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What value does the NPS Score have in 2022: 7 Expert Opinions

May 27, 2022

11 mins read

Manisha khandelwal

Most companies crave for higher NPS score as it is considered to be one of the most-looked after business metrics out there. Executives push harder and harder to boost this one number and the team focuses on increasing it.

But is it the ONE NUMBER that you need to grow?

Is it sufficient in itself?

Does the NPS  score actually provide value?

There are many similar questions discussed and debated over the years since NPS was founded. 

In one of the #CXQOTD, Jeremy Watkin, Director of Customer Experience and Support at Numberbarn, asked the same – ‘Does NPS have any value?’ and many CX practitioners shared their two cents on it. 

Does NPS score have any value: Analyzing Expert Opinions

So, to bring everything together on one table, we created this article that collates all their expert insights into 7 points, talking about the value that net promoter score brings to the table if any.

1. The real value of the NPS score isn’t in the loyalty question

Here is a scenario: You just asked an NPS question to a sample audience of 200 and you got a score of 20. What do you understand from this? – That people do not like your brand.

But why? Why this number and what did they not like? Or what are they expecting?

The NPS loyalty question, “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend <brand> to your friends or acquaintances?,” doesn’t offer much if it is not followed by a follow-up question that asks the WHY behind the score. 

So, if you want to gather more insights from your customer, then you must ask the follow-up question.

→ “Could you please share the reason behind your score?”

That’s where the real value of NPS lies, in the follow-up question that you ask afterward. 

Shane Goldberg, General Manager of Experience at Healthscope also asserts that the value of the NPS score is there as long as it is used in the right way. He says, “To me, I think there is always a value to NPS if it is used the right way. The first value is that it actually gives you a focus for executives and the company as a whole on customer experience. Many companies before NPS didn’t think about customers or anything like that. So even just asking the NPS question gives them focus and makes them think about customers and what they can do to improve customer experience. And I don’t think we can underestimate that value because even just thinking about the customer goes a long way in making the company customer-centric. The second big value is actually the follow-up question, which is the why asking why customers have given that score. And when you ask that question and you actually do something with that data will give insights into what you need to do to improve NPS. So asking the question and asking them why is the most important thing.”

By doing this, you will be able to identify why any customer has given you the scores they have given you. And you’ll know what needs to be improved or is expected of you. 

2. Remember, NPS is a relationship metric and not transactional  

Suppose you ordered a microwave from Amazon. After an hour of delivery, they sent you an NPS survey asking you to recommend the microwave to other people.

You haven’t even used it yet, and they are asking you to recommend it! You’ll be annoyed right?

Instead of asking about your experience, they are asking you for recommendations. 

Wrong survey! Wrong timings!

That’s why NPS is not lucrative if you send it at the wrong time. 

NPS is NOT a transactional metric. It is a relationship metric. It shouldn’t be asked after every transaction, instead build a relationship with your customer first. And survey your customer quarterly or annually.

3. Are you sending it to the right people on the right platform?

A 13-year-old might find an Apple smartwatch easy to use and recommend it to others. However, her grandparents may find it difficult to use and may not recommend it to others.

That’s where the sample audience differs. Respondents of different age groups, cultures, and regions tend to have different opinions and they mark you accordingly. 

One product – Multiple different experiences

That’s why it is imperative to identify the right persona for your audience and survey them differently to gather quality feedback.

And not just the respondents, where you survey them also matters. 

Why?

Respondents are more likely to respond on social media than through emails. Similarly, the response rates vary with each channel, be it emails, chats, in-app, or WhatsApp. So choose your platform wisely while sending NPS surveys.

4. Is your NPS data eating dirt?

The worse thing than not listening to your customers is listening to them and THAN NOT taking any action on their feedback.

That’s why there is no point in launching any kind of survey if you are not going to act on your customers’ feedback. So, if and when you launch an NPS survey, make sure you analyze the feedback and take the required actions on it. 

Moreover, when you actually listen to your customers, you will be able to identify the areas of improvement, and their expectations from you. These insights will help you improve your product or service and enhance their experience.

Nicholas Zeisler, CX Expert, and Principal at Zeisler Consulting also believe in taking action on customer feedback. He says, “You have zero value in NPS because it needs something more than just that and there are two reasons why. First, I’m going to steal from my good friend Nate Brown who says that your entire VOC program is not the end of your journey, it is just the beginning of your journey. So, if you are not going to do something with your VOC whether it be NPS, CES, CSAT, or anything else, it’s useless, because it is just a number. The second part is how you turn it into something. Your NPS or whatever your topline number is as I like to call it ToFu of your VOC program. It adds no flavor whatsoever, it just tells you where you are. So, what you need is the underline answer to why did I get an 8 instead of 9, why did I get 5 instead of 6, etc. And that will inform what you need to improve to improve that end-topline score of NPS. So, unless your entire VOC program is used simply to tell you where you are rather than to improve what you are doing. So, your customers not only score you higher but score you higher because they are having a better experience is not worth anything at all. ”

Also, acting on the customer feedback will not only improve your services or product, but your customers will also give you a higher NPS score, the next time you launch a survey because they’ll understand that you actually listen to them.

5. Everyone needs attention! Promoters, Passives, & Detractors

NPS is the only metric that differentiates your audience based on their feedback. So, leverage that! 

NPS feedback segregates the responses into detractors, promoters, and passives, and each of them has its meaning and requires undivided attention.

So treat every category individually. Asks promoters to share their feedback over social media and platforms like G2, Gartner, or Capterra. Recognize what features they liked and what challenges are you resolving for them and promote those over websites, social media, emailers, etc.

Passives are much at risk to leave you. So, call them. Understand what they are looking for. What is it that your product or service is not resolving? Or are they unhappy with the experience? Identify the gap and bridge them.

And detractors are the one that needs your most attention. They ARE going to leave you. So manage them sensitively. 

6. NPS program is not to play around with! Stop encouraging it.

Executives have become addicted to the NPS number. They do not focus on the customer experience anymore. Their only focus is to improve this ONE number. 

Why?

Because in every conference, meeting, or discussion they are showing off their NPS score and comparing it with the competitors. And just to get a higher number, the agents are manipulating the feedback by requesting customers to give a higher rating.

But this might work once or twice. When customers understand that there is no action taken on their feedback, they will stop responding and will give a low score. 

Ben Motteram, Principal at CXpert shares that “If all you gonna do is focus on the number then it encourages the gaming behavior which defeats the entire purpose of the question. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a huge fan of the question. I think a lot of people know what different numbers mean and I know the huge difference between a 6 and 7 or 8 and 9. So, it’s almost like the customer is going to game the system but it does get the company’s token customer which I think is a good thing. If I have to choose between having no system and NPS. I’ll choose NPS every single time. I think the real value of NPS comes when you ask the follow-up question about why you gave the said score, then analyze your result and take action. So that’s the critical part. Looking at what customers told you and doing something about it ” 

7. Sometimes it’s not about the teams but the COMPANY

As discussed above, NPS is a relationship metric. When a customer gives you a score, their score reflects their perception of the overall brand experience and not of an individual or team. That’s why don’t make NPS a KPI for a single individual or a team. It is a collective effort to make it a shared metric. 

Jeremy Watkin, Director of Customer Experience and Support at NumberBarn shares, “For me when I think about NPS, there’s a wealth of benchmarking out there. So, I think that does have some value for companies that get in measuring NPS as they want to know if their score is a good one compared to others in the same industry. I wouldn’t be that competitive. I think the bigger value of NPS or any type of survey metric is that it sets your mark of where you are performing now and gives you something to strive for to improve. As long as you’re genuinely working to improve it and not trying to just game the score officially then I think it has real value in helping you actually improve measuring your customer experience. The last thing that I would say is more of a context in the customer service environment is that it added some value in measuring NPS outside of the customer service trends action. The customer service trends action is often a bit of a recorded metric where you will be getting a measure of how an agent performed, and the customers’ perception of the agent. Whereas NPS will get you more into how the customer feels about the company and they can get critical about the other aspects of your business besides the customer service and action. I think that takes out some burden on your agents as well as they can get a good measure of how they’re doing but then you get a separate measurement of how the company is doing.”  

So, does the NPS score have a value: The Takeaways

All in all, the NPS score is more than just a number and it DOES have a value. Only if used correctly.

“NPS success comes from the process, not the metric.” 

So, run the NPS program correctly.

  • Share the survey at the right time.
  • Choose the right audience
  • Send the survey on the right channel
  • Don’t forget the follow-up question.
  • And close the feedback loop.

Remember: NPS is like a thermometer. It tells you where you are currently and if you have a problem. But when you do, you need more tools to look in-depth to find out the underlying cause.

 

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