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.

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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.

Resources for Voice of Customer Programs (Including NPS)

Temkin Group has researched VoC programs within hundreds of companies and helps many large organizations apply leading-edge practices and get the most out of their customer insight efforts. Our focus includes many varieties of VoC efforts, including those that use Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) as a key metric.

Here’s a video on building a strong VoC program:

Here’s an infographic with great data on VoC programs:

1411_VoCInfographicTornVoC Program Assessment:

Download our free VoC program assessment tool and you can identify the maturity level of your VoC program and identify strengths and weaknesses of the program across our Six Ds of a closed-loop VoC program.

If you want to compare your results against the VoC programs at 192 large companies, then download the Temkin Group report State of VoC Programs, 2014, which includes detailed benchmarking data from large firms.

VoC Research and Posts:

View all of our VoC content

Temkin Group works with many companies on their NPS programs and has researched 100s of other organizations. Take a look at our services on the Temkin Group website. I’ve assembled some research and blog posts to help you make the most out of these efforts:

NPS Research Reports:

NPS Blog Posts:

View all of our NPS content

Additional content that you may find valuable:

Sign up for our monthly CX Matters Journal

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

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.

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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.

What Drives Net Promoter Scores (NPS) in IT?

A previous post examined Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for tech vendors and the relationship between NPS and market share based on feedback from IT decision makers within large firms. Since I’ve had questions about that post, I decided to examine a common question: What’s driving those NPS scores? It turns out that the answer (no surprise) is customer experience.

We examined a number of metrics and their relationship with NPS in two areas:

  • Correlation (R). This looks at how connected one metric is to another, ranging from -1.0 to 1.0. A correlation above 0.5 is strongly positive and above 0.7 is very strongly positive.
  • Slope. This looks at the change in NPS that relates to a one-point change in the metric. A higher slope means a change in the metric has a higher change in NPS.

Our first analysis examined NPS scores versus the Temkin Experience Ratings for Tech Vendors. It turns out that there was a very strong correlation (R= 0.77) and the slope is 1.13.

We then examined the correlation and slope between NPS and components of the Temkin Experience Ratings as well as with product and relationship satisfaction scores.

Here are some observations from the analysis:

  • Customer experience is critical. Temkin Experience Ratings has the highest impact on NPS, with the highest overall correlation and slope.
  • You have to be easy to do business with. The highest individual correlation (.75) and slope (1.11) is with the accessible element of the Temkin Experience Ratings, which looks at how easy the company is to work with.
  • Relationship trumps product. It turns out that the correlations are about the same for relationship satisfaction and product satisfaction, but the slope is much higher for relationship satisfaction.
  • Cost of ownership stands out. When it comes to the slopes, cost of ownership (.99) stands out amongst the satisfaction items. Support of account team (.86) is also relatively high.

The bottom line: To improve NPS, improve customer experience.

You can purchase this data for $295. The Excel spreadsheet contains NPS, Temkin Experience Ratings, relationship satisfaction, and product satisfaction data for 60 tech vendors in the analysis as well as for 28 others with sample sizes of less than 60 respondents.

9 Recommendations For Net Promoter Score (NPS)

This week is the Net Promoter Conference in London. Since these events often spur a ton of questions about Net Promoter Score (NPS), I put together one of my periodic posts about NPS. If you’re not familiar with NPS, it’s based on asking customers a question like this:

How likely are you to recommend <COMPANY> to a friend or colleague?

Respondents are categorized as “Promoters,” “Detractors,” or “Passives” based on their answers. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters (Passives are ignored).

My take: Let me start looking at NPS with some data points from the report, The State Of Customer Experience Management, 2011:

  • 48% of large companies (more than $500M in revenues) are using NPS
  • 67% of those using NPS report positive results (15% say it’s too early to tell)
  • 84% of large firms with voice of the customer programs (including those that use NPS), report success from those efforts

NPS can be a valuable metric, but only when incorporated within a strong voice of the customer (VoC) program. Here are a handful of overall recommendations about NPS:

  1. Stop dreaming about an “ultimate question.” Having worked with dozens of organizations on their NPS efforts, I can tell you that the NPS question is not nirvana. Even the most successful users of NPS ask customers a series of questions and get feedback through a portfolio of mechanisms.
  2. Look for magic in the “why.” To some degree, it’s useless to know if someone is likely or unlikely to recommend you if you don’t also understand why they feel that way. So you need to make sure customer feedback helps you understand why customers feel the way that they do. Which leads to my next recommendation…
  3. Focus on improvements, not questions. Feedback is cheap, but customer-insightful actions are precious. The goal for any feedback mechanism (like NPS) is to drive improvements in your business. Successful NPS programs have strong closed-loop VoC programs that go from detection of customer perceptions to deployment of improvements (see my post about the 6 Ds of a voice of the customer program).
  4. Don’t lose sight of segments. An overall NPS score across your customers may be a good metric for aligning focus across the company, but it’s not very diagnostic. A good VoC program needs to track this type of data across key customer segments and understand which interactions (“moments of truth”) are driving those scores.
  5. Understand the elements of experience. When it comes to making improvements, you need to understand the three core elements of any experience: Functional, Accessible, and Emotional. A good program needs to provides insights into how customers perceive each of these elements.
  6. De-emphasize the “N” in NPS. NPS improves by eliminating Detractors or by increasing Promoters. but those changes can also offset each other. So the “netting” of the scores removes important clarity. Companies need to look at the rise and fall of Promoters and Detractors independently, since the changes needed to affect these areas are often quite different.
  7. Tap into the power of the language. There’s a lot of data to suggest that other measures such as the ACSI’s satisfaction index are as good as NPS (many people argue that it’s better, but I don’t want to enter that debate). What sets NPS apart is the wonderfully clear language around “Promoters” and “Detractors.” Make sure that the education across the company focuses heavily on those terms.
  8. Build a strong VoC program, with or without NPS. The overall program is more important than the choice of a metric like NPS. So make sure you focus on building a strong VoC program whether or not you use NPS (check out our VoC resource page).
  9. Remember, this is a long-term journey. Companies can make short-term improvements with superficial changes, but long-term success requires institutional capabilities. Start by understanding the 6 laws of customer experience and create a roadmap for building four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness.

The bottom line: Successful NPS implementations require strong VoC programs

5 Most Popular CX Matters Posts Over 5 Years

As part of our upcoming celebration of Temkin Group’s 5th year anniversary, I took a look at the readership levels on the Customer Experience Matters® blog over the previous five years. Here the five most popular posts:

The bottom line: Thank you to everyone who reads and shares content from this blog!

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

Customer Experience Matters is a registered trademark of Temkin Group.

2015 Temkin Group CX Vendor Excellence Award Winners

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Today we announced the results of the 2015 Temkin Group CX Vendor Excellence Awards. Once again we had a great group of nominees, making the scoring difficult for the judges. Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Confirmit
Clarabridge
NICE Systems
Qualtrics
Rant & Rave
ResponseTek
Walker

In its third year, these awards recognize companies that provide products and services that help companies improve the customer experience they deliver. Nominees are rated based on their capabilities, results, and client feedback.

The CxVE Awards were judged by five noted customer experience experts: Mila D’Antonio (Editor-in-Chief at 1to1 Media), Desirree Madison-Biggs (Customer Experience/NPS Programs Director at Airbnb.), Rick Meyreles (VP – Global Voice of Customer, World Service at American Express), Jen Rodstrom (CX Transformist at Temkin Group), and Bruce Temkin (Managing Partner & CX Transformist at Temkin Group).

This year’s crop of candidates was quite competitive. With growing capabilities aimed at improving their clients’ customer experience, thoughtful strategies focused on long-term growth, and exciting road maps that promise innovative enhancements and product launches in the coming months, the vendors that participated in the Temkin Group Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Awards prove that customer experience excellence is at the forefront of technology design.” – Mila D’Antonio

Watch this blog and my Twitter feed for an announcement about the 2016 CX Vendor Excellence Awards in January 2016.

I’ve included the first two section of the nomination forms submitted by the seven winners. Read more of this post

Building a Strong Voice of the Customer Program (Video)

Customer connectedness is one of Temkin Group’s four CX core competencies. A key capability in this area is a strong voice of the customer (VoC) program. This video highlights our model for creating a VoC program, called the 6D’s: Detect, Disseminate, Diagnose, Discuss, Design, and Deploy. Also, check out our VoC/NPS Program Resources.

The bottom line: Great companies learn from, and act upon, the voice of their customers.

2015 Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Awards

Watch this blog and my Twitter feed for an announcement about the 2016 CX Vendor Excellence Awards in January 2016.

CEVendorAward_logoCongratulations to the winners of 2015 Temkin Group CX Vendor Excellence Awards:

Confirmit
Clarabridge
NICE Systems
Qualtrics
Rant & Rave
ResponseTek
Walker

Temkin Group CX Vendor Excellence Awards recognizes any type of vendor (software company, research firm, consultant, etc.) that helps its clients deliver great customer experience.

The awards are based on the following criteria:

  • Capabilities. What products and/or services do you offer that are uniquely able to help companies improve their customer experience?
  • Results. How have you helped companies improve their customer experience and overall business results?
  • References. What do three to five clients say about your work?

2015 Judges: The nominations were evaluated by the following expert panel of judges who understand how a good vendor can help organizations become more customer-centric:

  • Mila D’Antonio is Editor-in-Chief for 1to1 Media where she leads the editorial direction and operations of the award-winning 1to1® Media.com, the 1to1 Weekly Digest, Think Customers: the 1to1® Blog, and online videos and podcasts.
  • Desirree Madison-Biggs is Customer Experience/NPS Programs Director at Airbnb.
  • Rick Meyreles is VP – Global Voice of Customer, World Service at American Express. He is focused on driving customer experience strategy for more than 70 million consumer and business customers around the world.
  • Jen Rodstrom is CX Transformist for Temkin Group. She has over a decade of experience in customer insights and market research.
  • Bruce Temkin is CX Transformist & Managing Partner of Temkin Group. He is widely recognized as a customer experience thought leader and chairman of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org).

Last year’s winners were: Allegiance, Clarabridge, and Verint.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We’ll add to this list as questions come up:

  • How much does it cost to apply? Nothing. We do not charge any fees to submit a nomination and we do not collect anything from finalists and winners. In other words, this process is totally free.
  • Is this award only for software vendors? No. Any consultant, software provider, or service provider of any sort that helps companies improve their customer experience is eligible.
  • Is this award only for vendors who support consumer-based businesses? No. This award is not only for work with business-to-consumer businesses, we also expect many applicants from vendors who support business-to-business clients.
  • Is this a technology award? No, but… If a vendor uses a technology that really helps its clients deliver better customer experience, then it will be factored into the judging. But companies do not need to offer any technology to qualify for an award and we will not be doing any technology assessments.
  • We have a new offering that’s going to be fantastic, can we apply? Maybe. If your new offering augments great work that you’ve already been doing, then it makes sense to apply. If this is a brand new offering and your firm has not yet helped clients improve their customer experience, then it’s not worth applying. Take a look at the nomination form.
  • If we are one of the winners, will we be able to put out a press release? Yes. All of the finalists and award winners will be able to refer to this award in any communications.
  • Will there be more than one winner? Probably. We expect that there will be multiple winners, but we will determine the number based on the nominations.
  • Will you share our nomination forms publicly? We will share the answers to the first two questions from the finalists on the Customer Experience Matters blog.
  • Can we enter if we are not in the U.S.? Yes. This award is open for entrants from around the world. The only requirement is that the nomination form be completed in English.
  • Can we send in more than one nomination for a company? No. You should focus on one strong nomination.
  • Can we wait until we find out about getting to the next round before we send client references? No. Any nomination that is submitted without client references will not be considered.
  • Will you announce the applicants who did not win? We will only announce the applicants that are finalists and winners.
  • Will we be able to get feedback on our nomination from the judges? No. The comments and grades from individual judges will not be made public, so we will not be able to provide any feedback on your application.
  • Is this just for large vendors? No. Any company of any size can apply. But you still need to provide at least three customer references.
  • How much effort is there for our customer references? They will be asked to answer a short survey that they should be able to complete in 5 to 10 minutes.
  • What happens if we can not get the minimum three clients to complete your survey on time? It is your responsibility to prepare your reference clients to fill out our short survey during the award’s time window. Nominees will be penalized if we do not receive at least three completed reference surveys.
  • Will the clients in the Clients References section of the nomination form be contacted for verification purposes only? No, they will be asked a few questions about the vendor and its capabilities.
  • If clients are named in the case studies section, would that give nominees an edge? Anything that the nominees can do to make the value they deliver to clients more tangible will help. There is no explicit element of the scoring for having specific clients names in that section, but it may influence the judges.
  • Will the future direction/roadmap items (i.e. clients in case studies’ names) be shared publicly? No. Nothing below the “Company Information” and “Make the Case” sections of the form will be shared publicly. And we will only share those sections for finalists.
  • Will you sign an NDA form? No. We will not be signing confidentiality agreements, since we would not be in a position to enforce it with our judges. We will only publicly share the elements of the form as described on the form. All of the judges understand the sensitive nature of some information, but we can not guarantee confidentiality.

Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2015

1501_LessonsInCXExcellence_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2015. The report provides insights from 8 finalists in the Temkin Group’s 2014 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which is 98 pages long, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. This report has rich insights about both B2B and B2C customer experience.

Here’s the executive summary:

This year, we chose eight organizations as finalists for Temkin Group’s 2014 Customer Experience Excellence Award. Finalists are Activision Customer Care, Aetna, Crowe Horwath LLP, Dell Inc., EMC Corporation, Texas NICUSA, The Results Companies, and TouchPoint Support Services. This report provides specific examples of how these companies’ CX efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses. We also highlight their best practices across the four customer experience competencies—purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness. At the end of this report, we have included all of the finalists’ detailed nomination forms to help you collect examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.

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Watch Temkin Group webinar about this research.

Here are some highlights from the finalists:

  • Activision Customer Care. Activision demonstrates its commitment to creating great game player experiences in a multitude of ways, such as emphasizing the use of player feedback to identify improvement opportunities. Activision combines this dedication to listening to its players with a willingness to redesign significant interactions. For example, it revamped its “Contact Us” page to include ambassador chat and callback scheduling, which resulted in higher satisfaction and lower effort for customers.
  • Aetna. Despite being in an industry undergoing tremendous change, Aetna is focusing on its 2020 vision to make the company 100% customer-centric. It has implemented many changes to help achieve this goal, including providing service over the phone and investing in text and speech analytics to better identify customer pain points and improve the behaviors and skillsets of its call representatives. The latter effort has already resulted in reduced repeat calls, improved accuracy, and a higher Net Promoter Score (NPS).
  • Crowe Horwath. With a client engagement score towering 33 points above the accounting industry average, Crowe Horwath is seeing the pay-off of its efforts to deliver an exceptional client experience. These efforts include establishing a firm-wide governance model and measurement scorecard, implementing a closed-loop voice of the customer program, incorporating customer journey mapping to uncover moments of truth, and engaging employees through training, client-driven CX recognition programs, and an employee ambassador program.
  • Dell. Dell’s CX efforts start with an emphasis on listening to and engaging with customers and employees. Dell enlists different groups from across the company—including engineering, marketing, sales, support, and digital—to make improvements to the entire customer journey. As a result of this work, Dell has opened 16 solution centers—which gives customers a place to experience solutions—and has provided proactive support over a wide variety of social channels, simplified Dell.com for consumer and business users, and implemented more than 540 customer innovation ideas.
  • EMC Corporation. The Total Customer Experience (TCE) program at EMC works across the enterprise to enhance the company’s customer experience by listening to customer feedback, analyzing data, and taking directed action based on that feedback and data. The program also raises awareness of how every person at the company impacts customer experience. As its CX efforts have matured, the TCE team has evolved to take on more challenging tasks; its projects now include predictive CX analytics, measuring its partner experience quality, and optimizing the experience across many different customer segments and solutions.
  • The Results Companies. To support its work as a business process outsourcing provider, The Results Companies uses its own unique operating model called CX360, which allows for continuous business process refinements that improve the customer experience. Built on three pillars—people, knowledge, empowerment—CX360 has helped the company ensure that its 8,500 employees around the globe remain focused on CX. The operating model has also contributed to Results’ strong growth in new clients and year-over-year revenue.
  • Texas NICUSA/Texas.gov. Texas NICUSA provides support for Texas.gov and implements technology solutions for Texas governmental agencies. It serves over 50,000 monthly site visitors and 300 state and local governments. Its three-tiered multi-channel customer service approach includes a general customer service Help Desk (phone and online), a Service Desk to support governmental agency needs, and a group of Technology Subject Matter Experts who can provide escalated assistance to either citizens or agency employees.
  • TouchPoint Support Services. TouchPoint Support Services streamlines support services within healthcare facilities. The company’s business goals, known as Top of Mind Objectives, guide the work of its 6,800 associates, helping them to find inefficiencies and improve patient satisfaction, associate engagement, safety, unity, and budget compliance. Touchpoint uses many methods for aligning employees with these objectives, including special training for managers and frontline employees, coaching from dedicated customer experience managers (who visit sites regularly), and associate recognition programs.

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If you enjoyed this report, check out Lessons in CX Excellence, 2014 and Lessons in CX Excellence, 2013.

The bottom line: There’s a lot to learn from these CX Excellence Finalists.

20 Most Popular Customer Experience Matters Posts in 2014

As the year comes to an end, it’s always interesting to look at what people have been reading. Here are the 20 posts that were read by the most people in 2014 (in alphabetical order). As I’ve noted in parenthesis, some of these posts were written in previous years.

14 Customer Experience Trends for 2014 (The Year of Empathy)
2014 Temkin Experience Ratings
9 Recommendations For Net Promoter Score (NPS) (2011)
Don’t Confuse Customer Service With Customer Experience (2009)
Five Questions That Drive Customer Journey Thinking
Free eBook: People-Centric Experience Design
Free eBook: The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience (2008)
Infographic: The Six Laws of Customer Experience
LEGO’s Building Block For Good Experiences (2009)
Net Promoter Score and Market Share For 60 Tech Vendors (2012)
Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2013 (2013)
[note: See updated NPS benchmark from 2014]
Report: ROI of Customer Experience, 2014
Report: The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies (2013)
Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014
Seven Steps for Developing Customer Journey Maps (2013)
The Six Laws of Customer Experience (Video)
The Ultimate Customer Experience Infographic, 2014
USAA and Amazon Top 2014 Temkin Customer Service Ratings
What Is The Perfect Customer Experience? (2008)
Why Net Promoter Score May Not Align With Business Results

The bottom line: People read a lot of CX content in 2014.

Report: 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings of Tech Vendors

1412_TemkinExperienceRatingsTechVendors_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings of Tech Vendors that rates the customer experience of 62 large tech vendors based on a survey of 802 IT decision makers from large North American firms. Here is the executive summary of the report:

The 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings for Tech Vendors evaluates the customer experience of 62 large technology vendors. We surveyed 800 IT professionals from large companies on the success, effort, and emotion components of their experiences with these IT providers. VMware and Microsoft (for both its servers and business applications divisions) earned the top ratings, but still only ended up on the high end of our “okay” range. At the other end of the spectrum, Wipro and Cognizant were at the bottom of the list, joined by 19 other vendors that also received “very poor” ratings. Our research also shows that the Temkin Experience Ratings are correlated with elements of loyalty, such as repurchasing, forgiveness, trust, and recommendations.

This product has a report (.pdf) and a dataset (.xls). The dataset has the details of the Temkin Experience Ratings (including all three components) for the 62 tech vendors as well as data on each vendor’s likelihood to repurchase, 2014 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, and 2014 Temkin Trust Ratings.

Download for $695, includes report (.pdf) and data file (.xls)
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The Temkin Experience Ratings for Tech Vendors evaluates three areas of customer experience: success (can customers achieve what they want to do), effort (how easy is it for customers to do what they want to do), and emotion (how do customers feel about their interaction). Here are the overall results:

2014TxRforTechVendors_Results

Other highlights from the research:

  • The average rating dropped slightly from 53% in 2013 to 52% in 2014, with the effort component declining the most.
  • VMware is the only firm that placed in the top five for each of the three components of the ratings, and Wipro is the only firm that place in the bottom five for all three components.
  • Report shows a high correlation (R=.8) between the tech vendors’ Temkin Experience Ratings and the likelihood that IT professionals will purchase more products and services from them.
  • Companies in the upper quartile of the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings for Tech Vendors have a 15-point advantage over those in the bottom quartile in the percentage of clients who are likely to repurchase.
  • Vendors in the upper quartile of the ratings have an average Net Promoter® Score more than 24-points higher than those in the bottom quartile.

This product has a report (.pdf) and a dataset (excel). The dataset has the details of the Temkin Experience Ratings, including all three components, for the 62 tech vendors as well as data on each vendor’s likelihood to repurchase, 2014 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, and 2014 Temkin Trust Ratings. [Download sample of data file (.xls)]

Download for $695, includes report (.pdf) and data file (.xls)
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The bottom line: Tech vendors need to improve their customer experience.

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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(includes report plus dataset in Excel)
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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.

2014 Customer Experience Excellence Award

We will be launching the 2015 CX Excellence Awards in mid-September, so keep an eye on this blog.

Congratulations to the following companies that are winners of the 2014 Temkin Group Customer Experience Excellence (CxE) Award:

Dell, EMC, and Touchpoint Support Services 

In addition to the winners, we congratulate the other finalists: Aetna, Activision, Crowe Horwath, The Results Company, and Texas.gov.

Here are some highlights from their nominations:

  • Activision Customer Care. Activision demonstrates its commitment to creating great game player experiences in a multitude of ways, such as emphasizing the use of player feedback to identify improvement opportunities. Activision combines this dedication to listening to its players with a willingness to redesign significant interactions. For example, it revamped its “Contact Us” page to include ambassador chat and callback scheduling, which resulted in higher satisfaction and lower effort for customers.
  • Aetna. Despite being in an industry undergoing tremendous change, Aetna is focusing on its 2020 vision to make the company 100% customer-centric. It has implemented many changes to help achieve this goal, including providing service over the phone and investing in text and speech analytics to better identify customer pain points and improve the behaviors and skillsets of its call representatives. The latter effort has already resulted in reduced repeat calls, improved accuracy, and a higher Net Promoter Score (NPS).
  • Crowe Horwath. With a client engagement score towering 33 points above the accounting industry average, Crowe Horwath is seeing the pay-off of its efforts to deliver an exceptional client experience. These efforts include establishing a firm-wide governance model and measurement scorecard, implementing a closed-loop voice of the customer program, incorporating customer journey mapping to uncover moments of truth, and engaging employees through training, client-driven CX recognition programs, and an employee ambassador program.
  • Dell. Dell’s CX efforts start with an emphasis on listening to and engaging with customers and employees. Dell enlists different groups from across the company—including engineering, marketing, sales, support, and digital—to make improvements to the entire customer journey. As a result of this work, Dell has opened 16 solution centers—which gives customers a place to experience solutions—and has provided proactive support over a wide variety of social channels, simplified Dell.com for consumer and business users, and implemented more than 540 customer innovation ideas.
  • EMC Corporation. The Total Customer Experience (TCE) program at EMC works across the enterprise to enhance the company’s customer experience by listening to customer feedback, analyzing data, and taking directed action based on that feedback and data. The program also raises awareness of how every person at the company impacts customer experience. As its CX efforts have matured, the TCE team has evolved to take on more challenging tasks; its projects now include predictive CX analytics, measuring its partner experience quality, and optimizing the experience across many different customer segments and solutions.
  • The Results Companies. To support its work as a business process outsourcing provider, The Results Companies uses its own unique operating model called CX360, which allows for continuous business process refinements that improve the customer experience. Built on three pillars—people, knowledge, empowerment—CX360 has helped the company ensure that its 8,500 employees around the globe remain focused on CX. The operating model has also contributed to Results’ strong growth in new clients and year-over-year revenue.
  • Texas NICUSA/Texas.gov. Texas NICUSA provides support for Texas.gov and implements technology solutions for Texas governmental agencies. It serves over 50,000 monthly site visitors and 300 state and local governments. Its three-tiered multi-channel customer service approach includes a general customer service Help Desk (phone and online), a Service Desk to support governmental agency needs, and a group of Technology Subject Matter Experts who can provide escalated assistance to either citizens or agency employees.
  • TouchPoint Support Services. TouchPoint Support Services streamlines support services within healthcare facilities. The company’s business goals, known as Top of Mind Objectives, guide the work of its 6,800 associates, helping them to find inefficiencies and improve patient satisfaction, associate engagement, safety, unity, and budget compliance. Touchpoint uses many methods for aligning employees with these objectives, including special training for managers and frontline employees, coaching from dedicated customer experience managers (who visit sites regularly), and associate recognition programs.

Background on the CxE Awards

Across all industries and sectors, organizations are findings ways to improve customer experience in a sustainable manner. The CxE Awards are meant to highlight those transformational efforts. Since customer experience is a journey, not a program, nominees will not need to have fully completed their journey to be eligible for this award.

Last year’s winners were AIG Asia Pacific, Cisco, EMC, Intuit, and Oracle. You can find best practices from across all 11 finalists and see their nomination forms in the Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence.

The awards are based on the following criteria:

  • Transformation. What improvements have been and are being made in the four customer experience core competencies?
    • Purposeful leadership: Leaders operate consistently with a clear, well-articulated set of values.
    • Compelling brand values: Brand attributes are driving decisions about how you treat customers.
    • Employee engagement: Employees are fully committed to the goals of your organization.
    • Customer connectedness: Customer feedback and insight is integrated throughout your organization.
  • Results. How is the effort creating value for customers and for the company?
  • Sustainability. How well is the company setup for ongoing success?

We assembled an expert panel of judges who really understand what it takes for an organization to become more customer-centric:

  • Ginger Conlon is editor-in-chief of Direct Marketing NewsShe develops and directs its editorial vision and content strategy across all communications platforms. She was cited as one of the “Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter,” by Huffington Post contributor Vala Afshar.
  • Shep Hyken is the Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations.  He is a customer service expert, speaker and author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books including The Cult of the Customer and The Amazement Revolution.
  • Ingrid Lindberg is Customer Experience Officer of Prime Therapeutics. She is a proven change management and customer strategy executive whose previous roles include Customer Experience Officer at CIGNA and Chief Marketing Officer at Ceridian Benefits Services.
  • Aimee Lucas is CX Transformist & Vice President of Temkin Group. She has over 15 years of experience improving service delivery and transforming the customer experience through people development and process improvement initiatives.
  • Bruce Temkin is CX Transformist & Managing Partner of Temkin Group. He is widely recognized as a customer experience thought leader and chairman of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org).
  • Bob Thompson is CEO and Editor-in-Chief of CustomerThink, a global online community of business leaders striving to create profitable customer-centric enterprises. He has over three decades of experience in customer-facing management and consulting roles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to questions that came up:

  • We want to include confidential information, will it be shared? Do not submit any confidential information. If you are selected as a finalist, then we will share your entire nomination form in a published report. We do not share any information about companies that are not selected as finalists.
  • Is there any fee for applying? No. There are no fees of any sort for applying and no hidden fees that will affect the judging of applicants.
  • Can vendors submit applications on behalf of their clients? No. They can help prepare submissions for their clients, but the nominations must come directly from the company being nominated.
  • Can non-profit organizations apply? Absolutely. The CxE Award is meant to recognize any organization that is making significant and sustainable improvements in its customer experience, whether its a for-profit company, non-profit organization, or a government agency.
  • Is this award only for consumer-based businesses? No. The CxE Award is not only for business-to-consumer businesses, we also expect many business-to-business applicants.
  • If we are one of the winners, will we be able to put out a press release? Yes. All of the finalists and award winners will be able to refer to this award in any communications.
  • We don’t have the best customer experience in our industry, is it worth entering? Maybe. We are looking for customer experience efforts that are having a positive effect. So it is worth entering if you are making progress.
  • Will there be more than one winner? Probably. We expect that their will be multiple winners, but we will determine the number based on the nominations.
  • Can we enter if we are not in the U.S.? Yes. This award is open for entrants from around the world. The only requirement is that the nomination form must be completed in English.
  • We are doing some great things in a part of our company, but not everywhere. Is it worth applying? Yes, as long as your efforts aren’t just in one narrow area. Transformation often starts within areas of a company.
  • Can we send in more than one nomination for a company? Maybe. Since this award looks across several aspects of your CX efforts, it probably only makes sense to submit more than one if there are different efforts underway within different operating groups.

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.

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