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NPS and the Digital Transformation of CX

Blog by Ian Luck
February 14, 2018

Has anyone else ever heard the term “digital transformation” and let loose one of the longest eye rolls of their life? Don’t worry, I was in your shoes once.

Before I worked in marketing, I was a development editor at a technical publication for software books (I know, I know, I’ve gone to the dark side; God save my soul). Around the editorial pool, there were a few marketing buzzwords we loved to hate. One shining example was “digital transformation”.

So, what was our beef?

When it came to digital transformation it was the almost purposeful vagueness that the word implied that drove us bananas. I mean, isn’t everybody working in the digital world?

For a long time, this was my mind set, until recently. For me the real revelation behind the digital transformation is not this all-encompassing term, but rather how the digital transformation has created a shift in the approach to customer experience with tools like the Net Promoter System®.

What is Digital Transformation and Who Owns It?

If we’re going really broad, digital transformation is the change associated with incorporating digital technologies into society. Narrowing this down to a business perspective, digital transformation is

“the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies…” - (

This is where skeptics begin scratching their head. I mean, doesn’t that encompass just aScreen Shot 2016-12-06 at 10.02.44 AMbout everything, everyone is doing already? Yes and no. The value of digital transformation is all in how you apply it, combined with strong leadership.

My hardline view about the digital transformation was changed when I came across a Forbes article written by Brian Solis called “Who Owns Digital Transformation? According To A New Survey, It's Not The CIO”. In the article, he mentions the very same skepticism I had, but with an important distinction:

“The reality is though that pretty much every company is investing in digital transformation. The difference between them and companies paving the way forward comes down to whether or not change progresses holistically in a unified manner or through individual groups without the benefit of common vision.”

In “The 2016 State of Digital Transformation” report from Altimeter, Brian Solis identified that this disparity was a direct result of the answer they received to the question: “who owns digital transformation?” While most people would guess the CIO to be the owner of such a movement, the research found it was in fact CMOs who were leading the way with digital transformation through, you guessed it, customer experience (CX) initiatives.

CX as the Crux of the Digital Transformation

According to MITSloan, there are nine elements of digital transformation companies can apply. The first and foremost is transforming customer experience in the areas of customer understanding, top-line growth and customer touch points.

Over the last few years, CX has become a priority for many companies. We are in the age of the consumer. Businesses have undergone a shift that puts a lot of power in the hands of their customers. Companies can rise and fall under their opinion and happiness. It’s no wonder then that a lot of CMOs are taking note. According to Altimeter’s study, CMOs are leading the charge by investing in new CX technology that address both the pain points in a customer’s journey and assist their companies in responding quickly to dissatisfaction.

CX has become the crux of the digital transformation because those that are leading the digital transformation are those that are leading the CX transformation. For a company to own both the digital transformation and CX, they must mature and demonstrate greater unity around improving, mapping and enhancing the customer journey, and introducing new innovations and value in the form of technological enhancements to remain competitive.

This involves making the CMOs interests the CIOs interests, and vice versa.

NPS as a Tool to Power Your Digital Transformation of CX

If your company is looking to turn CX into a priority and spearhead the digital transformation of your business processes, the first place you want to look is a tool that will enable you to better measure your customer heath. This will allow you to identify and analyze customer touch points. While there are a number of tools out there that can help you do this, NPS is considered one of the best.

NPS is a child of the digital transformation. While many people have heard of the Net Promoter Score®—not everyone is taking full advantage of a Net Promoter System®.

Using a Net Promoter System, companies can do more than just send out one question surveys to understand how likely a customer would recommend a product/service/company to someone they know. Companies can follow up quickly to close the loop on pain points, identify drivers in the company that are creating promoters and detractors, predict future churn trends, conduct real-time fire-fighting—from CEOs to frontline employees—to deliver round the clock customer service, and more.

The video below was created by a CustomerGauge client, Areas, who uses our Net Promoter System for enterprise-wide CX management.

If you'd like to learn more about how NPS can transform your CX strategy, check out our resources page for eBooks, case studies, and more.

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