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Net Promoter News: Kabbage, Lending Club duke it out, VMware earnings reach the cloud(s), Nilfisk-Advance polishes customer advocacy, Aegon has plans for global system rollout


Lending Club, Kabbage duke it out in online loans provider NPS slugfest

lending clubIn recent years, there has been an explosion in nimble startups competing with banks in areas they once had a stranglehold. A recent manifestation of this trend is the likes of businesses such as Kabbage, On Deck Capital, and Lending Club providing unsecured online loans to customers.

These businesses are providing differentiated products that put convenience and cost ahead of the banks. According to an AllThingsD post, "Internet-centric financial companies are changing loan applications into a faster, more efficient and more transparent process. Online access makes the application and approval processes inherently streamlined and automated.”

And it is showing in growth and customer loyalty. Kabbage, Lending Club, and even related businesses such as Wonga have all reported astronomical Net Promoter Scores in the 70s. And according to the same AllThingsD post, “Unsecured consumer loans via peer-to-peer lending sites tripled last year to $1 billion, growing much faster than total credit card debt and overall small business lending.”

(Editor's note - We do wonder if publishing high NPS numbers are a kind of fig-leaf to mask the rather usurious lending policies these institutions have - see recent press coverage of Wonga here…)

With demand this high, the article speculates that the innovation unleashed by these agile new competitors could start to impact other lending products including student loans and even mortgages. AllThingsD

VMware's earnings growth reaches the cloud(s)

vmwareIn May of this year, the Temkin Group released its Net Promoter-based 2013 Tech Vendor Benchmark Report, which placed virtualisation and cloud infrastructure solutions provider VMware first on a list of 54 businesses, with an NPS of +47.

VMWare was followed closely by SAP analytics with 45. At the other end of the spectrum, four tech vendors have negative NPS: CSC IT services, Infosys IT services, Alcatel-Lucent, and Deloitte consulting. The average NPS in the tech industry went from 33.6 in 2012 to 24.7 in 2013. The percentage of promoters dropped seven points."

Temkin tech vendor report 2013Since Net Promoter is often believed to be a forward indicator of revenue growth, it was always going to be interesting to see if there was a correlation between the score as reported by the Temkin Group and its future earnings. True to expectation (if your only point of reference was the Temkin research) VMware’s most recent earnings have beaten analyst expectations, with a corresponding lift in share prices.

But another interesting tidbit hidden away in its briefing is how strong customer loyalty as measured by NPS is translating into repeat business. According to COO Carl Eschenbach, “Our support and subscription in quarter renewal rate reached an all-time high for any Q2 and the second highest rate of all time. This is a strategic part of our portfolio. It's highly profitable and a reflection of strong ongoing customer commitment to VMware.”  (Emphasis added) Seeking Alpha

Nilfisk-Advance polishes global customer advocacy with Net Promoter

Nilfisk-Advance – a CustomerGauge client and global manufacturer of industrial cleaning products – has made a leap forward in improving customer satisfaction after implementing a program based on swift resolution of customer issues and Net Promoter Score.

The organisation runs its Net Promoter program in over 30 local markets, and what is interesting about the story is how it separates and closes the loop on feedback for local operations and global operations. At a local level, Nilfisk-Advance has put in place a stringent fixed hour period to make contact with customers – a point at which many issues are immediately closed.

But for issues that cannot be dealt with at a local level, staff members can open a Firefighting case in their CustomerGauge platform that triggers an escalation email to global HQ. Nilfisk-Advance has implemented a regular board meeting that is tasked with resolving global-level issues within a fixed month timeframe.

"Across global and local levels a renewed effort on customer service excellence is really driving this organisation forward. Management teams are very aware of their issues, scores, and how they need to improve," said Jacob Christensen, Global Marketing Intelligence Manager at Nilfisk-Advance. "Working with the Firefighting tool in the CustomerGauge platform has made it possible to embed systematic processes within our organisation to close the loop on customer issues." Press release Blog post and case study

Aegon boss's fightin' words for NPS program

aegonGlobal Insurer Aegon has been using Net Promoter since 2011. After beginning with the program in a small number of its global businesses, it has steadily rolled out Net Promoter to more and more markets each year, with the eventual aim of having it across the entire global organisation. If CEO Alex Wynaendts' words are anything to go by, the business is in no doubt about the business case for doing so.

"This is really key for us going forward, we need to get closer to the customer. We need to maintain a relation with our customers throughout their lifecycle. Achieving sustained loyalty is the critical component of our second Must-Win Battle." 

Aegon is also incorporating Net Promoter into targets and objectives, and incentive schemes, using feedback to improve products and services. Aegon website

Jiffy Lube reduces feedback friction

Jiffy Lube is a chain of over 2,000 franchises in North America offering oil changes and other automotive services. After implementing a Net Promoter program, the organisation was left with an impressive 400,000 pieces of feedback, and 135,000 comments (that is 34% of responses with comments). Its scores weren't bad, either. Last spring it scored a 51 in one of its major markets and a 71 in another, and had an overall score of 59.

However, in spite of the scores, the organisation was then left with a mass of data to deal with. Jiffy Lube reached out to a text analytics firm to analyse its comments and uncover the issues that correlated to additional sales. It found that some key terms, "ease," "efficiency," "wait" and "speed," correlated with higher sales, and stores where just 1% more customers mentioned "ease" had an average $14,000 higher annual revenue. It's an interesting case study, but (plug alert!) had the organisation used a tool like the Customer Self-select issues functionality in the CustomerGauge system, it could have had 85% of surveys already pre-categorised without resorting to text analytics! AdAge

Next Up: CustomerGauge's Salesforce Integration—Streamline AX Data Across Systems.

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