Obama and Romney Promoters By Income and Employment

In my previous two posts, I examined the Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for President Obama and Mitt Romney and the issues that their Promoters care about.

In this post, I examine the percentage of U.S. consumers that are Promoters (likely to recommend the candidate to their friends or relatives) of the candidates based on their annual income levels and their current employment status. As you can see in the infographic below:

  • Obama has the largest advantage with consumers making less than $25,000 per year and the smallest lead with consumers making between $75,000 and $100,000 per year
  • Romney’s support increases with income level
  • Both of the candidates have their strongest support from high-income consumers
  • Obama has the largest advantage with students and the smallest lead with unemployed consumers

The bottom line: Obama’s strongest base are low income consumers and students

Issues That Separate Obama and Romney Promoters

In my previous post, I examined the Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for President Obama and Mitt Romney. The research, which is based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. consumers in August, showed that Obama scored higher than Romney. Both candidates, however, have very low NPS (-57% for Romney and -33% for Obama).

In this post, I’m examining the issues that U.S. citizens care about, honing in on the differences between Obama and Romney promoters (consumers that are likely to recommend the candidate to their friends or relatives). We asked consumers about 11 different issues. As you can see in the infographic below:

  • The most important issue for both Obama and Romney promoters is improving the U.S. economy and the bottom issue is the candidates’ religious views.
  • Romney promoters view eight of the 11 issues as being more important than do Obama promoters; the only exceptions are the candidate’s positions on healthcare, gay marriage and abortion rights.
  • The three issues that Romney promoters are more likely to see as important than Obama promoters are their position on U.S. relations with Israel (+26), their position on international terrorism (+16), and their religious views (+9).
  • More consumers prefer Obama’s position across all of the issues, which is not surprising considering that Obama has a larger number of promoters.
  • Consumers show the largest preference for Obama’s vision for the future of the U.S. and his position on healthcare (42%).
  • Consumers show the largest preference for Romney for his plans to improve the U.S. economy (33%) and his position on healthcare (32%).
  • U.S. consumers have the least preference when it comes to the candidates’ religious views.
  • Obama supporters show more preference for Obama’s views than Romney’s promoters do for his views in 10 of the 11 issues; the only exception is their position on U.S. relations with Israel.
  • Obama promoters show the largest preference gap when it comes to the candidates’ positions on abortion rights (+12) and gay rights (+10).

The bottom line: Consumers really care about the economy and a vision for the future

Net Promoter Score and Market Share For 60 Tech Vendors

Temkin Group recently surveyed 800 IT professionals from large companies and asked them a series of questions about tech vendors. This research has fueled some of our previous posts: Temkin Experience Ratings for Tech Vendors, How IT Professionals Share Feedback About Vendors, and Tech Vendors: Benchmarking Product and Relationship Satisfaction of IT Clients.

We also asked the IT professionals to rate each tech vendor on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) scale.* NPS is based on one question: How likely are you to recommend the tech vendor to a friend or colleague? IT professionals choose an answer on a scale from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). Responses are put into one of three categories:

  • Promoters (score 9 or 10)
  • Passives (score 7 or 8)
  • Detractors (score 0 to 6)

NPS is calculated as the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors. (If you’re interested in best practices for using NPS, read my post 9 Recommendations for NPS which is also part of our VoC resource page).

Here is the NPS for 60 tech vendors, ranging from Intel, Microsoft and Cisco in the 50s down to Compuware, Unisys, Cognizant, and Capgemini below 10.

We also asked the IT professionals how much their company was planning to spend in 2012 compared with 2011 and mapped this data with NPS. It turns out that we found four bands of performance in this market based on NPS scores:

  • More than 40: These companies have much higher purchase momentum and are poised to grab a lot of market share
  • Between 28 and 40: These companies have above average purchase momentum and are poised to gain market share
  • Between 23 and 28: These companies have below average purchase momentum and are poised to lose market share
  • Less than 23: These companies have much lower purchase momentum and are poised to give up a lot of market share

You can purchase the data in an excel spreadsheet for $195. The file includes details on the 60 tech vendors shown in this blog post as well as 28 other tech vendors with sample sizes too small to be included in our published research. The data includes sample sizes for the companies, percentages for promoters, detractors, and NPS score, as well as the percentage of companies with increasing spending plans and those with decreasing spending plans.

*Note: Net Promoter, NPS, and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld

CX Mistake #9: Falling In Love With A Metric

In this series of posts, we examine some of the top mistakes companies make in their customer experience management efforts. This post examines mistake #9: Falling In Love With A Metric. Companies often get enamored with a metric like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and lose sight of what’s really important, making improvements.

Customer experience efforts absolutely need metrics and measurements. While there’s value in collecting that data to measure or track customer experience, the true power comes when it provides insight into where and how to make improvements. But some organizations over-emphasize the metric. Companies going down this path can run into problems when they:

  • Rush into compensation. Tying business results to metrics can be a good thing. But tying too much compensation too early to any metric can also cause a lot of problems. If people have a significant part of their pay tied to a metric they don’t understand or don’t know how to affect, then they will either ignore it, get bitter about it, or find ways to “game” the system. Customer experience doesn’t improve if salespeople are calling out to customers and begging them to give higher ratings on a survey.
  • Can’t answer “why.” Reporting on a metric can highlight strengths and weaknesses of a company’s overall customer experience. So it’s understandable that some executive teams push for widespread use of those metrics without caring about the overall set of information collected from customers. But if the company does not understand “why” customers are either happy or unhappy, then they can’t systematically improve customer experience and positively affect the metric.
  • Overuse a metric. Understanding if a customer is happy overall with an organization is quite different than understanding if her needs were met during a specific service call. But some companies blindly use the same metrics for each of those areas. A metric like NPS, for example, may be appropriate for examining relationship strength, but it’s necessarily good for evaluating interactions.
  • Forget their uniqueness. Every business has a unique set of strengths, weaknesses, goals and ambitions. But when it comes to customer experience metrics, companies often want to use the same measures as everyone else. While this may enable benchmarking comparison to other firms, it does not necessarily measure how the company is progressing towards its unique goals.

Here are some tips for avoiding this mistake:

  • Treat relationships and interactions differently. The questions you ask a customer about how they view your company can (and often should) be quite different than those that you ask about an interaction. Think about different questions and methods for five different types of insights: Relationship tracking, interaction monitoring, continuous listening, project infusion, and periodic immersion.
  • Deploy shadow metrics before making large incentive changes. To help leaders in your company understand the impact of customer experience incentives, put in place the metrics you are thinking about for a couple of periods before actually making them “live.” That way people can see how it will affect them before actually does affect them.
  • Establish performance bands, not absolute targets. Customer feedback metrics can be a bit jittery. Sometimes it can be very hard to explain small movements since there’s always some variance due to sampling limitations. Rather than establishing “a number” as the goal, set targets for high and low scores. Success comes from consistently execceding the low band.
  • Measure relevant attitudes and behaviors. Businesses aren’t in the business of getting random people to recommend them. They hope to get that type of loyalty from successfully executing their mission. Develop measurements that test the attitudes and behaviors of target customer segments, making sure they line up with your specific business and brand strategy.
  • Build a robust voice of the customer (VoC) program. Creating isolated metrics will not drive change in an organization; especially when people don’t understand what drives the metric. Companies need to develop a voice of the customer (VoC) program that continuously shares actionable customer insights across the organization.

The bottom line: Use metrics to improve the experience, not just measure it

Survey Shows Strong Customer Experience Ambitions

Temkin Group recently ran its first research survey looking at the state of customer experience within companies. The response was great, more than 400 people took the survey. Here are some of the high-level results:

  • 13.8% think that their company is the best in their industry in customer experience, while 60.2% want to be the best in their industry within 3 years
  • When it comes to online interactions, only a few respondents think that their company always or almost always delights their customers:
    • 22.8% when customer researches a product
    • 22.4% when customer purchases or applies for a product
    • 25.4% when customers get customer service help
  • Here’s who’s most often running the company’s customer experience efforts:
    • Dedicated customer experience group (28.9%)
    • Marketing (21.9%)
    • Customer service (17.1%)
  • 62.7% have a senior executive in charge of their customer experience efforts
  • 51.4% have a formalized voice of the customer (VoC) program, and 80.7% of those people think that it has had a positive impact on the company
  • 42.9% are using Net Promoter Score (NPS), and 65% of those people think that it has had a positive impact on the company
  • Companies identified these as the top obstacles to improving customer experience:
    • Other competing priorities (61.7%)
    • Lack of a clear customer experience e strategy (48%)
    • Limited funding (42.7%)
    • Conflict across internal organizations (38.5%)

As a courtesy to the respondents, they were sent a detailed report on these findings. We will make that report available more widely within the next couple of weeks and will be discussing more of the data in upcoming posts. In particular, I will be analyzing the responses from 150+ large North American companies.

The bottom line: Customer experience remains a hot topic

It’s Time To Talk About Net Promoter

The annual Net Promoter Conference is this week in New York. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend due to some client projects. But I still want to weigh-in on Net Promoter, since I get a lot of questions on the topic.

Here are answers to some of the basic Net Promoter questions:

  • What is the Net Promoter Score (NPS)? Using a survey question like “How likely are you to recommend <COMPANY> to a friend and colleague?” respondents are categorized as “Promoters,” “Detractors,” or “Passives.” The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.
  • Is NPS a good thing? Yes, if used correctly. No, if used incorrectly.
  • Is NPS really “The Ultimate Question?” No, it’s only one customer input of many that are needed in a Voice of the Customer (VoC)  program.
  • What is the biggest problem in Net Promoter programs? Companies focus on the “metric” instead of the improvement process fueled by the metric.
  • What is the big change in Net Promoter? Companies have focused primarily on eliminating “Detractors” but more companies are looking at creating and empowering “Promoters.”

Here are some posts about Net Promoter (and more broadly around VoC programs) that you may want to read:

The bottom line: It’s time to start creating Promoters.

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