Hiding behind NPS because “It sounds about right”…

After two days at [another] customer experience conference I’m getting increasingly disillusioned and disappointed in the telcoms industry that I love.

At least 50% of presentations from mobile operators and vendors focused almost exclusively on Net Promoter Score (NPS). This 10 year old measurement technique has become a crutch for the industry; if your NPS is better than your competitors then your customer experience must be great and you’ll have loyal customers. Right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Now, I agree that NPS is a useful satisfaction and advocacy metric. But it’s just one tool that needs wider context and needs to be complimented by wider measurements.

I lost count of the number of slides that I read that stated “100% of NPS detractors will churn”.

I’m sorry but that’s just not correct.

Advocacy and satisfaction is not that black and white. Not all NPS Detractors and Low Satisfaction customers churn, in the same way that not all High Satisfaction and NPS Promoters stay.

Research I’ve been directly involved with show clearly that:

* 18% of High Satisfaction & NPS Promoters are at risk of switching

*  34% of Low Satisfaction & NPS Detractors will stay

The problem is that most companies measuring NPS aren’t able to / don’t correlate NPS scores with repurchase intent. They can’t identify that 18% of NPS Promoters that are at risk of switching so they simply assume their loyalty.

In the same way, statements such as 100% of Detractors will churn “sound right”. They are the sort of statements that get senior management heads nodding.

NPS is the telecoms industry is one of the worst of all sectors (comparable to banking). Yet, I keep hearing operators telling an audience not to worry about that, all you should worry about is the comparative score against your competitors.


Think about what that’s saying.

“We know we’re bad…but as long as we’re all bad, then that’s ok.”

It’s not good enough anymore. We need more innovation in measurement and segmentation tools.


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