Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2014

1410_NPSBenchmarkStudy_COVERWe published a Temkin Group report, Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2014. This is the third year of this study that includes Net Promoter® Scores (NPS®) on 283 companies across 20 industries based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Here’s the executive summary:

We measured the Net Promoter Score of 283 companies across 20 industries. USAA and JetBlue took the top two spots, each with an NPS of more than 60. USAA’s banking, credit card, and insurance businesses outpaced their industries’ averages by more than any other company. At the bottom of the list, HSBC and Citibank received the two lowest scores, and Super 8 and Motel 6 fell the farthest below their industry averages. On an industry level, auto dealers earned the highest average NPS, while TV service providers earned the lowest. Eleven of the 19 industries increased their average NPS from last year, with car rentals and credit cards enjoying the biggest score boosts. Out of all the companies, US Airways and Highmark BCBS improved the most, while Quality Inn and Baskin-Robbins declined the most. For most industries, the average NPS is highest with older consumers and is lowest with younger consumers. Investment firms have the largest generation gap.

Here’s a list of companies included in this study (.pdf).

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Here are the NPS scores across 20 industries:

1410_industryNPS

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If you want to know what data is included in this report and dataset, download this sample Excel dataset file.Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 4.05.17 PM

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Customer Effort, Net Promoter, And Thoughts About CX Metrics

There’s been a recent uptick in people asking me about Customer Effort Score (CES), so I thought I’d share my thoughts in this post.

As I’ve written in the past, no metric is the ultimate question (not even Net Promoter Score). So CES isn’t a panacea. Even the Temkin Experience Ratings isn’t the answer to your customer experience (CX) prayers.

The choice of a metric isn’t the cornerstone to great CX. Instead, how companies use this type of information is what separates CX leaders from their underperforming peers. In our report, the State of CX Metrics, we identify four characteristics that make CX metrics efforts successful:  Consistent, Impactful, Integrated, and Continuous. When we used these elements to evaluate 200 large companies, only 12% had strong CX metrics programs.

Should we use CES and how does it relate to NPS? I hear this type of question all the time. Let me start my answer by examining the four types of things that CX metrics measure: interactions, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors.

1408_CXMetrics

CES is a perception measure while NPS is an attitudinal measure. In general, perception measurements are better for evaluating individual interactions. So CES might be better suited for a transactional survey while NPS may be better suited for a relationship survey. You can read a lot that I’ve written about NPS on our NPS resource page.

Now, on to CES. I like the concept, but not the execution. As part of our Temkin Experience Ratings, we examine all three aspects of experience—functional, accessible, and emotional. The accessible element examines how easy a company is to work with. I highly encourage companies to dedicate significant resources to becoming easier to work with and removing obstacles that make customers struggle.

But CES uses an oddly worded question: How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request? (Note: In newer versions of the methodology, they have improved the language and scaling of the question). This version of the question goes against a couple of my criteria for good survey design:

  • It doesn’t sound human. Can you imagine a real person asking that question? One key to good survey design is that questions should sound natural.
  • It can be interpreted in multiple ways. If a customer tries to do something online, but can’t, did they put forth a lot of effort? How much effort does it take to move a mouse and push some keys?!? Another key to good survey design is to have questions that can only be interpreted in one way.

If you like the notion of CES (measuring how easy or hard something is to do), then I suggest that you ask a more straight forward question? How about: How easy did you find it to <FILL IN THING>? And let customers pick a response on a scale between “very easy” and “very difficult.”

My last thought is not about CES, but more about where the world of metrics is heading. In the future, organizations will collect data from interactions and correlate them with future behaviors (like loyalty), using predictive analytics to bypass all of these intermediary metrics. Don’t throw away all of your metrics today, but consider this direction in your long-term plans.

The bottom line: There is no such thing as a perfect metric.

Report: Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2014

1407_IT_NPSBenchmark_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2014, The research examines Net Promoter Scores and the link to loyalty for 63 tech vendors based on feedback from IT decision makers. We also compared overall results to our 2013 NPS benchmark and our 2012 NPS benchmark. Here’s the executive summary:

We surveyed IT decision-makers from more than 800 large North American firms to learn about their relationships with their tech vendors. We asked them a series of questions regarding their experiences as the clients of different tech vendors, and one of the questions we posed generated Net Promoter Scores® (NPS®) for the companies. Of the 63 companies we looked at, EDS and VMware earned the highest NPS, while Autodesk and Cognizant received the lowest. The overall industry average NPS dropped for the second year in a row. Our analysis also delved into the correlation between NPS and loyalty, revealing that, compared to severe detractors, promoters are much more likely to spend more money with their tech vendors in 2014, try new products and services when they are announced, and forgive the vendor for a mistake. We compared the loyalty levels for each vendor, and we found that SunGard and IBM software have the most customers planning on increasing their purchases in 2014, while Satyam and EDS customers are the most willing to try new offerings, and Satyam has the most forgiving customers. Our research also shows that promoters are more concerned than detractors about getting lower prices.

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This is the third year that Temkin Group has completed the NPS study. Over that time, the average NPS in the tech industry has been dropping. NPS in for tech vendors was 33.6 in 2012 and 24.7 in 2013, falling to 23.1 in 2014.

With an NPS of 48, EDS came out with the top score followed closely by VMware with 45. Six other tech vendors received NPS of 35 or more: EMC, Microsoft servers, Oracle outsourcing, Pitney Bowes, Microsoft business applications, and Cisco.

At the other end of the spectrum, three tech vendors have negative NPS: Autodesk, Cognizant, and Wipro. Six other vendors fell below 10: Capgemini, Intuit, ADP outsourcing, CA, Infosys, and HP outsourcing.

1407_ITNPS_Companies

The report also examines the link between NPS and loyalty. Our analysis shows that promoters are more than six times likely to forgive a tech vendor if they deliver a bad experience, about seven times as likely to try a new offering from the company, and almost three times as likely to purchase more from them in 2014 than they did in 2013.

In addition to benchmarking NPS, the research measures the loyalty that large companies have for their tech vendors. Respondents have the most plans to increase spending with SunGard, IBM software, Alcatel-Lucent, and ACS. They are most likely to try new offerings from Satyam, EDS, and EMC. And if the tech vendors make a mistake, IT decision makers are most likely to forgive Satyam, EDS, Ericsson, and Alcatel-Lucent. NPS characterizes respondents as Promoters when they are very likely to recommend and Detractors when they are very unlikely to recommend.

Report details: The report includes graphics with data for NPS, 2014 purchase intentions, likelihood to forgive, likelihood to try a new offering, and areas of improvement for the 63 tech vendors that had at least 40 pieces of feedback. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 63 companies as well as for 22 other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2013. If you want to know more about the data file, download this excel spreadsheet without the data.

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The bottom line: When it comes to NPS, large tech vendors are heading in the wrong direction

Note: See our 2013 NPS benchmark and 2012 NPS benchmark for tech vendors as well as our page full of NPS resources.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Why Net Promoter Score May Not Align With Business Results

I just received a great question: “Why do companies have a very healthy growth although their NPS is low and vice versa why can growth be decreasing although the NPS is very high?” I get asked versions of this question all the time, so I decided to capture my typical answers in this blog post (check out our Net Promoter Score (NPS) Resource Page).

My take: We’ve found a high correlation between NPS and customer loyalty across a large number of industries. But that does not mean that NPS will provide a clear understanding of a company’s business results. There are many reasons why a company’s business might perform differently than its NPS might suggest. Here are some of the common reasons that I’ve seen:

  • NPS is not the ultimate question. In many situations, the amounts of promoters and detractors are roughly correlated with customer loyalty and business success, but that’s not always the case. It’s not a universally good metric as it’s not correlated to business success in all situations. For example, NPS may not be at all indicative of business success if customers are trapped because of a high switching cost, limited competition or monopolistic power of the company, unique product or service offerings, etc.
  • Comparison NPS trumps absolute NPS. In general, health plans have low NPS scores yet many of them do well financially. Customers may not be likely to recommend their health plan, but if they don’t believe that there are any better options then it will not affect their loyalty.
  • B2B roles are under-appreciated. There are different dynamics in B2B situations. If we ask treasury assistants in large companies to provide an NPS for commercial banks, we might believe that it should represent the health of a bank’s business. But what happens if CFOs, who control the banking decisions, give banks  a completely different NPS?
  • Non-customers are often overlooked. A retailer may have a high NPS, but still lose share if its products and services start appealing to a narrower audience. This type of situation is often missed, because companies tend to get considerably more feedback from existing customers than from prospective non-customers.
  • Segmentation can alter the analysis. When an organization looks at its overall NPS, it might miss important trends in different customer groups. What happens if NPS is getting lower for high value customers and getting higher for low value customers? The overall NPS could stay the same or even improve while the company’s results decline.
  • Survey design affects results. Many companies have a mismatch between the way they deploy NPS surveys and the insights they attempt to glean from the data. Companies ask the NPS questions at different times and frequencies, which can affect the overall results. If we ask NPS after a customer service event, then the results will likely be different then if we ask it periodically to a random sampling of customers.

The bottom line: NPS can be an effective metric in many situations, but only if used correctly

Report: Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2013

1306_IT_NPSBenchmark_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2013, The research examines Net Promoter Scores and the link to loyalty for 54 tech vendors based on feedback from IT decision makers. We also compared results to the NPS data we published last year. Here’s the executive summary:

We surveyed IT decision makers from more than 800 large North American firms to understand how they view their tech vendors. One of the questions we asked provides Net Promoter Scores® (NPS®) for 54 of those companies. VMWare and SAP analytics earned the highest NPS while CSC IT services and Infosys IT services earned the lowest. The overall industry average NPS dropped nine points from last year. Our analysis also examined the link between NPS and loyalty, finding that compared with detractors, promoters are more than six times as likely to forgive a tech vendor if they deliver a bad experience, almost six times as likely to try a new offering from the vendor, and more than three times as likely to purchase more from them this year. When examining the loyalty levels for each vendor, we found that Oracle consulting and VMWare clients have the strongest purchase intentions, SAP analytics and Sybase have earned the most forgiveness, and VMWare and SAP analytics have the most innovation equity.

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Here are some of the findings from the research:

  • With an NPS of 47, VMware came out on top followed closely by SAP analytics with 45. At the other end of the spectrum, four tech vendors have negative NPS: CSC IT services, Infosys IT services, Alcatel-Lucent, and Deloitte consulting.
  • The average NPS in the tech industry went from 33.6 in 2012 to 24.7 in 2013. The percentage of promoters dropped seven points.
  • Compared with detractors, we found that promoters are more than six times likely to forgive a tech vendor if they deliver a bad experience, almost six times as likely to try a new offering from the company, and more than three times as likely to purchase more from them in 2013.
  • Forgiveness and willingness to try increase steadily starting at 3 while increased purchases begins steady growth at 5.
  • Promoters most frequently wanted lower prices and better support, while passives and detractors were looking for better support.
  • Oracle outsourcing has the strongest purchase intentions while Trend Micro has the weakest.
  • SAP analytics and Sybase have earned the most forgiveness while Trend Micro has earned the least.
  • VMware has the most innovation equity while Accenture consulting and Intuit have the least.

1306_ITNPS2

1305_ITNPS_Economics

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The bottom line: When it comes to NPS, large tech vendors are heading in the wrong directions

Note: See our 2012 NPS ratings for tech vendors and the post 9 Recommendations For Net Promoter Score along with all of my other posts about NPS.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Report: The Economics of Net Promoter

EconomicsOfNPS_COVER

We just published a Temkin Group report, The Economics of Net Promoter, which examines the link between NPS and loyalty across 19 industries. Here’s the executive summary:

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a popular metric, but how does it relate to loyalty? We analyzed responses from thousands of consumers and examined the connection between NPS and three areas of loyalty: likelihood to repurchase, likelihood to forgive, and the actual number of times they recommend a company. Compared to detractors, promoters are almost six times as likely to forgive, are more than five times as likely to repurchase, and are more than twice as likely as detractors to actually recommend a company. Examining the data, we also found that consumers who gave a score between 0 and 4 have particularly low levels of loyalty. The analysis examines 19 industries: airlines, appliance makers, auto dealers, banks, car rental agencies, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, retailers, software firms, TV service providers, and wireless carriers. Promoters who are likely to repurchase range from 87% for grocery chains to 73% for TV service providers, those who are likely to forgive range from 72% for rental car agencies to 59% for TV service providers, and those who actually recommended a company range from 80% for retailers to 47% for parcel delivery services.

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Here’s the first figure from the report. It has a total of 43 figures that include specific graphics for each of the 19 industries in the study.

NPSeconomics

Here’s an excerpt from the first section that examines the data across all industries:

To understand how NPS relates to customer loyalty, we examined NPS scores for companies across 19 industries based on feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers. The analysis covers more than 95,000 pieces of feedback from consumers about those companies. Examining three areas of loyalty across industries, looking at promoters versus detractors, we found that:

  • Promoters are almost six times as likely to forgive. We asked consumers about their likelihood to forgive a company if it delivered a bad experience and found that 64% of promoters are likely to forgive compared with 11% of detractors.
  • Promoters are more than five times as likely to repurchase. We asked consumers about their likelihood to make additional purchases from a company and found that 81% of promoters are likely to repurchase compared with 16% of detractors.
  • Promoters are more than twice as likely as detractors to actually recommend. In a separate study of 5,000 U.S. consumers, we asked consumers how many times they actually recommended each company. It turns out that 64% of promoters have recommended the company compared with 24% of detractors.

We also examined the level of loyalty across each response on the NPS scale between 0 and 10. This analysis shows that:

  • Super detractors are much less loyal. Forgiveness and repurchase loyalty stay at a consistent low level between 0 and 4 on the scale. Actual recommendations begin to increase after 5.
  • Midpoint attracts low recommenders. When we examine the actual quantity of recommendations across the NPS scale it turns out that there’s significant drop in recommendations at the midpoint of the scale, when 5 is selected.
  • Text anchors attract responses. We analyzed the volume of responses across the 11 point scale. Consumers appear to select the three responses with text anchors at a disproportionately high rate: “0,” “5,” and “10.”

Download report for $295 (includes Excel dataset)BuyDownload3The Excel file provides all of the data from the 43 figures. Note: See our report, Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2012 and the post 9 Recommendations For Net Promoter Score along with all of my other resources for NPS programs.

The bottom line: Promoters are more loyal than detractors.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Net Promoter Scores Vary By Region

We recently published a benchmark of Net Promoter Scores of 180 companies across 19 industries. Someone asked me if the scores varied across different parts of the U.S. To be honest, I had never thought about that question and had certainly never researched it.

As you may be able to tell, I have a hard time leaving a quesiton unanswered. So I examined the data by region for all 19 industries. As you can see in the chart below:

  • NPS is highest in the South for 16 out of 19 industries.
  • NPS is lowest in the West for 13  out of 19 industries.
  • There’s a double-digit NPS gap in nine industries.
  • The largest NPS gapsare as follows:
    • Major appliances (21 point gap between South and West)
    • Grocery chans (18 point gap between Midwest/South and West)
    • Hotel Chains (17 point gap between South and Northeast)

The bottom line: Want to improve NPS? Survey more from the South and less from the West ;-)

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