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Net Promoter News: AT&T's Net Promoter fail, Travel Counsellors advise trust, Southwest customer experience flies north

AT&T scores marketing campaign success, Net Promoter FAIL

AT&T had a problem – a low NPS among young Asian American males. In order to increase loyalty, it sent out regular surveys and included a follow up question. It used root cause analysis and implemented a closed feedback loop to incrementally improve its offering, increase loyalty, and drive positive WOM and sales.

Actually, according to a post this week, instead of doing any of this, AT&T conscripted a marketing agency to drive up its score. interTrend Communications, an agency that helps brands connect with Asian Americans, created a cheesy whimsical web series with a crowd-sourced storyline called Away We Happened. The series heavily features AT&T, has received over 6 million views so far, and won an Effie in the process.  Oh, and AT&T’s NPS dramatically increased from -11 to +39.

By many metrics, the campaign is a success. But using Net Promoter as a measure of success is misplaced. We may be preaching to the converted here, but Net Promoter is a system that has its strength in listening to customer feedback, making incremental customer-focused improvements in the organisation, and (sustainably) increasing scores and  revenue over time.

In a worst-case scenario, a quantum leap in NPS such as this can obscure underlying customer service problems underneath the sugar rush of new Promoters. And unless feedback collection, analysis and closing the loop are embedded in the organisation, there is the danger of an equally swift drop in scores, with corresponding negative WOM and loss of market share or revenue. Marketing

Travel Counsellors advise trust

Travel Counsellors is an exemplar of travel industry trust and innovation and owner of possibly the world’s highest NPS.  But whereas much discussion around Net Promoter focuses on customer service and loyalty, the key driver for Travel Counsellors’ growth is agent recruitment.

That’s not to say that customer relationships are not important, of course – according to chairman David Speakman, "We look after all the laborious admin so the individual 'travel counsellor' is left to build their own business by building relationships. TripAdvisor is the electronic mode of advice but it's referred to; not trusted. We build our business on trust." Insider Media

Southwest customer experience flies north

Southwest Airlines use of Net Promoter has helped propel it to one of the leading positions in terms of customer experience among American airlines.

According to a company rep, “We segment [Net Promoter Scores] by airports, but can also further refine the analysis by buying behavior, such as loyal or frugal customers. By looking at the scores, our employees can see where they need to step up.”

While Southwest is clearly on the right course, there is some possible turbulence up ahead. According to rival JetBlue, its leading NPS among US airlines gives it a “huge advantage” over its rivals.  Forbes

In brief

  • According to YouGov, the Apple App Store has the highest NPS of any app market place in Germany, and 84% of iPhone users regularly download chargeable apps. GooglePlay is visited by more users by percentage of market share, but only 58% of them regularly download chargeable apps. Telecom Paper
  • Australian dealer groups have been advised to use Net Promoter to get a better understanding of advisers’ satisfaction with their services.  Money Management
  • TeleTech has conducted a test to find out whether delivering an exceptional customer experience as measured by NPS positively impacts sales, and had a positive result. TeleTech

Next Up: Net Promoter News: BlackBerry's vibrating device leaves Pentagon unsatisfied, RBS faces royal challenge to improve CX, 50% Lloyds bonus tied to NPS

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