Net Promoter News: Safelite breaks NPS glass ceiling, Overstocks over 60, Android losing NPS battle, B2B Comp in the swingin’ 60s
Safelite Solutions smashes automotive glass ceiling.
The automotive glass repair and replacement industry may not immediately spring to mind when one thinks of industries that attract high Net Promoter Scores, as these are normally reserved for those that elicit strong emotional bonds from consumers – such as some food products or glamorous consumer tech.
But this week in the US, Tom Reid of Safelite Solutions proved the “glass ceiling” could be broken when he announced that his company not only has a Net Promoter Score in the mid-80s, but that they are continually striving for improvement.
We liked the fact that Reid also honoured five franchisees with scores of 90 and above. And we were equally impressed by the company’s survey response rate – approximately 40%. (CustomerGauge Factfans: Mr Reid went on to say the survey was done by email from the 60% of customers that leave an email address, with a 40% response rate, so they have an NPS score based on a total 24% response of ALL customers. Pretty much in line with CustomerGauge stats – Ed)
Some industries may be predisposed to getting higher average Net Promoter Scores than others, it’s always great to hear about a company that doesn’t just buck the trend, but breaks preconceptions as well. Congratulations Safelite! Source: The splendidly named GlassBytes
Overstock.com stocks up on customer satisfaction
Over five years ago, technology-based retail company Overstock.com aimed to increase customer satisfaction levels and put a brake on contact centre costs. As part of that effort, the company turned to cloud-based contact center solution Echopass for a new cloud-based solution.
Since then, Overstock.com’s post-incident Net Promoter Score has improved to over +60. The company attributes this particularly to enhanced agent training, monitoring, and compliance, which it says are capabilities provided by a fully capable quality management and call recording solution.
But we found two things particularly interesting about this story – the first that the collaboration between Overstock.com and Echopass seems to have been instrumental in Overstock.com’s customer service improvement, and the second that the companies reported on this successful collaboration only after five years of (presumably) hard work.
The message here is that there is no silver bullet to continually delighting customers. Even with (or maybe because of) today’s dizzying array of tech tools that all seem to promise more and better results, pleasing customers is more often the result of putting in consistent, concerted effort over a considerable period of time. MarketWatch
Datamart scores sky-high NPS, but we have no idea why
Net Promoter is a metric designed to measure customer advocacy and give businesses the insights to become truly customer-centric. Of itself, it does not predict business performance, though there is often a correlation between Net Promoter Scores and business momentum.
So when a business reports that it has a Net Promoter Score of +93, our first reaction is “Wow, that’s phenomenal!”. Our second reaction is to ask questions:
- How is the business performing?
- If Net Promoter has been used over some time, how do the latest scores compare with previous scores?
- What customer service insights and innovations can you share?
- What is the average NPS for your industry?
- Who did the research?
- How many people were surveyed?
This week, Datamart, a New England company that designs, installs, and supports communications systems, featuring call centers, video conferencing, and VOIP (voice-over-internet protocol) announced a phenomenal score of +93. The self-puffer says that the company is “using the data collected to guide Datamart into a promising second half to their fiscal year,” (gosh, I hope so).
But absent from the release is any information about the above questions. Instead, there is simply an explanation about what NPS is and an announcement of this amazing score.
Datamart: We wanted to talk about your fantastic service. We wanted to quote your delighted customers. We wanted to share information about your customer service innovations. But instead, we’re left with a blank space where that information should be. Your riposte is welcomed. PR Web
Windows in, Android out?
Last week, we talked about the Nokia Lumia 800 and the fact its Net Promoter Score is the highest recorded for any Nokia mobile device. We speculated that based on reviews and the fact the company does not appear to have actually publicized the mobile’s score, it may be somewhat less than the iPhone and leading Android phones.
Analyst Ben Bajarin weighed into the debate this week with some bold predictions of his own. Based partly on Nokia Lumia’s high Net Promoter Score and his analysis of Android, he believes there is an operating system shift taking place – with “iOS for sure and potentially Windows Phone are the longer term winners.” Tech.pinions
B2B Computer Products: Expanding fast, with NPS to match
B2B Computer Products is a provider of technology products and services. This week, ShorTel, a provider of IP unified communications solutions, announced that B2B Computer Products scored an NPS of +67 for the 9-month period spanning July 2011 – March 2012.
According to the company, B2B Computer is consistently identified by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. and by Crain’s as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the Chicago metro area.
We mentioned above that there is often a correlation between Net Promoter Scores and business momentum – and in the case of B2B Computer Products, that correlation certainly appears strong! San Francisco Chronicle
Net Promoter News: A Nation of Shopkeepers say “Meh” to Points Cards but #1′s Waitrose, Accuray enters loyalty zone, Earnings ‘n’ NPS from Aviva, Hertz, Overstock, Bank Montreal plus Doxim’s self-promo fails advocacy test
British shoppers think loyalty cards are past “Best Before” date
What drives loyalty among shoppers? This week a Net Promoter survey across 1,200 British shoppers was released – with some eye-opening results.
While you may think cost-effectiveness was a sure way to driving loyalty, the brand with the most loyal customers was premium supermarket chain Waitrose. [Check out our previous Waitrose coverage]
Based on that, it might be reasonable to assume that customer service and quality were the main drivers of loyalty. Well, sort of. In fact, the biggest driver of loyalty was “Good price for good quality,” followed by “Customer service; product quality.” But that doesn’t mean cheap prices aren’t important – discount supermarket Aldi was second on the ladder, not far behind Waitrose.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of the survey surrounded loyalty cards. Despite the name, they don’t seem to be effective. Loyalty card pioneer The Co-operative Group, has the least loyal customers, and Tesco, which operates the mammoth-sized Clubcard scheme, has the third least. By contrast, Waitrose has only recently launched a loyalty card initiative.
These were the key findings, but also intriguing for us Net Promoter junkies are a few observations on the supermarket chains’ Net Promoter scores against their overall business performance. Not only did Waitrose and Aldi record the best and second best scores respectively, they have been among the two fastest-growing grocery retail chains in recent years. The Co-op, which scored -14, sacked hundreds of head office employees just last week. And Tesco, which scored -8, recently gave its first profit warning in 20 years.
Of course, Net Promoter Scores and business performance are not always in sync. But we believe there is more than a little truth in an independent 2005 study by the London School of Economics which was quoted in the article. The study found that Net Promoter “may be useful not only in predicting sales growth but, also predicting share performance and employee productivity”.
If that’s the case, I think I just felt Tesco shudder. Those scores in full:
|Store||Net Promoter Score|
|Marks & Spencer||-10|
|Source: Grocer/Satmetrix Mar 2012||The Grocer|
Big Data Analytics and the role of Net Promoter
The rise of big data has been the subject of much discussion over the last few years, as businesses try to capture, analyze, and capitalize from it.
Bernard Marr, author of a book on the topic called “The Intelligent Company” suggested in a post this week that while traditional KPIs will remain vital tools to chart business strategy, they will increasingly be supported by analysis of “big data” – such as unstructured conversations across social media networks or search engine keywords.
He suggests that increasingly, companies may utilize tested metrics such as Net Promoter to assess advocacy and loyalty among a group of customers, but supplement this with big data analysis, such as social media analysis of the conversations around the product or brand on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
We have long been firm advocates of a customer-centric approach to business, and therefore what we like about this approach is that it sensibly places your relationship with your customers at the centre of your strategy. Despite the changes brought about by big data, sometimes the fastest route to nurturing delighted customers is by asking them one simple question: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” Smart Data Collective [Editors note: Bernard Marr has "75 measures every manager needs to know" but Adam Dorrell of CustomerGauge bests him by two in "77 Essential Metrics"]
Does a social media presence affect your Net Promoter Score?
The past few years have seen an enormous amount of noise (and some informative discussion) around the rise of social media, but what happens when a marketing-leading brand puts little or no effort into creating a corporate social media presence?
Conventional wisdom might tell you that the brand in question is missing out on an enormous opportunity. However, a post this week argues that beyond the hype, social media is just one medium through which customers interact with a brand. And if customers are consistently being delighted by that brand every time they interact with it, they will in turn advocate it to people around them – their friends, families, and social media communities.
According to the post author, automotive general manager Peter Anthony, the key takeaway is that corporate social media initiatives are not always necessary to achieving a high Net Promoter Score. (Note: While he cites Costco as an example to support his argument, we did find a Costco page on Facebook with nearly half a million fans, so we aren’t sure that the brand does not have a clear social media strategy.)
At any rate, we agree with the point, but we’d like to add a significant caveat. There may be a select few large, highly-advocated brands with enough positive momentum to rely on positive word-of-mouth buzz across social media channels to help generate advocacy. However, if you do not have a corporate presence on social media, that is one less channel you have to delight your customers and nurture new advocates.
In short, although for many brands there are risks associated with being on social media, the argument of whether to be in the space or not has already largely passed most of us by. The question for most companies now isn’t whether a social media affects your Net Promoter Score. Instead, it’s this: How can I nurture new advocates across my social media platforms? Peter Anthony’s blog
Accuray enters the loyalty zone
It’s another week, another NPS-based award for customer satisfaction as radiation oncology company Accuray Incorporated became the first company to receive Omega’s NorthFace ScoreBoard Award(SM) for excellence in customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score.
This award system works on the Net Promoter Score’s basic principles. To be eligible, customers are surveyed a minimum of four times in the preceding year. However, rather than simply relying on the tried and tested NPS scale of zero to 10, Omega spins a little magic with the metric and converts it to a 5 point scale. Companies must achieve a score of 4.0 or above from their customers to receive the NFSB Award.
While we are not a fan of the mechanism or reasons for converting NPS to another scale, the basic principles of the award methodology seem sound, and we particularly like the fact that customers are surveyed four times in the preceding year. According to Omega, companies that average over 4.0 in their scale are in the so-called “Loyalty Zone,” and this ensures that they are “locking in profitable, long-term customer relationships.” But hey hey Accuray, what’s wrong with just sticking to the 0 – 10 scale? The Sacramento Bee
Doxim’s self-promotion fails the advocacy test
Last week we took a look at an announcement by virtual data room company V-Rooms that it had achieved an “A+” Net Promoter Score. While we weren’t sure exactly what that was, we were very enthusiastic about the tangible, clear steps the company is taking to further improve on its customer service.
This week, cloud-based enterprise content management firm Doxim has announced its “record Net Promoter Score” of 63 – an admirable figure, but a puffy piece of self-promotion that still leaves us feeling like we’ve just watched a nil-all draw.
Where V-Rooms focuses on the future and getting even better, Doxim discusses the past and how they compared to now. While V-Rooms drew a clear line of differentiation between their competitors, which are cutting down on customer service costs, Doxim compares its scores to global companies such as Sony, Google, Amazon and Apple – none of which are direct competitors and for which comparison is mildly interesting at best.
To wrap it up: Kudos on your score, Doxim. But what’s next? PR Web
Finance and NPS – A round up of recent company filings that mention Net Promoter.
Aviva PLC 2011 – reporting in London, Andrew Moss, Group Chief Executive Aviva said: “Last year more of our customers were willing to recommend us than ever before. We improved our customer satisfaction measure, Net Promoter Score(TM), last year and now more than half of our businesses operate in the upper quartile relative to local competition”. And in the UK: “Customer satisfaction levels and employee engagement have increased, with customer complaints down 20% in 2011. We’ve been changing the way we look after our customers by simplifying our processes and making them more customer-friendly. In our existing annuity business this has delivered a 26 point improvement in our Transactional Net Promoter Score(TM), achieved significant cost savings and helped reduce call volumes by around 20%.” Marketwatch
By the way, found on the web, really nice Net Promoter story from Andrew Moss, at Henley Business School June 2011. “…And when we look at our customer metrics, it’s an amazing thing but, here in the UK, our best net promoter score, which is how we measure customer satisfaction, is in our Death Claims Unit in York. So, how we deal with people in that very difficult situation, it’s amazing how people appreciate it if you really do deal with them like a human being” Aviva
Telecom Italia Adopt NPS (from Q4 2011 Earnings) “Move to our goals for the Mobile business… progressively shift customer care to self caring and adopt net promoter scoring across our organization to gauge customer preferences….” Seeking Alpha
Metro PCS (Q4 2011 Earnings call). Interesting as it’s in an answer to an analyst – shows that the COO understands NPS: Thomas C. Keys: “That’s a great question, Michael. The first thing is you’re asking me to give up a little bit of the secret sauce, so I’ll be happy to do that. [...] That works on the viral nature of how we advertise, at how we move a product, keeps our CPGA lower. It keeps our net promoter score higher…. ” SeekingAlpha
Bank Montreal Q1 2012 “This business continues to perform well with volumes higher across most products, and we continue to innovate in the execution of our strategy, achieving higher net promoter scores and increasing share of wallet” SeekingAlpha
Overstock Q4 2011. Report Net Promoter of 52 (see graph) “Customer, net promoter score has, slide 20, has still remained sort of astronomically high compared to retail in general. I just saw another scoring service came out and it put us right at the very top, we scored an 83, well, on another scoring service.” Seeking Alpha. and Slides
H&R Block (Q3 2012) “Additionally, our retention and Net Promoter Scores are up 150 and 400 basis points, respectively, demonstrating sustained improvement in 2 of our most important metrics.” Seeking Alpha, and Slides
KPN Wire Up for NPS
News on how the former-state-monopoly Dutch Telco KPN aims to become consumer friendly using Net Promoter Score (in Dutch, but the gist handily translated for you…). Programs Manager Henriëtte Bakker Selz says they are moving to a single CRM system in place of 14 customer registration system. There will be a top-down and bottom-up approach: Strategic survey with multiple questions and a short operational survey after each operational touchpoint, using an automated system. Source: KPN wil met NPS dienstverlening verbeteren, ManagersOnlineNL
Lawson imps’ NPS
ERP-Softer Lawson will implement its “Net Promoter Project” from June according to Peter Quinn, Chief Customer Officer. reporting. Company hopes that NPS may show customers that “Lawson cares what they think” – useful in competing with SAP and Oracle which have bad reputations for being aloof to all but their biggest customers. According to article, negative customer feedback will help Lawson understand where to improve. It may prove scary for the salespeople at Lawson (already under Pink Slip or P45 pressure), as the project will weed out the Lawson salespeople who excel at the service aspect of their jobs, and which ones are dragging the company down.
Source: IT Jungle
Clearswift clear about NPS.
According to a PR-puffer on its earnings release, UK security co Clearswift announces it is the first security company to embrace the Net Promoter Score. “The continuous brand monitoring by online feedback enables Clearswift to focus business efforts on delivering value to customers more efficiently and effectively.”
Source: Earnings Release
SW Partnership based on NPS?
In a Q&A on why NPS poster-boys Southwest Air have teamed up with Mexican-bound Volaris Air, one the reasons listed is “…like Southwest, they have earned exceptionally high marks for their Customer Service through commonly used Net Promoter Score… All of these factors make Volaris a good fit for Southwest.”. Interesting to see NPS explicitly mentioned in terms of Company Culture Compatibility (that’s CCC – your new TLA for today). Source: NutsAboutSouthwest
Overstock Over 30′s
From internet-excess-mover, Overstock.com Inc. Q1 2009 Earnings Call Transcript: Net Promoter Score is 31, “an all-time high”. From Earnings review, Seeking Alpha
Scanner reads in 35%
Small survey results on what Customers Think of Microvision’s ROV Barcode Scanner: 25% response, Microvision and products received a +35% Net Promoter Score (NPS), service department received a +30% NPS.
INetU host NPS 58
In a recent PR-Puffer, managed-hoster INetU announces results of fifth annual customer service survey with 97% Customer Satisfaction, and Net Promoter Score of 58. (Nice, but then they go on to make an unproven claim that it’s “nearly 50% higher than recognized industry leaders.” 50 points? 50 percent? Accurate reporting please!). They have been sending annual satisfaction surveys since 2005, and helpfully offer that 2009 survey results are based on a 25% response rate. Source: the wires
Sometimes companies report both Customer Satisfaction Scores and Net Promoter Scores, and you might notice from the INetU news that there seems to be hardly a correlation between Customer Satisfaction Score, and NPS. In their case, Customer Sat is 95%, and NPS is “only” 58 (which actually is nothing to be ashamed). Why the gap?
I conclude that customers might unthinkingly report that they are satisfied, but only a smaller number actually internalise the question and go on to recommend the company to others. This, by the way, is the basis of the strength of the Net Promoter Score. Unless your NPS is near 100, you have some customers who are not passionate promoters. If you stick to customer satisfaction as a barometer, and get above 90, you would understandably be feeling quite pleased. But a look at the NPS will dispel the hubris, and force you to work on improvements.
In a previous (business) life I was the Marketing Manager of Morse Computers, back in the ’80s and ’90s when its staple form of promotion was 4cm x 2 column ads in The Times, or 20cm x 2 col. ads on the back of The Independent and FT, running week-in, week out. We produced the ads on a Mac IIcx (with a 80Mb disk) running Quark Xpress, and typesetting on a Linotronic 200. Advanced stuff for the day. If you had a problem with Quark, you were largely on your own. No internet forums to turn to. And definitely no help from Quark, who epitomised the frontier spirit of early desktop publishing by providing basically zero support.
So it was with some nostalgia that I read that Quark have become focused on customer service. This from Planet Quark: Paul Brothe on Customer Service. Brothe took leadership of Quark’s customer service in February 2008. Since then, Quark’s customer-rated level of satisfaction regarding customer service has risen above Adobe’s, and higher than almost any other software company. Quark uses Net Promoter and asks customers about their experience immediately after a contact with the company. According to Brothe, Quark’s Net Promoter score has risen to above 50. (In a “two-for-one” he also reveals Adobe’s highest score was 46.)
- Maximize self-service. Free Virtual Knowledge Base includes self-help (which is like phone help except via email)
- Live chat
- Direct email to a tech rep.
- Keep phone support free and fast.
- Calculate the 10 most common reasons that customers call in for support, and put the answers on the customer support pages at Quark.com.
- Key discovery: people actually prefer online chat for support, partly because of how easy it is to send links to Web pages and downloads, and because it’s easy for customers to send screen shots and other information about their questions.
Overstock report NPS of 73
OverStick.com report Net Promoter Score in their earnings call this week. Thanks to SeekingAlpha.
From Patrick Byrne – Chairman and CEO of Overstock (OSTK) says: “Slide 14 – Net promoter score. All time high of 73 [ ... ] we’re running at 73% now in the fourth quarter. The red line is the NPS of the people who call our customer service, meaning they have had some kind of problem. They ran at 27%, which is an all time high for the fourth quarter. So, even the people who have some kind of issue and call us gave us a much higher score as a company than the average American company receives, according to Professor Reichheld.”
Verity Builds Member Loyalty, uses Net Promoter
A report by Sarah Boehle, ManageSmarter.com on how Verity Credit Union in Seattle started to measure customer experience. Before: Subjective feedback only from “raving fans” and “not-so-raving fans”. After: Verity implemented a Member Loyalty Program in 2007 based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Results: Significant improvement tied to the Member Loyalty Program. Loyalty ratings up more than 15 percent; member referrals +30 percent; new accounts increased more than 50 percent. Plus benefits of strategic alignment across corporation.
Key bullets from Verity Program:
- Aligned corporate culture. Streamlined bonus systems across company to just three elements, including credit union’s NPS. No “competing values” and ensures everyone working toward shared goals.
- Communication of program’s validity and importance. Organization-wide training on NPS, and quarterly meetings, where successful NPS initiatives and best practices are discussed in depth.
- Transparency: Online site where all staff can view the credit union’s most recent NPSs and compare them to organizational goals.
- Use customer feedback to target training.
- Get every department involved.
Full article here. (Verity Builds Member Loyalty)