Looking to hire a Net Promoter Score company? Most Net Promoter Score companies will offer to send your NPS survey, but that’s the easy part. Most likely, what you really care about is doing your survey in a way that:

  • Reflects well on your brand
  • Enables you to boost your score
  • Tracks results over time
The key to increasing your Net Promoter Score is understanding the core principles of customer experience (CX) and knowing when (and when not) to use NPS. Furthermore, it’s about employing NPS strategically as part of a total customer program.

Unfortunately, the Net Promoter Score is frequently misused. In Harvard Business Review, Fred Reichheld, Darci Darnell, and Maureen Burns write, Unfortunately, self-reported scores and misinterpretations of the NPS framework have sown confusion and diminished its credibility.”

If you want to hire a Net Promoter Score company that delivers credible results without confusion, it needs to have a firm grasp of three things:

  • The principles of the CX discipline (Not just Net Promoter Score)
  • The pros and cons of the Net Promoter Score
  • The difference between the Net Promoter Score and a Net Promoter Strategy

Customer Experience Principles

First, how do you know if your Net Promoter Score company has a solid grasp of CX principles? Two attributes to look for are its approach to CX and benchmarking.

1) Approach: Your company will think about the customer experience comprehensively.

While the customer experience is often defined as the touchpoints between a customer and a company, that is only partially true.

The fact is, no company is an island, and your customers will judge you in relation to a constellation of influences and contexts. Those influences include competitors, comparable companies, reigning technologies, and a customer’s past experiences with you.

Basically, your customers experience you directly for what you offer, and they also experience you extrinsically with every encounter they have ever had, which might include companies far from your own. For example, companies like Apple and Amazon are often part of the customer’s experience with you in so far as they set the bar on expectations for packaging, operations, and more.

Your expert Net Promoter Score company knows that no organization exists in a vacuum, and its team will consider a variety of customer experience contexts, knowing when to shift their focus and strategy.

2) Benchmarking: Your Net Promoter Score Company will compare you to a few indices.

Examples of benchmarks might include other companies that report their Net Promoter Score or The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Remember, Net Promoter Scores vary widely by industry; ideally, you think about your score in the context of your peers.

For instance, the average NPS score in the TV service industry is 11, while the average for retailers like Wal-Mart and Gap is 35. Auto dealers like Honda and Cadillac seem to have an average score of 48 — although the auto industry is so prone to biases like survey begging (also known as survey gaming) that it’s unclear what their real scores might be.

Pros and Cons of the Net Promoter Score

Next, does your Net Promoter Score company know when and where to use NPS?

The Net Promoter Score is ubiquitous because it’s straightforward and easy to understand. Little wonder that two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies use it.

But the Net Promoter Score also has its drawbacks:

  • Precisely because it’s ubiquitous, the NPS question can make companies appear as though they’re not genuinely interested in customers’ feedback.
  • It groups scores between 0 and 6 into the “detractors” category, but that’s a wide range, and the difference between a 0 and a 6 or even a 2 and 5 is almost always worth exploring.
  • Sometimes, the Net Promoter question isn’t the right one to ask. Specialty manufacturers or B2B companies might not fit the NPS question well. Also, medical providers or any company that customers are not likely to recommend may not benefit from the Net Promoter question.
  • Not every aspect of the customer experience matters the same. But the Net Promoter Score doesn’t have a weighting factor.
An expert Net Promoter Score company should know when the NPS question is the right fit and when it’s not. Not every customer listening program should be a survey, and not every survey should be a NPS question!

Net Promoter Scores vs. Net Promoter Strategies

Lastly, look for a Net Promoter Score company that delivers a Net Promoter strategy, not just a survey.

A complete Net Promoter strategy:

  • Analyzes touchpoints to determine which ones will deliver solid Net Promoter data
  • Adjusts the Net Promoter question to make it relevant to your customers
  • Segments your Net Promoter Score by persona, touchpoint, and scenario
  • Includes correlation analysis to help you understand what’s driving your Net Promoter Score
  • Analyzes the verbatim answers to your open-ended NPS question
  • And gives you a way to follow up with your advocates and your detractors professionally

If you buy a subscription to Photoshop, does that make you a graphic designer? No! Likewise, just because someone asks the Net Promoter question doesn’t make them an NPS expert.

If you want the Net Promoter framework to work for you, it’s critical to hire a Net Promoter Score company that understands Net Promoter within the context of your company and the entire customer experience discipline.

Want to learn how to deepen your Net Promoter Score approach? Get in touch.

 

Categories: Customer Satisfaction Surveys
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Written by the analysts at Interaction Metrics, we highlight the latest developments in the fast-changing world of CX.