Since its inception in 2003 as the Net Promoter Score®, the Net Promoter System® has become an industry standard for measuring customer loyalty.
And we hope that today may mark a small but nonetheless potentially significant step in the growth of the industry - with the launch of a proposed Open Data Interchange for the Net Promoter System (something that we have been talking about since this 2009 post Who Surveys the Surveyors?)
An Open Data Interchange – in effect, a common standard for importing and exporting Net Promoter data, has the potential to:
- Allow organisations across the globe to port data between any Net Promoter software services that adhere to the Standard.
- Vastly improve transparency of and confidence in reported Net Promoter Scores.
- Put the Net Promoter System a significant step further on the path to becoming the gold standard cross-industry customer loyalty metric.
What it is
Any Open Data Interchange needs to include a standard import/exchange template. To encourage widespread acceptance across the Net Promoter industry, CustomerGauge has taken the initiative to launch a Standard 1.0, available for download now, so that any organisation can extract its data and import it into another system.
The Standard Import/Exchange template 1.0 spans key areas such as Scale, Customer Type, Methodology, Geography, Timing, and Response Rates, as well as Score.
Why have an Open Data Interchange?
The following key points are strong reasons why an open standard would be advantageous:
1. Data Portability
Because Net Promoter solutions currently have different data entry points, organisations often feel locked in to staying with one solution even as their needs may evolve. Likewise, organisations that begin a small-scale Net Promoter rollout with basic web-based survey platforms and a spreadsheet can face compatibility challenges in migrating data to enterprise-level solutions.
This is not unique to Net Promoter solutions - a lack of Open Standards in software services has meant that Data Portability tends to be a challenge across the software industry. But the Net Promoter Open Data Interchange means that organisations can input and extract data between systems, and mix, match, and change software providers on an as-needed basis.
2. Consistency in Data Collection
Although standard surveying and data collection practices are outlined in Fred Reichheld's The Ultimate Question, it is not uncommon to see slight variations in survey practices, including scales of 1-10 or 1-5 (rather than 0-10), visual prompts to alert survey respondents to differences between 0-6 (Detractors), 7-8 (Neutrals), and 9-10 (Promoters), and variations in the wording of the "Would you recommend....?" question itself.
3. Public Confidence in Results
Multinationals and private companies across the globe increasingly cite Net Promoter Scores as evidence of underlying business strength - see our Net Promoter News for numerous examples. Yet generally, little is revealed about how these scores are reached, including basic information on sample sizes, response rates, and whether the survey was gamed or data compromised in any way.
Who is involved
To be successful, the Open Data Interchange needs the support and collaboration of Net Promoter industry stakeholders to encourage widespread adoption and develop it as a true industry standard. Full details including template downloads can be found at http://opennetpromoter.org/. If your organisation would like to be involved, there is an open invitation to collaborate or support the initiative by emailing email@example.com, or joining the LinkedIn Group.
Launching the Open Data Interchange: Bring Your Own Data (BYOD)
The launch of the Open Data Interchange for Net Promoter has the potential to kick-start a groundswell of new businesses adapting the metric as it becomes the cross-industry go-to standard for customer loyalty.
CustomerGauge will be among the first vendors to operate within the proposed Open Data Interchange. This will mean that for the first time, organisations will be able to exchange data between multiple vendors to import and export data easily, and be assured that their investments in the Net Promoter System will be secure, no matter which vendor they choose.