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Net Promoter News: OKC Thunder N-P-Sanity at +91, HireVue, and Staffer gongs, plus Virgin America, Apple, Kaiser Permanente lead in US paneller; Facebook, Wachovia, American Airlines droop.

For those unfamiliar with basketball, the Oklahoma City Thunder is an NBA franchise formerly known as the Seattle Supersonics. And for those unfamiliar with online dating, is one of the giants, with more than 20 million members across 25 countries. What do these two companies have in common? They were awarded gold and silver in the Customer Experience category of the 2012 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards, announced this week.

While some are going have got Jeremy Lin-sanity, Oklahoma City Thunder have gone Net Promoter crazy, and was rightly recognized with gold after nurturing an environment that consistently “educates, evaluates, and congratulates” its employees – a key starting point to consistently delighting customers. The franchise has improved on an already strong Net Promoter Score – from +86 in 2008 to +91 last season, and ranks as the top NBA team in overall fan experience. The team is now a champion in terms of customer satisfaction – if they can repeat the performance on the court, the fans will be very happy indeed. – and personals websites in general – have not grown without varying degrees of controversy over the past decade or so. However, for one seems to have a renewed focus on customer satisfaction, recently improving its email support, and investing in its customer care. According to 1to1 Media, customers that interact with customer care purchase at a higher rate than those who don’t. It must be all about a great first impression! 1to1media

Virgin America, Apple, Kaiser Permanente lead, Facebook, Wachovia, American Airlines lag in US customer loyalty

This week a new Net Promoter study across 30,000 US consumers unveiled customer loyalty leaders across 22 U.S. industry sectors and 200 brands.

Of particular surprise was how Facebook is perceived this year. Despite an incredible run on almost every metric you could imagine and a much-hyped IPO, the social network lost 21 points compared to last year's benchmark, to fall to +31. Facebook has consistently proven doubters and naysayers wrong, and we would hesitate to predict and kind of sharp change in its growth trajectory or performance. However, the size of the fall does have us wondering – is Facebook losing a little mojo?

Elsewhere in the tech world, usual suspects Apple and Google both continued their stellar performances, with Apple scoring +71 for its hardware and +68 for software, and Google achieving +56.

Also of interest:

  • Major health insurers were viewed poorly by many customers, with an industry average of +4, though Kaiser Permanente bucked the trend with an NPS of +33. For life insurance, State Farm led with +28.
  • Financial institutions have copped a shellacking in the American press over the past few years, and this is reflected in their Net Promoter Scores, with seven banks having more detractors than promoters. The worst was Wachovia, at -15.
  • American Express scored +43, ranking top among credit cards for the fifth year in a row.
  • Despite the sluggish economy, Travel and Hospitality had some clear winners, with Virgin America the top airline at +66, and JetBlue Airways at +64. American Airlines lagged at -5.
  • Auto glass repair specialist Safelite AutoGlass led the auto service and repair sector with +48, beating Goodyear into second place by more than 25 points.
  • Telecommunication providers continued to struggle. Verizon, the highest scoring Internet service provider, had an NPS of just +18.

Source: SatMetrix / Market Watch

This week, online business billing and payments service announced an 8 point jump in its Net Promoter Score over a nine month period, and though it does not announce its actual score, says it has now surpassed companies including American Express and Google (which presumably means at least in the high 50s, according to figures in the article above).

The company attributes this to an increased investment in its customer service offering, and goes to considerable trouble to outline the steps it has taken in this area in an admirably-detailed piece of self-promotion.

The full details are available at the link, but there were a couple of interesting points that really jumped out.

The first regarded the introducing new users to the technology. Many people experience difficulties when learning a new system, and recognizing this frustration, created a "New Customer Success" team to walk users through the technology step-by-step. According to the company, 90% of customers that use the service become active users, and 98% of are satisfied with it.

The second thing that jumped out was a much smaller detail. The company uses two spokespeople in its release. The first is the CEO, Rene Lacerte. And the second is Kathleen Long, who has the still-unusual but increasingly common role of “Vice President of Customers.”

When asked, 'Have we resolved or made a plan to resolve your issue today?', 93% of customers now say 'yes',” said Long. Now that’s a tough figure to beat! Market Watch

HireVue ratchets up new business, promotes Net Promoter Score

A few weeks back we took a brief look at the US HR industry and the role it is playing in slowly turning around the economy.

One company, HireVue, has brought a new dimension into the recruitment game, by providing a digital platform to recruiters so they search prospective talent by browsing and streaming interviews whenever and however they want – even from a smartphone.

It’s a very strong concept, and the company has just announced triple digit sales growth, 70 new enterprise customers, and numerous product enhancements, with all this backed up by a strong NPS in the +40s.

With this kind of growth, there is no doubt that competitors will emerge with other innovative ways to connect recruiters with the right talent. This will be a very interesting space to watch in the near-term future, and as innovation continues to develop, let’s hope HR and recruitment can play an increasingly effective role in driving global economies out of a standstill! Market Watch

Staffing Industry Analysts gives gong to best staffing firms

In more US awards news, global advisor Staffing Industry Analysts announced the winners of the 2012 Best Staffing Firms to Work for, winners being divided by size and selected using Net Promoter Score.

The winners included LiquidAgents Healthcare, TekPartners/MedPartnersHIM and Collabera Inc. Full details:

Next Up: Net Promoter News: A Nation of Shopkeepers say "Meh" to Points Cards but #1's Waitrose, Accuray enters loyalty zone, Earnings 'n' NPS from Aviva, Hertz, Overstock, Bank Montreal plus Doxim’s self-promo fails advocacy test

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