Net Promoter News: Zingerman’s Special NPS Sauce, MercadoLibre joins NPS earnings call conga line, Sprint sprints to next level, Aurora Capital notes Net Promoter in acquisition, Sage bestows NPS Awards
Zingerman’s special sauce woos Promoters
Michigan-based Zingerman’s is a group of small food and other enterprises that has been using Net Promoter for several years. As with most organisations that implement Net Promoter, the business originally assumed that its Detractors would give it the most valuable feedback since they (presumably) are more aware of flaws in the business.
However, after a number of years of using Net Promoter, Zingerman’s has found that in terms of insights and feedback it tends to get considerably greater value from its Promoters. According to ‘ZingTrain’ managing partner Maggie Bayless:
“It turns out that customers who are excited to recommend us to their friends and colleagues are also enthusiastic about sharing ideas that they think would make our organization even better. These ideas range from ways the service experience itself could be improved, to products they’d like us to carry, to suggestions for reducing the business’ carbon footprint.”
Bayless notes that one of the most important things Zingerman’s has learned from its Net Promoter surveys is that Promoters feel most valued when they are treated as business ‘insiders’. For this reason, she advises that going beyond an economic transaction to nurturing a shared, personal experience with Promoters is crucial to maintaining and growing that connection.
Many businesses that use Net Promoter put effort into thanking or rewarding Promoters, but in light of these comments we are curious to hear if more businesses also find the most valuable feedback from their Promoters. Are you getting the most valuable insights from this group of customers? Let us know! Gourmet Retailer
MercadoLibre joins Net Promoter earnings call conga line
eBay’s Latin American partner MercadoLibre is the latest business to talk up its Net Promoter Score at its Q2 earnings call, claiming that a new customer service centre in Europe and investment in “world-class” customer management tools have seen its scores rise steadily through the first half of the year. When asked if there were any other metrics or benefits besides Net Promoter that may be able to illustrate the health of the business, CFO Pedro Arnt said, “thinking of customer experience more broadly can be seen in the sustained growth levels of successful items and the fact that we continue to grow above market in all the markets where we operate and by a significant margin in some of those countries.”
We’ll add that to the growing list of companies we’ve reported on this year to see a correlation between business growth and Net Promoter Scores! Seeking Alpha
Sprint Nextel ‘Bolts’ to next Net Promoter level
Back in April, we reported that in Q1 Sprint Nextel was the only one of the four major US wireless carriers to show improvement in NPS year-over-year. According to chief Dan Hesse, this momentum has not slowed in Q2. He claims that an independent survey has not only returned all-time high scores, but also shown that Sprint is the only one of the four major carriers to return improvement both sequentially and year-over-year.
In terms of a correlating positive impact on the bottom line, however, things were not entirely clear-cut. According to CBS, Sprint had a wider loss for the second quarter following a writedown in the value of its Nextel network. However, Sprint was successful in persuading smartphone subscribers to purchase its “unlimited data” service, and its service revenue beat estimates. Seeking Alpha
Aurora Capital notes Net Promoter in acquisition
LA-based Aurora Capital Group has announced the acquisition of market intelligence biz Market Track. According to a statement by the company, Market Track’s contract value retention rates are close to 100%, its new business is growing at a substantial rate, and “independent due diligence revealed Net Promoter Scores for Market Track that were at the very top of the market research industry and rivaled some of the best companies in the world.” When put that way, it certainly sounds a good investment! Melodika
Advanced Solutions talks up advanced customer satisfaction
Autodesk reseller Advanced Solutions has announced it has surpassed its 2012 goals within Autodesk’s Customer Satisfaction Program. The program evaluates customer experience through a range of objectives including Net Promoter. Virtual Strategy
Sage bestows awards
Bean-counting softer Sage have lived the NPS dream for some years – and it’s now good to see them measuring Net Promoter of their partners. This week they announced the winners of their 2011-2012 Sage Partner Advantage Awards, which are presented based on Net Promoter Scores and other criteria. The most prestigious gong – the modestly named “Sage Eagle Award” – went to Professional Software, Inc. Other recipients included Gold Coast Advisors, INFOMAN, Inc., Pyramid Consulting, and Tennessee Software Solutions, which were awarded the Sage Customer Excellence Award for the highest Net Promoter Scores. Tom Miller, Channel VP said “Throughout the year, these business partners have consistently gone the extra mile to achieve excellence within the channel and their community” Equities.com
Net Promoter News: Centrica +3, 10Ks from eBay, Nokia, HomeDepot – plus FaceBook stuff, Sony NPS-Man, Kamp skore
Net Promoter News 3 June 2010
Centrica supply Net Promoter Dashboard
Centrica (the Company Formerly Known as British Gas) come with plenty of customer experience baggage. To their great credit, they are reporting their Net Promoter progress by publishing on their site a chart and downloadable numbers. They also list goals: “British Gas’ NPS at the end of 2009 was -2, placing us equal first in the league table of major UK energy providers with three other suppliers. Our target for 2010 will be to increase this score to +3.” An example of transparency that we look forward to seeing more of. Source
Zuckerberg: Privacy down, NPS up!
Facebook’s privacy controls have been heavily criticized recently, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg is confident users care less about sharing data, more about possible subscription fees. And he knows this because he tracks what he calls “a special metric”, which most others call Net Promoter Score. “We’ve seen no meaningful change on the stats on any of that stuff,” which is how he refers to people quitting the ‘Book.
“Whenever we make a change, the net promoter score always goes down. But it will usually recover to a higher place than it was at before,” he continued. “So when we started rolling out these changes after f8, our net promoter score went down. And we thought it was because of the privacy issues. But what we found was that it actually went down because we made changes to our news feed…” Interesting reveal there – we would dearly like to see some more stats on how they are surveying people. And whether they gave permission. Maybe its not just hubris though, as yesterdays “Quit Facebook Day” apparently was a flop, and did not result in a significant amount of “that stuff”. VentureBeat and Forbes
At a recent conference, Sony Canada opened up about their Net Promoter journey. Excellent tips from Wayne Ground, CIO of the Canadian division, explaining how it was not initially driven by executives, but after getting daily reports, the president was quickly on board. Customers are invited to complete online surveys on call center interactions, website visits and retail store visits. They have sent more than 100,000 surveys with a response rate of 23%.
All detractors gets a follow-up contact from customer support. Promoters also receive a follow-up — a coupon for future Sony Canada purchases. The promoters who receive coupons tend to use them, and sales transactions with those customers are 40% higher than the average purchase.
Additionally, the company started to capture email addresses at the in-store locations. Once in-store managers and sales reps realized they were being evaluated, they caught on to the program pretty quickly, Ground said. The follow-up contacts have really made a difference: “When we phone back the day after they send in a survey, customers are blown away,” Ground said. “They can’t believe someone actually read it.” Source: – SearchCRM.com
Sage grows Net Promoter
Sue Swenson – CEO of Sage North America opened Sage Insights ’10, and revealed how it is “Maximizing existing assets“. Sage has climbed 10 points in its Net Promoter score, which quantifies customers’ “willingness to recommend to others.” It’s also boosted renewal rates from 90 percent up to 97 percent. Customer value comes from not just product functionality, EVP marketer Palsule said, it comes from how easy Sage is to do business with. Source DestinationCRM
Phones 4U Pay on NPS. Probably.
Mobile News reports on the fiendishly complex compensation scheme from High Street SIMmery Phones 4U. The scheme has so many “ifs” and “buts” it takes four paragraphs to summarise. NPS excerpt: “Phones 4U sales consultants will now have their full commission entitlement paid out if the store hits a Net Promoter Score of 37.5. Previously, stores had to achieve a score of 35 for consultants to receive full commission.” Mobile News
Temkin on Take-Up.
Bruce Temkin of Temkin Group blogs about how executives are using NPS: 400 people took their recent survey. Key numbers: 43% are using Net Promoter Score (NPS), and 65% of those people think that it has had a positive impact on their company. Temkin
Wall Street News – Our regular review of the 10-Ks
eBay Inc. (EBAY) – Q1 2010 Earnings Call
Chief Online Gavel Swinger John J. Donahoe called out how eBay is “…becoming a more customer focused company. We are driving improvements to our user experience and we are measuring our success with three customer oriented metrics; net promoter score, velocity and market share. I have tied a portion of our leadership compensation to customer satisfaction.” SeekingAlpha
But the public knew this already, as eBay’s top goals for 2010 were revealed in a tweet by their corporate blogger, Richard Brewer Hay. Having seen a poster in a stair well in San Jose he posted an image of it on yfrog. The goals include 1) Increase eBay’s Net Promoter score by 10 percentage points. Source Tamebay
Nokia Corporation (NOK) – Q1 2010 Earnings Call
Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo talked NPS on the call, referring to C3 with Ovi Mail: “Since January there have been 10 million downloads [...] Consumer engagement is very high. In addition, feedback on the user experience has been very good with a double-digit positive net promoter score since we launched.” SeekingAlpha
In contrast Parks Associates research of the basic phone market called out some bad news for Nokia. Their Consumer Decision Process research of CE product buyers showed Nokia, once the unequaled leader of the U.S. mobile phone market, last year fell to the bottom of the list of brands of basic mobile phones that people would recommend, as measured by Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Basic Cell Phones by Brand, Q3 2009:
- Samsung 32%
- Motorola 26%
- Basic Cell Phones 21%
- LG 18%
- Nokia 7%
The Home Depot, Inc. (HD) Q1-2010 Earnings Call
Frank Blake, boss of DIY shedder Home Depot explained on Q1-2010 call called out customer service as key to success: “Last year, […] we re-trained every associate in the company on our customer service expectations. […] We’ve seen consistent improvement in our net promoter score […] in the first quarter, 600 basis points over last year, even as our transactions increased 4.2%.”
Analyst William Truelove from UBS is one of the few bankers we have seen ask about customer service (so for that he gets our “Analyst of the Week” prize) and quizzed EVP Ellison further “…Did you have any kind of service metrics from the customers?”. Marvin Ellison shoots back “Frank talked about the net promoter score […] We get roughly 100,000 customer surveys per week that we look at […] trying to make sure that we have incremental improvement week over week, month over month.” SeekingAlpha
From another source we learn that Home Depot net promoter score (a score measuring customer loyalty) is almost 70%, an improvement of 800bps in the past year, (Shareholder Meeting 20 May 2010)
Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (HTZ) – Q1 2010 Earnings Call
Mark Frissora, Hertz CEO called an increase of nearly 8 points in NPS “Our net promoter score rose 790 basis points in the US or 18%, reflecting the appeal of a newer fleet and the addition of popular new car classes.” We estimated Hertz NPS at around mid 50s last year (http://customergauge.com/2009/02/net-promoter-news-hertz-drives-26-in-europe/) so that may put them in the 60s – firmly in the Cadillac class. SeekingAlpha
BMW forecourter up 66%
UK BMW seller Vines reports a 66% year-on-year increase in its Net Promoter Score results, as computed by Mondial. Vines BMW (or Mondial) say they have gained insight into its customer satisfaction levels, and using this to predict future business growth. Note of caution: the math is provided by a PR company, and based on that, it’s unclear if that’s and impressive 66 NPS points up (impressive only because it must have been a low base) or a 66% increase, i.e. 10 to 16, (equally non-impressive). Still, they pepper the text with superlatives, “massive” and “huge” so that must be good then. Source
The fantastically named RV Daily Report tells us that Kampgrounds of America has added yet another guest feedback service for its franchise owners to help them improve service and drive camper nights through increased referrals, based on Net Promoter Score. KOA’s new on-line camper feedback survey offer KOA owners near-instant feedback from their guests following their stays – so far 9,200 surveys have been completed by the campers. RV Daily Report
Net Promoter News: Labor Finders work 63, JUNK clears 80, Schwab long on 46, NPS Comes out of Closet at 80
News that the world of market research seems to be coming to its senses. This item caught our attention: Not Part of the Future: Long Surveys. Money quote: “One current element of market research that is not probable or preferred is the LONG survey.” (source). Another from the superbly named Bad Research; No Biscuit asked “What in the world can you learn from a sixty minute survey that you can’t learn from a 5-minute one?” (Just Say No Already). Finally in this group: “Customer Sat. studies used to be overtly long and terrifying – until Bain, McKinsey and BCG told all the CEO’s of the world that the only thing they should care about is the single question on “How likely are you to recommend?”” (source).
Our stand on this: The survey of the future will be a Net Promoter survey and like have Two Questions, tops. Oh wait – the future is here today! Best example: “pure Net Promoter implementation: two questions using simple, clean interface and minimal hassle for the customer!” Source: Vivmag, Survey hall of fame and shame)
Satmetrix publishes Net Promoter Leaders
Satmetrix released 2010 Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks for the insurance, financial services, airlines, telecommunications, technology, retail and online services industries. Some highlights: USAA 81, Apple 78, Amazon.com 71, Trader Joe’s 68, Wegmans 67, Costco 66, eBay 65, Facebook 65, Jet Blue 64, Google 63. Other notables: Insurance: Geico 41. Health insurance: Cigna -28.
Retail drill down: Amazon’s score drooped from 74% to 71%, eBay improved from 61% to 65% and Barnes & Noble pushed from 58% to 59%. eBay and Amazon had just 5% of their customers categorized as detractors. Among multichannel retailers, both Best Buy Co. Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s online stores had higher NPS scores than the bricks-and-mortar stores with scores of 45% and 46%, respectively, compared to in-store scores of 29% and 41%. Conversely, Target Corp.’s in-store score was 52%, compared to its online score of 44%. Widely covered here (RW), here (own) and here (IR)
Labor Finders at 63.
200 branches Labor Finders International, largest privately held industrial labor staffer in US beat all-comers in Inavero/CareerBuilder Best of Staffing 2010 NPS smackdown. Inavero claim staffing industry averages Net Promoter score of 40%. Labor Finders clocked in a score of 63%. Source – self puff
PrintAudit impress at 76.
The Canadian print management outfit PrintAudit self-scores NPS 76. Run o’the mill self puff with zero details on methods, but a quite impressive page with 250 testimonials on (some looked like they might have been politely persuaded. No matter, still some achievement). Source: Horse’s mouth.
Any Old Iron?
Brian Scudamore’s 1-800-GOT-JUNK junk removal business with 250 franchises is a word-of-mouth driven business. He explains NPS-led philosophy and posts a score of 80. Company drills down NPS to franchise, even to the truck level. Source
Schwab brokers 46
Charles Schwab go long on NPS with a new high of 46, leading the Brokerage and Investment sector. Source
Fight! PEER1 vs Allcomers
Hoster PEER1 says its NPS is 36, trouncing the rest of the IT services industry’s lowly 7. In a confrontational statement MD Dominic Monkhouse calls out his rivals: “To improve transparency over service quality PEER 1 Hosting believes all serious hosting service providers should measure and publish their Net Promoter Score“. No mention of sample size or details, natch, but we like the way this one is going. source
Out of the Closet at 80
Wardrobe-sters California Closets (New England Franchise) have been measuring their Net Promoter Score. Striving to make a difference in their customers homes and lives, they have found a convenient tie rack to tidily hang their NPS of 79.9. Source: CupboardLove
ABB Engineers Customer Experience via NPS
Bill Black, Group Senior Qual and Ops Excellence Veep at ABB yaks about customer confidence best practices for maintaining and improving customer confidence in a podcast, highlighting how they use Net Promoter Score as a key customer sat. measure. Advice on external/internal satisfaction, plus how to turn around a drop in confidence. Source
Award for best use of decimal points in an NPS Press Release
Ski Butlers (seen around this parish before) got a new NPS score. 86.39 percent. Loving the precision! Source: BadMathbyPRpeople
And finally… Zappos sues Disney
We racked our brains for another suitable April Fool on Net Promoter but struck out this year due to lack of creativity. But I was taken in for a few seconds by the “Zappos Sues Disney” article. The meat: “Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, says it’s just one battle in his efforts to prevent companies from making misleading claims. The lawsuit alleges that Disneyland’s tagline of being “The Happiest Place on Earth” is “clearly false, deceptive, and confusing to the marketplace”,and cites internal Net Promoter Score (NPS) metrics that suggest that the designation should be given to Zappos.com, Inc“. ‘Nuff respec for this prank, Hsieh, but we’ll beat you next April 1!
Net Promoter News: Bank Montreal 44, HomeDep nail 64, eBay go 0-10, Gas burns 30, SmartPen writes 54
Bank of Montreal Group report Net Promoter Score of 44
From the BMO Financial Group F4Q09 (Qtr End 10/31/09) Earnings Call Transcript. Bill Downe – President & CEO: “[we] improved our net promoter scores for both retail and commercial in 2009.” He drilled down to P&C Division U.S, emphasising strong fourth quarter results and added: “Our retail net promoter score was 44 for 2009, compared with 42 in 2008, while the average scores of our large bank competitors declined.” Source: SeekingAlpha and TradingMarkets.com
Other financial snippet: The managing director of A & G Insurance Services Australia, Michael Weston, boasts his company’s direct-to-market brand, Budget Direct, has a high net promoter score (but is only teasing us by not revealing it…) Sydney Morning Herald.
Weaponising NPS at Easynet for an Industry to become “responsible”
UK ISP Easynet Connect are calling for a common benchmark for measuring customer service for business ISPs: “We’ve been using the Net Promoter Score internally for a few years now. Since adopting it our score, and therefore the customer service that we actually deliver, has improved significantly in just a few years. It is a powerful tool that keeps you on your toes,” said Harry Eastman, Operations Director, Easynet Connect “Crucially for us, we use the NPS to zone in on problem areas. If our CRM is the big gun in our arsenal, then NPS is without doubt our targeting system for that gun.”
Julian Harriott, Business Manager, Communications Management Association (CMA) says “… Adopting a standard like Net Promoter Score is the responsible thing [for the industry] to do…” Sourcewire.
Home Depot toughs it out.
It was a tough 12 months for the DIY shedsters. But they took comfort from increased customer loyalty. Frank Blake – Chairman and CEO: “On the store operations side, our net promoter score, [...] with 64.1% in October, over 8.5 percentage points higher than last year at this time.” From the Home Depot, Inc.Q3 2009 Earnings Call Transcript on SeekingAlpha and slides.
eBay “just testing” the zero to ten scale
“This is a just a test…” say eBay UK, who have started to trial Net Promoter Score feedback for buyers (Source: Tamebay). Sure it is. eBay have been using the Net Promoter Score internally for a while. This from the recent eBay Q3 2009 Earnings Call Transcript: “Our net promoter scores are up for both buyers and sellers.” says CEO John J. Donahoe. “….our focus on great customer experiences and customer retention and loyalty is as strong or stronger today than in any time in the last couple of years. [...] I changed the senior management incentives so the top 600 people in the company, part of their annual bonus is driven by improvements in essence in customer loyalty, as measured by net promoter scores. So we made good progress.”
British Gas Mark 30
Sensible tips from British Gas, winners of the European Call Centre of the Year award.
Tip 4: Use Net Promoter scores – Show scores on your wall boards. “We adopted the Net Promoter score as our key measure of customer satisfaction. Our agents are bonused on a combination of their Net Promoter score and the percentage of their customers that fill in a telephone-based post-call satisfaction survey. A bonus is payable based on the score and if 25% of their customers complete the survey. Progress has been significant and has gone from -20 to +30 in the past 18 months.”
Source: Call Centre Helper
DragonAge NPS (as recommended by Dark, Heroic Fantasy World Gamers)
Founder/CEO of Canadian developer Dragon Age: Origins BioWare, Dr. Ray Muzyka spoke about KPIs for game developers: “Net Promoter scores, which is more of a fan opinion they recommend to their friends, that’s a useful metric.” Source: VideoGamer.com
Strong loyalty with “Life Changing” Pen
Livescribe’s senior marketing director and UK GM, Eric Petitt was interviewed about the no-computer-needed SmartPen. Read more on PCR
In a recent US national survey of 5801 registered Pulse smartpen users, 74.5 per cent said they were very likely to continue using it, 92 per cent have demoed the pen to a friend, while 73 per cent said “Pulse has changed my life”. We also got a 54.2 net promoter score (recommenders minus detractors) – this puts us in an elite group of brands, alongside Apple and Southwest Airlines.
Buy on NPS!
One of the original ideas behind Net Promoter Score was that companies with a high Net Promoter Score should provide better investment opportunities. In the appendices to The Ultimate Question Fred Reichheld shows graphs with NPS and growth correlated. So it’s nice to see the market catching up with this thinking. I saw this headline: “Companies You Should Buy Right Now” from MarketMixup, with the sure-fire stock picking strategy of “So if you want to make serious money in stocks, start with great companies. [...] Costco (Nasdaq: COST), for example, has a high net promoter score“. I’m looking forward to the first NPS Portfolio I can invest in…
Career Tip: From IT manager to CEO via NPS.
How a senior IT executive can move beyond a traditional role in technology (i.e. become a CEO) is discussed in What it takes to become ‘the extended CIO’, a book from Richard Hunter and George Westerman. An excerpt:
Since 2006, Leonardson [Butch Leonardson is CIO of Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU)] has cochaired a BECU customer and employee loyalty initiative called Net Promoter. [..] “When a BECU employee logs on in the morning, if he’s [customer-facing] staff, he sees our four strategic objectives—the target and where we are,” Leonardson explains. “With Net Promoter we’re supposed to be at 73.5 percent right now, and we’re at 74.6 percent.” [...] Leonardson continues to seek improvements in the company’s ability to use data to improve performance for customer service. … “
From CIO Canada (24 Nov 2009) IT World Canada
Our occasional feature showcasing links to NPS-deniers. This week, Flat-Earther Augustine Fou gamely argues the view “What’s wrong with the Net Promoter Score”. Plenty of (well-informed) pro-NPS heckling follows in the comments, with even the author repenting: “… I will definitely grant that some clients may be able to use NPS, given a deep understanding of what it can and cannot do.”
*Researchism: A new term that I just made up referring to the quasi-religious beliefs of some market research professionals that the Net Promoter Score is pure Evil, and that a proprietary scoring system derived from 40-question questionnaire is better than any other surveying system. A form of business creationism, probably done to protect a revenue stream rather than helping clients.
Australian Big Banks Lose out to Smaller Lenders
Australia’s Broker News carries news of CoreData’s survey of a selection of Net Promoter Scores from Bank Services, with a small bank beating the big boys. In the NPS survey, Banking minnow Members Equity Bank (MEB) scored +61.6.
Other banks appeared to be all negative:
- Westpac –29
- ANZ –32
- CBA -40
- St George –40
- NAB -60
Our previous coverage of Aussie banks (mar 2008) here for comparison of last years scores.
Theatre Group’s excellent Net Promoter performance
Sweden’s Södra Teatern surveyed its audience for the third year running. Their Net Promoter Score (in swedish: Ambassadörsindex) was a standing ovation winning 76%. Source ”Publiken gillar Södra Teatern” here
eBay bonus plan includes Net Promoter
AuctionBytes Ina Steiner reports that eBay are focusing on a customer retention strategy, and using Net Promoter to incent behaviour. In eBays new comp plan, executives may lose up to 20 percent of their bonuses if they don’t meet customer retention targets. Source: AuctionBytes