NPS. An acronym that needs no explanation within customer-centric organizations. Originally introduced in 2003, it measures a customer’s loyalty to a company’s products on a -100 to +100 scale. Elegant in its simplicity, it is easy to track, provides a clear reference point within companies and acts as a quick benchmark against the competition.
Translating a general NPS score to discrete action, however, remains a challenge for organizations of all sizes. We recently had a customer employee, Jeremy, struggling with providing specific answers to the same question he was getting from stakeholder groups reacting to an inferior NPS score: “So what are we going to do about it?” Or, even trickier: “Why exactly is that our score?”
While it may seem obvious that the answers to these questions lie in the text of open-ended survey questions, many companies lack a systematic and disciplined approach to review and structure this feedback. Jeremy’s company, an online retailer, conducted an intensive analysis of this unstructured text over an extended time period and achieved the following understanding:
- Distinct drivers of the score – By analyzing the individual comments, within a few quarters the company realized that “Deals Available” and “Speed of Delivery“ were disproportionately influencing their Promoters.
- Department-level performance– A granular view allowed the company to use the score as a component in incentive compensation plans (note: this has to be done thoughtfully and only after data has been synthesized over periods of time).
- Priority list of corrective actions – While cursory and superficial readings may identify the top 1 or 2 drivers, the real value lies in identifying factors that can be easily addressed AND move the needle. The company realized that “limiting changes to their website,” though low on the list, was a simple fix that satisfied a meaningful chunk of high spenders.
- Customer thoughts on product development – A customer who feels heard is more likely to be loyal than one who is not. And, if that customer suggestion makes its way onto a product roadmap, even better.
- Plan for ongoing research – Not only can high-value feedback be used to co-create and design, but the individuals behind the feedback identified for further discussion. Nothing is more valuable than an engaged super-advocate.