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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 (Update 10/2013 - link removed from source).

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.

Company News

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.

Next Up: CustomerGauge enters Australian market with Genroe partnership

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