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Ain't nobody here but us chickens... a more balanced view of Net Promoter Criticism


"There ain't nobody here but us chickens There ain't nobody here at all So calm yourself, And stop your fuss There ain't nobody here but us..."(Louis Jordan, 1947)I was musing this morning on the arguments between the Anti-Net Promoter Scorites and the Net Promoter Promoters - seems somewhat akin to ancient arguments about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.The "Anti's" are grouping around the paper from Prof. Bruce Cooil from Vanderbilt University "Research suggests that companies should ask more than just 'would you recommend this product?'" which states “You probably want to use all the available information from a customer about attitudes toward the product or service, their satisfaction and their buying behavior – all the available information on their attitudes, intentions and behavior – rather than just one score.”The "Pro's" counter that it's the very simplicity of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) that is the key.Our approach at CustomerGauge has been to keep our heads down and keep doing what we know best. Just like Louis's Chickens. We use the simple NPS metric, ask a few other questions, and supplement with an open ended question to get customer comments. It's proven to improve customer satisfaction, and grow revenue.Discussion is useful to understand how the metric works, but researchers arguing to defend proprietary models are counter-productive. The most reasoned arguments for both are in this excellent three-page article "Customer advocacy metrics: the NPS theory in practice" from Admap.

admap mag

Kudos to Justin Kirby, DMC, and Alain Samson, LSE/LRCG, on their evenhanded report on how UK companies are using the NPS, and ways in which its use can be improved. The money quote is "We encourage managers and researchers alike to embrace the NPS as what it is: a handy tool for your measurement toolbox and a potential vehicle for healthy profits if you are in the driver's seat."And now, enjoy "Ain't nobody here but us chickens" as sung by the Muppets. What could be better?

Next Up: Another bank quotes Net Promoter

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