What is the power of the Net Promoter Score?

2 October 2015

“Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends”

On 10 September 2015 Cmotions visited the Knowledge Session “The NPS thinking of Nationale-Nederlanden, on inspiring and creating” from the PvKO. A report by Cmotions consultant Milou Keijzers.

Now everyone is doing something with customer experience.” This was the first line of the NPS knowledge session that I attended with some colleagues last week. Walt Disney invented the ‘customer experience’ in 1955, as he believed that not only the attractions of Walt Disney had to be worthwhile for the public, but a trip to the park had to be a magical experience too. The atmosphere in the park and the decoration had to be central and everything was done to implement the overall picture. The results were astounding: Walt Disney sees the results of this approach in the return rate; nearly 70% of the visitors to Disneyland come back again. The world has not stood still since 1950. In particular the supply of information has changed, the amount of information has increased and we now have many opportunities to transmit and receive this information. This also has implications for the experience and expectations of customers: the belief in advertising has declined; people rely on their own network. Moreover, they want to be actively encouraged by companies to buy and make decisions. In other words: Walt Disney was on the right path a few decades ago and his ideology has only become more important.

For many companies, this results today in keeping a Net Promoter Score (abbreviated: NPS). It is a simple way to measure customer loyalty. The idea behind the NPS score is that customers do not want to fill in long questionnaires. The NPS score is built around one specific question on recommendations to others within your own network. This results in one key figure to measure the entire organisation.

But then… you set up your organisation, provide a reliable data foundation and get the first NPS scores back from your customers. You get one key figure and you know where you stand with your organisation. But how do you act upon it? As with any method, there are supporters and opponents of the NPS score and there are different views on the interpretation. This sometimes makes it difficult to determine the proper interpretation of NPS and the right actions in response to NPS scores. Many companies therefore mainly aim at increasing the NPS score: at that moment your customer satisfaction will indeed improve. The message of this knowledge session was different: forget the scores and look at involvement, put the focus on human behaviour. Of course, clear and compelling surveys are important and a thank-you page at the end of the survey helps to increase your NPS score. But in order to give NPS a chance to succeed, you as a company must ensure that the idea behind NPS is embraced in your organisation. In the end, after all, it is not about numbers, but about people. Take the opportunity to get to know your customers, identify what they care about and where they want to go. When you have a picture of your customer base and their drivers, make contact with them.

In other words: love your customers and they will love you back. And this you will probably see in your NPS score.

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