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Last week I spoke at the Society for Service Executives Symposium in Chicago. As always, when the primary topic is customer satisfaction, there was a lot of talk about NPS (Net Promoter Score). As I have often said, it’s a tired customer survey question—and that’s just one of its shortcomings. Another issue, as Lori Bocklund of Strategic Contact recently wrote about, is that it’s a metric based on a single question—and as she summarized the problem, you need “One Number, NOT One Question.”

Today, I want to reflect on another shortfall of NPS, which is that it lacks actionability. It lacks actionability because it’s unclear which touchpoint it refers to. Here’s an example: A customer gives you a 2/10 NPS rating. You’d want to fix that, right? But unless you know what went wrong, at what touchpoint…well, good luck solving the problem.

Or say a customer gives you an 8/10 NPS rating. That’s better. But it’s only sort of better—because you don’t know what went well, so you don’t know what to replicate.

Actionable customer surveys uncover what’s good and bad—and why. They are touchpoint-specific. As Lori said in her blog, customer experiences are too complex for a single question. The only way to get accurate, actionable data is by asking specific questions relevant to each touchpoint.

Examples of touchpoints include: when the product is delivered, tech support when installing the product, when the product is returned, etc. But customers have different expectations at each touchpoint. That’s why you can’t improve by asking one question about them all.

The fact is that you can GIVE and GET value through each customer interaction—and this is foundational to Interaction Thinking™. However, most companies fail to get value because their survey data isn’t accurate. Or, they fail to give value because their customer surveys are dull and unengaging. So if you want to make the most of your customer survey, you need to zoom in on specific touchpoint details.

Is your customer survey as specific to your touchpoints as it can be? Start for free to find out. There’s a good chance your survey could be giving you more useful value about your touchpoints, while showing customers that you care and are actually listening.

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