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Using Net Promoter Score to assess marketing effectiveness

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 15 Jun, 2011
Essential Essential topic

The use of Net Promoter® (NPS) score as a way to collect customer feedback has been available for years although it's perhaps better known and applied more widely in the US.

We're always interested to find more about new methods to better understand customers, so wanted to alert you to another tool. CustomerGauge, surveys customers continuously and provides the necessary reporting analytics to tie the feedback back to your process improvements.

At the same time, I thought it could be useful to explain some of the principles of NPS since it's not known so well in the UK.

Robert Kerner of Customer Gauge is in a good position to help here. Rob has worked in process improvement for the last 15 years in various business functions: finance, marketing and sales.

I hope you find this summary of NPS useful. Robert says that the key success factor for NPS understanding that real value actually comes when you link the feedback to business process improvement. He says:

"I find the best improvements come from a healthy blend of process, tools and people change management".

Why use Net Promoter Score?

Q. Why use Net Promoter® score as a metric?

We find this “open source” metric extremely easy to implement [one question versus many] and the work that has been done to support the metric has been extensive.

Net Promoter® gives companies an easy way to benchmark themselves against past performance to push for continuous process improvement.

Lastly, the question lends itself to online surveying as it can be completed in under a minute; this gives much higher response rates than traditional customer surveys.

How does Net Promoter Score work?

Q. What kind of information do customers provide to the company?

Companies find that customers usually give feedback in three main areas:
Identifying governance issues: detractors will often call out issues with product, process or services within the organization. This gives the companies not only the information but the actual customer name to deal with to hopefully reduce the anger towards the company.
Highlighting successes: promoters will often highlight areas where the company is succeeding. These comments can be used for feedback to employees, a live stream of customer testimonials and an opportunity to market to valuable customers.
Product improvements: companies are often amazed by the product suggestions that their customers give them. Smart companies are routing these suggestions directly to R&D and product marketing to improve the product roadmap.

Why survey continuously?

Q. Should NPS be a continuous process or Why survey continuously?

Continuous surveying allows companies to make small adjustments to their product, processes and services and test the results in real-time.

It has been proven by many successful companies that outstanding customer service does not result from “Big Bang” programs but from the continuous process improvements that are made throughout the organization.

Companies that practice this Kaizen approach to change management will fare far better in the long run. Continuous surveying of customers provides the data needed to implement this system.

About Kaizen

Kaizen (改善?), is Japanese for "improvement" or "change for the better". It refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, supporting business processes, and management.

What are the best practice for Net Promoter Score?

Q. What are some best practices in this area?

We've found that companies that are leading in this area tend to have some of the following qualities:
• corporate culture dedicated to listening and acting on customer comments
• empowerment of entire organization to delight customers
• real-time focus on results and metrics
• dedicated teams and systems to support this area
• speedy response to detractors to defuse issues
• dedicated marketing efforts to reward promoters

How will NPS evolve?

Q. What is coming in the next five years in this area?

As technology continues to invade all of our lives, the way that data is collected will certainly change. At this point e-mail surveys are the norm and will always play an important part of the survey mix but as people are increasingly connected through their mobile phone SMS surveying as well as smart phone applications will play a bigger role. On the management side, there is a need to tie holistic business change management with the technology that enables it. Lastly, customer focused organizations will continue to pass non-customer focused organizations driving more interest in listening to customers, which is a good thing!

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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