NPS Benchmarking – Should you or should you not?

NPS Benchmarking

In my experience of working in the customer experience arena, I’ve had a lot of my clients ask me to provide industry benchmarks on the Net Promoter Scores (NPS)®. The top 5 most recommended banks in the USA based on their NPS scores range from 15 to 75. When you look at the top banks the scores range from -41 to 80 (as per NPSBenchmarks.com)

Where and how do you start benchmarking?

Comparing NPS scores inevitably means ignoring tons of variables like – how long have you been in the business, your customer demographics versus competitors, brand awareness etc. No two companies are entirely identical. The most important is how the NPS programme was implemented. It is often observed that the channel used, the touchpoint at which the question was triggered, the way the question is framed, and the order in which the question is asked, can give out different results.

In my experience of working with various clients, I have always observed that the NPS through a phone call is more positive than through any other channel. It is probably because the customer tends to be polite when asked by someone on the phone compared to a channel where the customer rates without much influence.

If your competitor is at 10 and you are at 20 does that mean you are better than your competition? Or does that mean that your customers have more expectations from you? And that you have a scope to move your needle by another 80 points?

But benchmarks are certainly important as that is what will help us set targets and evaluate performance.

So then why don’t we begin with benchmarking ourselves? What matters is where we stand today and how can we move the needle forward. The metric of the scale is not as important as the company’s movement on the scale. You might be far away from the defined ‘benchmark’ but if you are showing progress on the scale month on month. Obviously, that’s not an easy one.

Our focus needs to be on the insights we get out of the conversations we have with our customers and how do we improve on a continuous basis. To improve the scores we need to identify the key drivers responsible for it and do an action planning.

Design questionnaires with clear objectives & outcomes

It is very critical to design a questionnaire with a clear objective and outcome in mind. I have come across companies who would constantly ask about pricing while there is nothing that they can do about the pricing of the product or banks asking about the interest rates while there is nothing the bank can do about it. It is important to identify the process and people gaps which can be fixed quickly with minimum intervention. The most effective way of making NPS a success is by making the scores the KRAs of all the relevant stakeholders where the stakeholders benchmark themselves with their peers and improve on a daily basis by providing the best possible.

Nija NarayananBy Nija Narayanan
Nija is an experienced sales professional with in-depth knowledge of the theoretical and conceptual framework of customer experience in various industries. She currently works with key enterprise accounts in Mumbai and several international clients with LitmusWorld to help them solution and build an effective customer experience program.