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

BlackBerry’s “vibrating device satisfies most needs” (but not the Pentagon’s)

In a post creatively headlined BlackBerry CEO: Our vibrating devices will satisfy most needs,” chief Thorsten Heins has claimed the BB10’s Net Promoter Score is "high" in every market is has entered. But where a few months ago this might have sounded merely hopeful,  now it comes across as assertive. Early sales are stronger than expected, many new users are switching from other platformsstock is upa mystery buyer has placed an order for a million handsets, and even Google's Eric Shmidt has admitted he uses the non-Android device.

[caption id="attachment_4832" align="alignleft" width="177"]bb10-300x240.jpg BlackBerry 10: More than just a vibrating device[/caption]

But it's not all champagne and canapés. BlackBerry’s high level of security has made it a favourite among organisations that value sensitivity. However, the Pentagon has reportedly put in an order to replace its 470,000 BlackBerrys with Apple products, and the British Government has not yet made a decision on BlackBerry’s security classification (after early reports suggested it had been rejected).

As CustomerGauge’s Canadian partner Michel Falcon says, “the score is for the scoreboard, but the feedback is for the playbook.” Has BB made the mistake of focusing on its Net Promoter Score at the expense of listening to feedback from its big, established customers?

RBS faces royal challenge to improve customer happiness

[caption id="attachment_4863" align="alignright" width="279"]rbs-slide-18mar2013png-300x229.png RBS dragged down the NPS scores for all the banks (Advocacy score = NPS)[/caption]

The state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland does not have a lot of love from its customers, but UK retail chief Ross Maxwell-McEwan wants to turn that around. At its earnings call, he outlined the challenges facing the bank with impressive zest and candour:

The things that we'll be focusing on will be our customer. We will measure ourselves strongly against the aspiration of getting to #1 net promoter score, at which point we'll start right at the bottom in many, many classes. So it is a big aspiration but one that I found our own teams are very keen to get to grips with and work out how (and) what we need to do to move that score.”

Adding that the bank's score is "well and truly negative" (at about -15), McEwen says he is pushing Net Promoter Score throughout the business as a key feature both by channel and by product.

The bank has dragged down the market average in Scotland, with their other brand NatWest positive and slightly ahead in the market. The threat comes from smaller banks that RBS customers are being attracted to with higher scores - and this is creating an the opportunity but also a threat.

The bank has claimed it will invest $1 billion in branch refurbishment, faster account openings and a new complaint-management system. Seeking Alpha - and some useful slides.

Comment: From an Net Promoter News point of view, it's interesting how CEOs usually put NPS right at the top of these calls, but analysts prefer to ask questions about product yields and ratios, rather than customer experience. Credit to Maxwell-McEwan for being refreshingly honest about the issues here. Later on in this call he tries gamely to answer a question at the end by bringing it back to the customer  and responds: "...I think if you don't start tackling the real issues for customers, you will never create a really good retail bank here."

[caption id="attachment_4861" align="alignnone" width="300"]rbs-number-one-nps-300x224.png RBS number one issue is to be number one in NPS[/caption]

Lloyds Banking Group Links Bonuses to NPS

We imagine that top traders with £1m+ bonuses will not be losing sleep about Net Promoter, but it will be on the mind of 1000s of retail bank staff  as Lloyds Banking Group announced this week it will base variable pay to staff on customer feedback rather than product sales from 1 April 2013. After a successful pilot in 70 of the banks branches it will be rolled out to all 1800 Lloyds TSB and Halifax branches in the UK. Based partly on risk assessment, the quarterly payment will be  based on the employer’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) from customers through interactions they have had with the group.  For any payment to be made, customers must rate the bank as excellent, and NPS will account for  50% of the variable pay award. Tip: Lloyds staff wishing to get ahead of the game should immediately follow Net Promoter News on twitter now! @customergauge

In related news, The buy to let brand of Lloyds Banking Group, BM Solutions, has said its latest NPS is +87.6. Employee Benefits Mortgage Strategy

In brief

  • With an NPS of +65, airline JetBlue has claimed it has a “huge advantage” over American, United, US Airways, Delta, and SouthwestSkift
  • Primo Water Management has announced it has begun to use Net Promoter in its earnings call. Seeking Alpha

Next Up: Net Promoter News: Warby Parker's 20/20 vision, Scouting for the key to non-profit satisfaction

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