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Guarding Against the Cons of Net Promoter Scoring

01 Feb 2019 | By Joan Robinson

In my last blog on the competitive value of NPS scoring, I discussed the ways in which regular and actionable NPS surveys can benefit an organisation. Net Promoter Score is a customer loyalty metric that measures how likely a customer is to recommend a product or service to a friend but as with every metric there are potential pitfalls to be aware of. Understanding these pitfalls is vital to making the most of the information from your NPS, using it to drive better customer experience and improved customer loyalty. In this blog I explore the main pitfalls to be guarded against in relation to Net Promoter Scoring.Guarding Against the Cons of Net Promoter Scoring

A single NPS is only a snapshot in time of your customer satisfaction. Customer experience improvement should be a continuous initiative at every company. Regular NPS and customer satisfaction surveying should be used to monitor customer loyalty and to understand the issues behind customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Upon remedying any negative issues, NPS should be carried out to ensure that remedies have had the desired effect on both the customer and the NPS score.

Net Promoter Score does not provide customer reasoning behind a score. While an NPS gives a customer loyalty score, it does not detail the reasons behind the score. This leaves the score itself wide open to misinterpretation and can also cause frustration to the customer if they cannot share their reasoning for the score with the company. Therefore, when using an NPS it is advisable that it is used in conjunction with targeted and specific customer surveying and ideally via a solution that allows for drilling down into the reasons behind a customers’ NPS score. It should also afford the customer the ability to explain in detail the issues that the customer needs the company to address order for the customer to increase their NPS score of the company.

Net Promoter Score does not provide a remedy to any customer dissatisfaction issues. Utilising NPS in conjunction with deep dive customer satisfaction surveying will provide the customer loyalty score and the customer reasoning behind it but for issues causing customer dissatisfaction it will not provide a remedy or what needs to happen to move detractors and passives to promoter level. Therefore, when a customer issue arises, follow up actions pre-determined by the company, should be triggered within the customer satisfaction solution, and/or the CRM that it is linked with. The follow-up actions should be auto-assigned to a specific department or individual within the company. The completion and outcome of the follow-up actions should be time limited and visible to all customer facing employees and business managers. It is very important to have auto-assignment workflow automation in place, as otherwise, if depending on manual assigning, its likely that not all cases will be tackled promptly.

Net Promoter Score does not detail what drives customers’ views on recommendation.  While the aim when using NPS is to move detractors and passives up the scoring scale and convert them to promoters, a lack of insight or knowledge on the reasons for your customers NPS score and what drives their views on recommendation, how can you even begin to address the issues causing your customers to give you a less than perfect score? The addition of deeper dive surveying with targeted questioning will detail what it is that you need to do to ensure your customers recommendation of you to others.

However, Don’t Have Long Surveys – a classic mistake made by companies is, in trying to get all of the detail behind the NPS score, and the customer’s experience, they fall into the trap of having too many questions on the survey which A) makes the customer unhappy and B) reduces the completion rate of these surveys. A rule of thumb is to try not to exceed 7 questions in the survey. Typically, there is a 30 to 40% fall off rate from that point, where customers terminate the survey or don’t answer the remaining questions.  

Cultural differences are often cited as a disadvantage by companies using NPS in a global market. This is because in some countries, the cultural tendency to provide higher or lower scores based on satisfaction levels can vary wildly.  In country A they may score a 9 for satisfaction, whereas in other countries they may score a 6 for the same level of satisfaction!! Therefore, it is prudent to be aware of these cultural tendencies and to include tailored secondary questioning that factors in these cultural tendencies to allow for a truer NPS score.

In summation, Net Promoter Scoring will not solve your customer knowledge issues or guarantee happy customers. NPS is an important metric but it is essential to collect more precise information about your customers and their experience of your company in order to understand their needs and secured their loyalty. To get the full potential of NPS it should be used alongside qualified, customised and timely surveys and as part of a full customer satisfaction strategy.


Topics: B2B Telemarketing, Telemarketing Blog, Inbound Telemarketing, Telemarketing Results, Maven TM News, Client Loyalty, Customer Retention

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