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: Philips designs to win customers and NPS, Speedy beats industry NPS, Obama and Romney in race to bottom, Freightquote NPS +68
Philips puts design in the heat of the battle
In an interview with FastCo Design, new Philips design chief Sean Carney lays out his approach to convincing a sceptical CEO of the value of design and leading over 400 creatives at the 120-year-old Dutch company (full disclosure: Philips has been a CustomerGauge client since 2007).
Joining the company last year, Carney felt that design could positively impact the bottom line if it were better integrated with the business. So he has placed a renewed emphasis on nurturing relationships internally across departments including corporate strategy, technology research, new business development, and country sales organizations. And in a bid to broaden revenue streams, instead of being focused on creating a great customer experience around individual products, there is now more emphasis on designing wider ecosystems. According to Carney, these initiatives are aimed at helping Philips win more business and improve its Net Promoter Score.
Early results are promising. Philips Fidelio music docks have recently become the market leaders across Europe – a category that both Apple and Sony failed in – and also been recognized with industry design awards. FastCoDesign
Speedy links customer satisfaction to bonuses, boasts industry-beating NPS
This week UK equipment rental company Speedy has announced a significant turnaround in profitability and an independently-assessed Net Promoter Score of +29.5, which it says is well clear of the industry average of +11. (As an aside, it’s very useful to see important information such as an industry average, but would be even better if a source was cited).
The group has placed a renewed focus on customer service in its statement, saying that “To enforce awareness and customer service standards, any depot failing to achieve a 90 percent plus satisfaction level fails to qualify for performance bonus, irrespective of its profitability status.”
Putting customer satisfaction above profitability is one the most emphatic statements any business can make about its intentions, and we commend Speedy for going the extra mile to nurture strong, sustainable relationships with its customers. Implemented consistently, this strategy should pay increasing dividends for the business in the years to come. Vertikal.net
Battle for the Presidency: A race to the bottom
If the incumbent and challengers of this year’s US presidential election were blue chip corporations that investors held as part of their long-term investment strategies, the time to dump the stock was yesterday.
According to research by BIGinsight, both President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are considered to be terrible and almost-as-terrible by survey respondents, with Obama’s Net Promoter score at -80.7 and Romney’s at -59. According to the article; “The latest results show that President Obama is losing support among those who backed him in 2008, and these voters grade the president low for his performance on jobs and the economy.”
As we know, things can change quickly in politics, but we will be interested to see the outcome of the elections based on the current scores in May 2012. San Francisco Chronicle
Freightquote.com quotes revenue growth, high NPS
Freightquote.com is the largest online freight logistics company in the US. This week the company announced its dedicated customer service had directly impacted revenue growth over 2011, in which the company saw a revenue increase of 23%.
On a related note, Freightquote.com announced a (self-reported) Net Promoter score of +68. Since there is no word on industry averages or if the research was independent, the score by itself does not necessarily say much despite its apparent strength. Market Watch
Five Year Milestone
Congratulations to CustomerGauge, who this week celebrated their 5th birthday. Since registering the domain name CustomerGauge.com in May 2007, the system has grown to a global enterprise customer feedback platform. Many happy returns to all the team and customers.
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.
CustomerGauge will be showcased in a collaboration with Philips at the Keynote Theatre at eCommerce Expo, 20 Oct 2010, London.
In the presentation “How to Build a Customer Retention Robot”, Serge Acker (General Manager Global Direct Online Sales, Philips) and Adam Dorrell (CEO CustomerGauge) will describe how Philips Global Flagship Online Store measures its customer experience on a daily basis. The presentation explains:
- how to survey customers after every transaction using the Net Promoter Score® methodology
- segment customers into high/low value and promoters/detractors
- use workflow for fire-fighting on a one-by-one basis as needed
- use feedback analysis to make close-loop reporting, and do fire-prevention“ strategically improving processes
- encourage customers to get engaged with product reviews
- help customers recommend the store to friends
- rescue and reward high value customers
The keynote is Wednesday 20 October, 10:15-10:45. Venue: Olympia. Full details of the event are on the eCommerce Expo UK site. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Serge Acker, Senior Director Philips Flagship Store, presented a state-of-the-union address on the Philips webstore at ceBIT last week, to a gathering of hi-tech companies at the DigitalRiver Consumer Electronics Conference.
Following a movie-trailer like taste of the impressive new webstore, Acker highlighted some recent successes (and a few pitfalls) of the recent store migration. Philips were “late to e-commerce” he said, but “determined to do it with excellence“. Success was down to having a clear vision for direct sales, fighting internal battles (especially over channels), a dedicated team, and doggedly measuring the Net Promoter Score (NPS). He gave an example of the importance of customer experience for Philips (“50% of electric shavers are bought as a gift“), and made the point that CE companies today are not just selling televisions any more, they are selling a service.
Answering a question on whether dealers were upset by Philips selling to consumers, Acker said that dealers had lived with direct sales for many years (See also “Retailers Expect Direct Sales“). Customers want choice – some wish to buy direct. He added that selling direct creates “noise” and provides lots of detail in product presentation that ultimately benefits dealers.
The Philips online store Net Promoter Score (as measured by CustomerGauge) had helped them improve customer service, improved products (with voice-of-customer feedback) and grow revenue. Acker had earlier stated that “If we could only do one thing on their Top Ten list, it would be the Net Promoter Score“, and his last piece of advice to the appreciative audience was “Build your NPS, and revenue will follow.”
Contact DigitalRiver for presentation details.
Some other Net Promoter News snippets:
Outsourced invoicer OSG Billing Services announced on its site and by press release that it has achieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 72 percent.
“As a service-based company, OSG Billing Services takes a great amount of pride in receiving such an impressive score,” said Ron Whaley, vice president of sales and marketing. “We are excited to have this metric to measure our customer satisfaction…” Source: Billing and OSS World
There is a new Linked-In group called NPS Ops (Net Promoter Score), set up by Seth Harbaugh of Utah-based service provider DirectPointe. His aim is to openly discuss process improvements, performance documentation and trends in the improvement arena of Net Promoter Score. Joining request should be submitted on the site.