3 ways Net Promoter Score can help increase customer value

Recent research shows that some 50% of contact centers measure Net Promoter Score (NPS), but only 30% look to it to better manage current performance or drive performance improvement.

I get why: the conventional contact center metrics overwhelmingly provide the north star of efficiency, and the vocabulary of success revolves around AHT, CSAT and FCR. I also get that NPS is seen as a measurement of emotive customer perception not a rational customer service level. It’s one for the board, not for the people that impact CX on a daily basis.

But when you stop and think about it, is the view of NPS as just a bell weather of customer behavior and not the means to drive performance improvement a touch myopic? And if it could impact people’s day-to-day operations couldn’t NPS drive more customer satisfaction and value?

The digitally driven explosion in touchpoints, the move to the cloud, the growth of skills-based agents and the fact that contact centers are sitting at the heart of seamless end-to-end CX, means they are at the heart of driving customer perceptions more than almost any other channel. So the more central NPS is to the day-to-day function, the more net promoter scores can be improved, and, the more customer value will grow.

Assuming you buy this logic and you feel you could be under-utilizing the potency of Net Promoter Score, how can you dial it up?

Here are 3 brief thoughts that may get you thinking.

They are united by one sub-text: NPS shouldn’t be a static measure of customer perception, the more you integrate it into the way you operationalize customer experience, the more effectively it will drive customer value.

1. Align NPS with your customer intelligence

The increasing emphasis being placed on voice of the customer, customer journey mapping, sentiment analysis and customer insight are creating an intelligence base that feeds customer service and experience strategies. Focusing this knowledge into NPS will reap dividends. By looking at service delivery to minimize the threat (detractors), positively impact the uncommitted (passives) and mobilize fans (promoters) you could improve customer satisfaction and loyalty – not to mention your underlying NPS scores. It will also help NPS to become a more potent metric in assessing change and driving performance improvement.

2. Use NPS as a light not a stick

In many instances NPS has become that ultimate measurement of performance: a snapshot of customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The result is that it often lacks a day-to-day relevance. But if more contact centers recognized how they could positively impact Net Promoter Scores every day, the business impact could be huge. From the interpersonal skills that are nurtured in agents, to the way a potential detractor, passive or promoter is recognized during service delivery, to the depth of employee engagement, to feedback mechanisms and the way customers are followed up post feedback. The bottom line is that the more dynamic NPS becomes, the more dynamically it can help improve your bottom line.

3. Streamline service and silos through the NPS lens 

Are we really in the era of the demanding customer? The customer’s definition of great experience is that things are solved first time or quickly, help is easy to get and there’s little or no holding time. Yet often contact center silos and processes make this impossible: we have to deal with many people or departments, whilst reducing average handling time targets can mean advisors don’t have sufficient time to properly resolve queries first time. How can NPS help here? Not in terms of service delivery but because it is the means to quantifiably increase customer loyalty and value. Put simply NPS can be used to create a powerful business case and a success metric for a fundamental change in structure or process, be it streamlining operating processes, or, moving from time-based metrics like average handle time to a quality-based metric like first contact resolution.

Two last thoughts as you consider the value of NPS.

The first is customer effort. Your customers expect each interaction to have the minimum effort on their behalf and the maximum on yours, they want perfect machine-led interaction and strong emotional connection in equal measure, they want great self-service but not to be treated like a number. And they are voting with their feet: almost 89% of customers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. To my mind there is no doubt customer effort and customer advocacy metrics will go hand in hand.

The second is customer satisfaction. That universal metric that’s so critical to over 75% of contact centers. In the final analysis few metrics are more relevant than NPS in uncovering a customer’s satisfaction and loyalty, and highlighting the quality of service.

Is your business using NPS to drive performance improvement?

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