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Net Promoter Score (NPS) is still a useful tool, but by itself, it’s no better than a beauty contest.

The overuse of NPS – where every transaction with a company is followed by a web or robocall, is a waste of time and money. Response rates dip into the low single digits. Respondents are more likely to rate an interaction if they had a poor experience. The ability to completely ‘wow’ a consumer or customer in today’s jaded world of customer experience – PLUS have them take the time to respond to a web or voice-survey – is nearly impossible.

When B2B companies follow the same route as the over-surveyed B2C NPS route, they’re destined to have the same results. Mediocre at best, but poor results are far more likely.

Performance including Engagement, Rank, and NPS have a high degree of correlation. The important difference, NPS is only one leg of a three-legged stool. Each one, by itself, does little – but combined they become a powerful measurement – and predictor – of human behavior.

So how do you make NPS more valuable? The most effective use of NPS is as one component of a larger relationship measurement assessment. NPS ratings – yes – but add ratings for a variety of performance criteria that matter most. Also, consider the value of rank – what is the company’s rank for preference compared to other competitors the customer works with? How well does the company engage – proactively, consistently, with meaningful meeting content? Performance including Engagement, Rank, and NPS have a high degree of correlation. The important difference, NPS is only one leg of a three-legged stool. Each one, by itself, does little – but combined they become a powerful measurement – and predictor – of human behavior.

Expecting that NPS alone can predict churn is wrong.

Companies often face a tremendous problem with churn. Expecting that NPS alone can predict churn is wrong. Consider the alternative approach: one-on-one in-depth interviews where NPS is just one component – with the follow-on question: why did you give them that particular rating? It is important to also gain ratings and rank for performance and preference.

To truly measure customer satisfaction, invest the time in interviewing your most valuable customers. The power of the in-depth interviewing process is a deep level of customer understanding. And, customers appreciate being interviewed, not surveyed. The fact that a company will take the time and energy to ask their opinions speaks volumes about their importance.

NPS is only valuable if there’s a depth of content and context about the overall relationship – the full customer experience. Churn? Not so likely when you’re making your customers’ job so easy that they would not think of doing business anywhere else.

The author, Kay Cruse, is Vice President of Customer Experience at Strategex.

Contact Kay