- Customer Experience Analyst -Net Promoter Score Analyst Job – ADP Alpharetta, Georgia (Greater Atlanta Area)
- Manager of Stores Customer Experience – Bloomingdale’s NYC Bloomingdale’s , – New York, NY (Greater New York City Area)
- Director of Customer Insights and Analytics: Direct Energy , – Houston, TX – Will be required to work in Houston (Houston, Texas Area)
Net Promoter News: Marketers, Metro Bank ‘get it’ but Barclays don’t, plus Smartphones, Ireland and Clockwork Home
In what is a kind of Net Promoter ‘Love-fest’, the UK’s Marketing Week devotes many column inches in their latest issue to NPS. In “How to get more from your score” they explain how “adding extra layers to the Net Promoter score technique of assessing levels of customer satisfaction is enabling marketers to take their insight into the boardroom.” They add “…there is no doubt NPS has proved useful for marketers. Mark Blayney Stuart, head of research at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), believes the use of NPS continues to increase because the system is so straightforward and easy to use.” Article name checks companies: Hays Recruitment, Standard Life, Aviva, Carole Nash and Philips.
And continuing in the same issue Mark Ritson writes “Why I would recommend NPS to my friends” with some well thought out reasons and solid metrics: “Lego revealed that it was aiming for 5 million club members by 2015 and a net promoter score (NPS) of 75%…. the head of Citigroup’s consumer banking division had some good news for his team. After two years of crisis and more than £20bn in losses, the bank’s NPS had risen to 54%. That was 9% higher than a year earlier, and the first time the bank had risen above the 50th percentile since the data was first collected.” He also adds “Against the recommendations of professors and jealous research agencies (that despair of any metric simple enough for clients to use without their assistance) thousands of marketers have become advocates of NPS.”
iPhone tops NPS poll, no one surprised.
Zokem, an Espoo, Finland-based marketing company used standardized net promoter score (NPS) survey to analyze user loyalty of over 6,000 U.S. consumers in 2010 and found that the iPhone scored a 73 percent rating, while Android handsets took second-place with a 40 percent score. Research in Motion’s BlackBerry line earned 30 percent, Nokia’s Symbian was 24 percent, while Palm and older Windows Mobile phones pulled just 10 percent each. Interestingly, Zokem said Android users were actually the most likely to buy an Android phone again, at 89 percent, while iPhone owners get another iPhone 85 percent of the time. To explain how the statistics relate to the large gap in scores they point out Android powers a number of models and carriers, and consumers have more opportunity to choose and jump from one Android handset to another.
BlackBerry users stick with the platform 61 percent of the time, but only 28 percent of Palm owners and 8 percent of Symbian users plan to stay the course. Full source here.
When Irish “1″s are smiling…
Dublin based metricists W5 recently freely published useful Net Promoter benchmarks in Ireland. High street and grocery stores achieved the best scores, with health insurance and broadband providers achieving the worst. Download as a PDF here.
Metro Bank: Committed to NPS. Now this is newsworthy – a bank focused on customers using NPS. Anthony Thomson, co-founder and chairman of Metro Bank — first new high street bank to be opened in the UK for 150 years - talks about being a retailer not a bank, nixing staff sales commission and using Net Promoter as a business metric. “None of our customer facing staff have sales targets or sales bonuses — their rewards and bonuses are based purely on their customer satisfaction scores. We use Net Promoter and currently we have a Net Promoter score of 87% which I believe is among the highest anywhere in the UK — and eight out of 10 of our new customers come as recommendations from existing customers — 97% of our customers rate our service as being exceptional.” Read more…
According to self-puffer, NES Rentals Holdings, Inc. has set a “new Net Promoter Score record for the aerial equipment rental industry” with a 2010 annual score of 80.1. The lifting company achieved consistently high quarterly scores in the NPS process throughout 2010, including a quarterly high of 82.6 in the fourth quarter, derived from results of thousands of customer interviews and ratings throughout 2010. The company implemented the NPS program in 2007 and has received growing Net Promoter Scores each year since. “Achieving high customer loyalty scores in the midst of tremendous economic pressure in our industry is a testament to our team and their dedication to our customers,” stated Andrew P. Studdert, NES Rentals chairman and chief executive officer. “By making the customer experience our priority, it has led to a natural emphasis on customer safety and service, an emphasis that sets us apart from our competition and gives us the highest customer loyalty scores in our industry.” Source.
Sage keep “A deep customer focus” according to an opinion article covering their annual analyst event. Unusually for Sage, who have given NPS scores out before, it seems there was some reticence to give details. Could be that some rather sharp comments on the blog might be a more accurate representation of current customer sentiment. Judge for yourself on ZDNet.
Clockwork Home Services, a home repair conglom from Sarasota (owned by Toronto-based Direct Energy, the North American subsidiary of publicly traded Centrica) talk about Net Promoter in the Gulf Coast Business Review. Company head Scott Boose has implementedNet Promoter for all three service brands after learning the NPS ropes at British Gas. “A key component to the success was to be absolute on one rule from the first day: Well-dressed, polished and professional technicians were the only employees allowed to arrive at a customer’s home.” Key takeaway for Scott: Educating customers couldn’t be an afterthought in the home services sector. “If all we had done was fix the customer’s appliance,” says Boose, “but we hadn’t fixed the customer, then we’d be back.” Source.
The boss of Clayton Homes of Abilene, Texas describes the important the customer treatment to the company. Clayton Homes keeps track of each office’s Net Promoter Score, and earlier this month the Abilene office stood at 86 percent. To Buddy Parish they represent people customers can contact for testimonials about Clayton Homes. Those who answer with a 9 or 10 are promoters who will keep buying or referring friends. Nice homespun small-co reference: Source.
PPC-tweaker Covario held their annual INFLECTIONPoint Conference in downtown San Diego, CA last week, basing the conference theme on the movie Top Gun (Hey Covario, the 80′s called and want their uniforms back!). Oh and they announced that their Net Promoter Score, had shown an increase of 20 points. From where, to where, we sadly are not told.
TD Ameritrade announce jump in NPS. At an event so star studded that when Tony Blair had to cry-off (citing some minor middle east peace issue), Colin Powell stepped in at the last minute (what do the finance sector have on these people?), and it was announced that the company’s net promoter scores had ‘zoomed’ from 49 to 75. The jumps apparently reflect the fact that the company has ironed out technology glitches that cropped up when Ameritrade and TD Waterhouse worked to integrate systems and service after their merger in 2006. More conference details here.
Dell’s 66 second NPS soundbite: Adam Brown, Director of Social Media at Dell, explains why Net Promoter Score (NPS) matters so much to the computer-maker. Relevant snippet: At Dell, the NPS score is shown top right hand side of intranet screen, right under stock tracker. (Surely only a cynic would say that’s Dell’s relative positioning of NPS vs stock price?) YouTube.
Vodafone’s Turkish Delight: Vodafone Turkey on Thursday said its service incomes in Q3 in 2010 went up 31.7 percent over the same period a year earlier, becoming the fastest growing operator within Vodafone Europe, also adding that its net promoter score was 18 higher than that of its closest competitor. Source TurkishPress
Back-officers Blue Frog Solutions self-puffed about record high client loyalty and satisfaction levels “as ranked through a national scoring system”. “Blue Frog surveys its distributor and carrier clients semi-annually using Net-Promoter Score (NPS)… ” said SVP Joe Breakey, “Survey results … help assess the performance of our employees.” (translation: we bonus our staff on NPS). BlueFrog claim industry leading survey 72% response rate and say Net Promoter Score climbed to an all time high in December and “scored higher than nationally well known organizations such as EBay, Costco, State Farm, Geico, and Cigna.” Source.
Amcor, Australian based ore-botherers talk about NPS and the amalgamation of Alcan. “All the while the discipline of the so-called “Amcor way” will be drummed in – the key elements are safety, customer focus, talent, capital discipline and low costs, each with its own key performance indicators, programs and deliverable targets.” Customer focus, by way of example, is delivered by making clients happy through innovation and profitable sales growth, which comes from a range of programs including environmental action, and is measured by Net Promoter Score, among other tests. Australian.
BallenIsles birdies NPS, crowned Country Club Facility of the Year. Interesting to see that Net Promoter has been adopted by the golf set. Troon Golf, the world’s largest golf management company, with operations at properties located in 30 states and 23 countries honored BallenIsles Country Club, as it nearly tripled its NPS ranking, used to evaluate loyalty and the Club’s relationships scores. Source.
Bloomingdales hire for NPS: Spotted in the SitVac ads, retailer Bloomingdales specify Net Promoter Score Experience in job ads: “…analyze our performance in the Net Promoter Score (NPS) customer engagement survey” Manager, Customer Service and “Achieve store Net Promoter Score goal.” Distribution/Logistics Manager
And the NPS Razzie goes to… Barclays.
As a bookend to the Metro Bank story, read another Mark Ritson piece in MarketingWeek, about how tone deaf Barclays manage to be. “After more than 90 minutes of bonus-based questioning, committee member George Mudie MP changed tack and [...] then referred to Barclays’ all-important net promoter score, widely acknowledged as a key metric of banking performance, which currently sits at the astonishingly low -35. Mudie asked whether Barclays’ ability to generate huge profits while treating its customers so badly provided clear evidence of a lack of competition in the British banking sector. He looked across at [Bob] Diamond and waited for a response. But Diamond, sensing that this was a question about customers, took a long drink from his cup of water and handed the floor over to Anthony Jenkins, his head of retail banking.” (This also tallied with surveys completed by Millward Brown and Geronimo that both rated Barclays as the worst performing bank in their respective net promoter research studies). Ritson closes with “perhaps no-one at Barclays actually cares about what their customers really think. In the weeks ahead the furore around £1m bonuses during Britain’s worst period of austerity in living memory might encourage the leadership team at Barclays to take a more customer-centric view. MW.