When the NPS was introduced as a scale, the most common method of survey administration was pen-and-paper/ interviews, where researchers could gain comprehensive responses to the open-ended questions. With the Internet and mobile technologies, it has been easier to reach out to customers for increased scale and gain insights from the survey quickly through real-time processing of responses.

However, the trade-off was that the surveys had to lose comprehensiveness. In our experience, a significant portion of customers did not provide an open-ended comment explaining the rating. Even the ones who did provide short generic comments. Hence, we rely on secondary questions such as parameter-wise ratings/reasons for the score to provide more context to the rating.

Not all detractors are equal. There are detractors that have had only one bad interaction with the company, and there are detractors that have had bad experience after bad experience. While for computation of the NPS, these detractors are treated equally, the resolution mechanism of each of these detractors differs greatly.

Hence the NPS has seven different categories for detractors. There are detractors that can be turned to passives, or even promoters, through quick action, and there are detractors who are being affected by systemic issues which would take time to resolve.

Yes. Customers who rate 0, 1, 2 can be termed as super detractors. The reasons for any customer to give a very bad rating can be as below:

  • The singular experience they have had was especially bad and due to a one-off event. Quick action to resolve the issue is still possible.
  • They have had a consistently bad experience throughout their interactions with the company, which indicates a systemic issue with the company itself, where action might take time.

NPS can be used both as an indicator of the overall relationship with the brand (Relationship NPS) or in the context of a transaction (Transactional NPS). The transactional NPS quantifies the impact of that particular transaction on overall experience with the company. It is typically used to internally benchmark processes associated with the transaction. Relationship NPS takes a broader view and tries to quantify the overall experience with a brand.

Care should be taken that only customers who have had a long enough relationship with the brand should be asked the relationship question, as they would have had a substantial number of interactions with the brand and can provide a well-rounded view, and the probability of being influenced by the most recent transaction is less. Episodal NPS focuses on the customer experience at different episodes along the customer journey. An episode is the set of touchpoint interactions to accomplish customer action. For example, a bank account opening episode may involve interactions with the bank branch, call centre, website etc. In that sense, the episode places less focus on the channel/ touchpoint and more on the overall experience delivered.

Top-down or relationship scores focus on your overall positioning as a brand, your strengths and weaknesses. Bottom-up or transactional scores focus on your business processes and continuous improvement.

The link between the two is that changes in bottom-up NPS should lead (over time) to changes in Top-down NPS. This is as improvements in the business (bottom-up) translate longer term to improvements in overall customer perception (top-down).

Typically, digital channels deliver a more consistent customer experience in comparison to retail stores or bank branches, as they involve limited to no human interface, leading to lesser variability in the final experience.

Touchpoints involving a human interface often see higher variability, as employees hardly deliver a consistent customer experience. An employee can highly delight the customer or leave the customer extremely dissatisfied, leading to variability in scores. Call centres typically fare lower than other touchpoints, due to the nature of the interaction itself. No one looks forward to calling a call centre to resolve their issue, and the experience is mired in negativity from the start.

That being said, brands can still ensure a great customer experience at the call centre by focusing on easy resolution of issues rather than delighting the customer.

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