Report: Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2016 (B2B)

1609_technpsbenchmark_coverWe just published a Temkin Group report, Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2016, The research examines Net Promoter Scores and the link to loyalty for 62 tech vendors based on feedback from 800 IT decision makers in large North American organizations. We also compared overall results to our benchmarks from the previous four years. Here’s the executive summary:

For the fifth year in a row, we examined the link between Net Promoter Scores® (NPS®) and loyalty for technology vendors. We surveyed 800 IT decision-makers from large North American firms to learn about their relationships with their technology providers. Of the 62 tech vendors we evaluated, IBM, HPE outsourcing, IBM SPSS, and VMware earned the highest NPS, while Cognizant, Capgemini, and Infosys received the lowest. Overall, the average NPS for the tech vendor industry decreased by almost 2 percentage points from last year. Our analysis shows that promoters are much more likely than detractors to increase their spending with tech vendors, try new products and services when they are announced, and forgive tech vendors after a bad experience. We also found that Software AG and HPE outsourcing are the top companies for purchase momentum, while IBM SPSS, IBM software, and IBM outsourcing have the highest Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient, and HPE outsourcing and IBM SPSS are at the top of the Temkin Forgiveness Ratings.

The report includes graphics with data for NPS, purchase intentions, likelihood to forgive, and likelihood to try a new offering. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 62 companies as well as for other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2015.

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As you can see in the chart below, the NPS ranges from a high of 61 for IBM software down to  a low of -10 for Cognizant IT services.

1609_techvendornpsclear

The industry average NPS decreased to 29.9 this year. The research also includes data for Purchase Momentum (how much customers are planning to buy), Temkin Forgiveness Ratings (likelihood of customers to forgive after a bad experience), and Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient (likelihood of customer to try a new offering). We not only list the results for each company, but we also show that NPS is highly correlated to each of these items (as you can see below for Purchase Momentum).

1609_techvendornpstrendandcorrelatoin

Report details: When you purchase this research, you will receive a written report and an excel spreadsheet with more data. The report includes graphics with data for NPS, purchase momentum, Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, and Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient for the 62 tech vendors that had at least 40 pieces of feedback. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 62 companies as well as for other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2015. If you want to know more about the data file, download this SAMPLE SPREADSHEET without the data (.xls).

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Note: See our 2015 NPS benchmark2014 NPS benchmark2013 NPS benchmark and 2012 NPS benchmark for tech vendors as well as our page full of NPS resources.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

My Latest 9 Recommendations For NPS

We study 100’s of companies that use Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) and work with dozens of others that are in different stages of NPS deployment. We also publish one of the most comprehensive annual NPS benchmark studies. This gives us a unique view on how organizations use this popular customer experience metric.

Every year or so, after being asked a series of similar questions about NPS, I write a blog post with a collection of my thoughts. Before I get to my current thinking (which has remained relatively consistent over the years), here are some previous posts you might be interested in reading:

As you probably know, there are people who love NPS and people who hate it. I am neither. I’ve seen NPS used as an effective metric to drive change, and I’ve seen it used in ways that are harming organizations. I could also say that about almost every metric that I’ve seen being used.

Having established all of that, here are nine of my current recommendations:

  1. The choice of metric is not as important as people think. We rarely see a company succeed or fail based on the specific metric that it choses. That doesn’t mean that you can chose a ridiculous metric, but most reasonable metrics provide the same potential for success (and failure). In general, NPS is a reasonable metric to chose, as our data shows that it often correlates to customer loyalty. As organizations mature, we try to get them to use metrics that are more closely aligned to their brand promises.
  2. Driving improvements is what’s critical. Instead of obsessing about the specific metric being used, companies need to obsess about the system they put in place to make changes based on what they learn from using the metric. Successful NPS programs systematically take action on insights they uncover. If the program is working well, then the company isn’t debating scores. Instead, they’re continuously making changes to create more promoters and eliminate detractors.
  3. Promoters & detractors need their individual attention. The most important thing you can do with NPS is to understanding what is driving NPS. It turns out that the things that create promoters are not just the opposite side of the issues that create detractors. So you need to separately identify changes to create promoters and decrease detractors. All too often, companies focus just on detractors. This helps to fix problems, but it does not identify opportunities to propel your organization. By focusing on what causes promoters, you will get the opportunity to engage the organization in uplifting discussions—instead of just beating the drum about what’s broken.
  4. Sampling patterns really, really matter. The approach for sampling often has a very significant impact on NPS results (and results from other metrics as well). If you have multiple segments of customers and they each have a different NPS profile (as many do), then your overall NPS can change wildly based on the mix of those customers that are included in the NPS calculation. In B2B, this may come from combining results from enterprise accounts with smaller clients, or mixing responses from executive decision makers and end users of your products. In B2C, the variance may come form mixing data between new customers and repeat customers.
  5. NPS is for relationships, not transactions. Asking people if they would recommend a company isn’t a good question to use after an interaction. If a customer is a detractor on an NPS survey deployed right after a call into the contact center, for instance, then it doesn’t necessarily mean that there was a problem with that interaction. The contact center might have done a great job on the call, but the customer may still dislike something else about the company. If the contact center interaction had been problematic, then the customer’s NPS score might be temporarily lowered and not reflective of the customer’s longer-term view of the company.
  6. NPS is for teams, not individuals. Since NPS asks about the likelihood to recommend a company, it actually reflects the actions of more than one person. So if you want to look for someone to hold responsible for NPS results, think about making it a shared metric across a large group, not an individual KPI. Many companies that fall in love with NPS, start applying it to every part of their business, trying to give everyone their own NPS. While it’s worthwhile to look for improvements across the business based on NPS, you run into problems when you try to create to many levels of NPS.
  7. Compensation can be a real problem. When an organization shares a common metric (like NPS) and its people collectively have some compensation tied to it, then it can help align everyone’s focus on customer experience. But if the compensation gets too significant, then people start focusing too much on the number—questioning its validity and strong-arming customers—instead of looking for ways to make improvements. Remember, the majority of your discussions should be about making improvements, not data.
  8. Target ranges make more sense than single numbers. NPS is an inherently jittery metric; there’s only a porous line keeping passives from becoming promoters or detractors. And the situation is magnified by the sampling issues described above. That’s why we see many customer insights group wasting a lot of time running around trying to explain small movements in their companies’ NPS, as executives overreact to small movements. Instead of setting NPS goals as a specific number, consider defining a range (similar to a process control chart). As a start, think about adopting a 3- to 5-point range. That way you only react to results outside of the range or multiple periods of increases or declines.
  9. There are four loops to close. When people talk about closed loop and NPS, they often mean contacting customers after they answer the NPS question. But that immediate response is just one what we call the four customer insight-driven action loops: Immediate response, corrective action, continuous improvement, and strategic change. Any NPS program should put in places processes to close all four loops.

The bottom line: NPS success comes from the process, not the metric.

Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Report: Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2015 (B2B)

1509_IT_NPSBenchmark_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2015, The research examines Net Promoter Scores and the link to loyalty for 62 tech vendors based on feedback from IT decision makers in large North American organizations. We also compared overall results to our benchmarks from the previous three years. Here’s the executive summary:

To examine the link between Net Promoter Scores® (NPS®) and loyalty, we surveyed 800 IT decision-makers from large North American firms to learn about their relationships with their technology providers. Of the 62 tech vendors we evaluated, SAS Institute, HP outsourcing, and Intel earned the highest NPS, while Accenture, CA Technologies, and Hitachi received the lowest. Overall, the tech vendor industry’s average NPS jumped to 31.8 in 2015—an increase of more than eight points—after two straight years of declining scores. Our analysis shows that promoters are much more likely than detractors to spend more money with tech vendors, try new products and services when they are announced, and forgive their tech vendors after a bad experience. Our results also revealed that SAS Institute and Cognizant outsourcing were the top companies for purchase momentum, IBM SPSS and Intel have the highest Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient, and HP outsourcing and Intel scored the highest in the Temkin Forgiveness Ratings.

The report includes graphics with data for NPS, purchase intentions, likelihood to forgive, and likelihood to try a new offering. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 62 companies as well as for 25 other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2014.

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As you can see in the chart below, the NPS ranges from a high of 57 for SAS Institute down to  a low of 1 for Accenture consulting.

1509_TechNPS_Listing

After declining for the past two years, the industry average NPS increased to 31.8 this year, almost reaching the level from our initial study in 2012. The research also includes data for Purchase Momentum (how much customers are planning to buy), Temkin Forgiveness Ratings (likelihood of customers to forgive after a bad experience), and Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient (likelihood of customer to try a new offering). We not only list the results for each company, but we also show that NPS is highly correlated to each of these items (as you can see below for Purchase Momentum).

1509_TechNPS_TrendPurchase

Report details: When you purchase this research, you will receive a written report and an excel spreadsheet with more data. The report includes graphics with data for NPS, purchase momentum, Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, and Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient for the 62 tech vendors that had at least 40 pieces of feedback. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 62 companies as well as for 25 other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2014. If you want to know more about the data file, download this SAMPLE SPREADSHEET without the data (.xls).

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Note: See our 2014 NPS benchmark2013 NPS benchmark and 2012 NPS benchmark for tech vendors as well as our page full of NPS resources.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Report: Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2014

1407_IT_NPSBenchmark_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2014, The research examines Net Promoter Scores and the link to loyalty for 63 tech vendors based on feedback from IT decision makers. We also compared overall results to our 2013 NPS benchmark and our 2012 NPS benchmark. Here’s the executive summary:

We surveyed IT decision-makers from more than 800 large North American firms to learn about their relationships with their tech vendors. We asked them a series of questions regarding their experiences as the clients of different tech vendors, and one of the questions we posed generated Net Promoter Scores® (NPS®) for the companies. Of the 63 companies we looked at, EDS and VMware earned the highest NPS, while Autodesk and Cognizant received the lowest. The overall industry average NPS dropped for the second year in a row. Our analysis also delved into the correlation between NPS and loyalty, revealing that, compared to severe detractors, promoters are much more likely to spend more money with their tech vendors in 2014, try new products and services when they are announced, and forgive the vendor for a mistake. We compared the loyalty levels for each vendor, and we found that SunGard and IBM software have the most customers planning on increasing their purchases in 2014, while Satyam and EDS customers are the most willing to try new offerings, and Satyam has the most forgiving customers. Our research also shows that promoters are more concerned than detractors about getting lower prices.

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This is the third year that Temkin Group has completed the NPS study. Over that time, the average NPS in the tech industry has been dropping. NPS in for tech vendors was 33.6 in 2012 and 24.7 in 2013, falling to 23.1 in 2014.

With an NPS of 48, EDS came out with the top score followed closely by VMware with 45. Six other tech vendors received NPS of 35 or more: EMC, Microsoft servers, Oracle outsourcing, Pitney Bowes, Microsoft business applications, and Cisco.

At the other end of the spectrum, three tech vendors have negative NPS: Autodesk, Cognizant, and Wipro. Six other vendors fell below 10: Capgemini, Intuit, ADP outsourcing, CA, Infosys, and HP outsourcing.

1407_ITNPS_Companies

The report also examines the link between NPS and loyalty. Our analysis shows that promoters are more than six times likely to forgive a tech vendor if they deliver a bad experience, about seven times as likely to try a new offering from the company, and almost three times as likely to purchase more from them in 2014 than they did in 2013.

In addition to benchmarking NPS, the research measures the loyalty that large companies have for their tech vendors. Respondents have the most plans to increase spending with SunGard, IBM software, Alcatel-Lucent, and ACS. They are most likely to try new offerings from Satyam, EDS, and EMC. And if the tech vendors make a mistake, IT decision makers are most likely to forgive Satyam, EDS, Ericsson, and Alcatel-Lucent. NPS characterizes respondents as Promoters when they are very likely to recommend and Detractors when they are very unlikely to recommend.

Report details: The report includes graphics with data for NPS, 2014 purchase intentions, likelihood to forgive, likelihood to try a new offering, and areas of improvement for the 63 tech vendors that had at least 40 pieces of feedback. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 63 companies as well as for 22 other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2013. If you want to know more about the data file, download this excel spreadsheet without the data.

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The bottom line: When it comes to NPS, large tech vendors are heading in the wrong direction

Note: See our 2013 NPS benchmark and 2012 NPS benchmark for tech vendors as well as our page full of NPS resources.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Voice of Customer (and NPS) Program Resources

Temkin Group has researched VoC programs within hundreds of companies and helps many large organizations apply leading-edge practices and get the most out of their customer insight efforts. Our focus includes many varieties of VoC efforts, including those that use Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) as a key metric.

Here’s a video on building a strong VoC program:

Here’s an infographic with great data on VoC programs:

1411_VoCInfographicTornVoC Program Assessment:

Download our free VoC program assessment tool and you can identify the maturity level of your VoC program and identify strengths and weaknesses of the program across our Six Ds of a closed-loop VoC program.

If you want to compare your results against the VoC programs at large companies, then download the Temkin Group report State of VoC Programs, 2015, which includes detailed benchmarking data from large firms.

VoC Research and Posts:

View all of our VoC content

Temkin Group works with many companies on their NPS programs and has researched 100s of other organizations. Take a look at our services on the Temkin Group website. I’ve assembled some research and blog posts to help you make the most out of these efforts:

Net Promoter Score (NPS) Research Reports:

NPS Blog Posts:

View all of our NPS content

Additional content that you may find valuable:

Sign up for our monthly CX Matters Journal

Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Report: Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2013

1306_IT_NPSBenchmark_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2013, The research examines Net Promoter Scores and the link to loyalty for 54 tech vendors based on feedback from IT decision makers. We also compared results to the NPS data we published last year. Here’s the executive summary:

We surveyed IT decision makers from more than 800 large North American firms to understand how they view their tech vendors. One of the questions we asked provides Net Promoter Scores® (NPS®) for 54 of those companies. VMWare and SAP analytics earned the highest NPS while CSC IT services and Infosys IT services earned the lowest. The overall industry average NPS dropped nine points from last year. Our analysis also examined the link between NPS and loyalty, finding that compared with detractors, promoters are more than six times as likely to forgive a tech vendor if they deliver a bad experience, almost six times as likely to try a new offering from the vendor, and more than three times as likely to purchase more from them this year. When examining the loyalty levels for each vendor, we found that Oracle consulting and VMWare clients have the strongest purchase intentions, SAP analytics and Sybase have earned the most forgiveness, and VMWare and SAP analytics have the most innovation equity.

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Here are some of the findings from the research:

  • With an NPS of 47, VMware came out on top followed closely by SAP analytics with 45. At the other end of the spectrum, four tech vendors have negative NPS: CSC IT services, Infosys IT services, Alcatel-Lucent, and Deloitte consulting.
  • The average NPS in the tech industry went from 33.6 in 2012 to 24.7 in 2013. The percentage of promoters dropped seven points.
  • Compared with detractors, we found that promoters are more than six times likely to forgive a tech vendor if they deliver a bad experience, almost six times as likely to try a new offering from the company, and more than three times as likely to purchase more from them in 2013.
  • Forgiveness and willingness to try increase steadily starting at 3 while increased purchases begins steady growth at 5.
  • Promoters most frequently wanted lower prices and better support, while passives and detractors were looking for better support.
  • Oracle outsourcing has the strongest purchase intentions while Trend Micro has the weakest.
  • SAP analytics and Sybase have earned the most forgiveness while Trend Micro has earned the least.
  • VMware has the most innovation equity while Accenture consulting and Intuit have the least.

1306_ITNPS2

1305_ITNPS_Economics

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The bottom line: When it comes to NPS, large tech vendors are heading in the wrong directions

Note: See our 2012 NPS ratings for tech vendors and the post 9 Recommendations For Net Promoter Score along with all of my other posts about NPS.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

What Drives Net Promoter Scores (NPS) in IT?

A previous post examined Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for tech vendors and the relationship between NPS and market share based on feedback from IT decision makers within large firms. Since I’ve had questions about that post, I decided to examine a common question: What’s driving those NPS scores? It turns out that the answer (no surprise) is customer experience.

We examined a number of metrics and their relationship with NPS in two areas:

  • Correlation (R). This looks at how connected one metric is to another, ranging from -1.0 to 1.0. A correlation above 0.5 is strongly positive and above 0.7 is very strongly positive.
  • Slope. This looks at the change in NPS that relates to a one-point change in the metric. A higher slope means a change in the metric has a higher change in NPS.

Our first analysis examined NPS scores versus the Temkin Experience Ratings for Tech Vendors. It turns out that there was a very strong correlation (R= 0.77) and the slope is 1.13.

We then examined the correlation and slope between NPS and components of the Temkin Experience Ratings as well as with product and relationship satisfaction scores.

Here are some observations from the analysis:

  • Customer experience is critical. Temkin Experience Ratings has the highest impact on NPS, with the highest overall correlation and slope.
  • You have to be easy to do business with. The highest individual correlation (.75) and slope (1.11) is with the accessible element of the Temkin Experience Ratings, which looks at how easy the company is to work with.
  • Relationship trumps product. It turns out that the correlations are about the same for relationship satisfaction and product satisfaction, but the slope is much higher for relationship satisfaction.
  • Cost of ownership stands out. When it comes to the slopes, cost of ownership (.99) stands out amongst the satisfaction items. Support of account team (.86) is also relatively high.

The bottom line: To improve NPS, improve customer experience.

You can purchase this data for $295. The Excel spreadsheet contains NPS, Temkin Experience Ratings, relationship satisfaction, and product satisfaction data for 60 tech vendors in the analysis as well as for 28 others with sample sizes of less than 60 respondents.

9 Recommendations For Net Promoter Score (NPS)

This week is the Net Promoter Conference in London. Since these events often spur a ton of questions about Net Promoter Score (NPS), I put together one of my periodic posts about NPS. If you’re not familiar with NPS, it’s based on asking customers a question like this:

How likely are you to recommend <COMPANY> to a friend or colleague?

Respondents are categorized as “Promoters,” “Detractors,” or “Passives” based on their answers. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters (Passives are ignored).

My take: Let me start looking at NPS with some data points from the report, The State Of Customer Experience Management, 2011:

  • 48% of large companies (more than $500M in revenues) are using NPS
  • 67% of those using NPS report positive results (15% say it’s too early to tell)
  • 84% of large firms with voice of the customer programs (including those that use NPS), report success from those efforts

NPS can be a valuable metric, but only when incorporated within a strong voice of the customer (VoC) program. Here are a handful of overall recommendations about NPS:

  1. Stop dreaming about an “ultimate question.” Having worked with dozens of organizations on their NPS efforts, I can tell you that the NPS question is not nirvana. Even the most successful users of NPS ask customers a series of questions and get feedback through a portfolio of mechanisms.
  2. Look for magic in the “why.” To some degree, it’s useless to know if someone is likely or unlikely to recommend you if you don’t also understand why they feel that way. So you need to make sure customer feedback helps you understand why customers feel the way that they do. Which leads to my next recommendation…
  3. Focus on improvements, not questions. Feedback is cheap, but customer-insightful actions are precious. The goal for any feedback mechanism (like NPS) is to drive improvements in your business. Successful NPS programs have strong closed-loop VoC programs that go from detection of customer perceptions to deployment of improvements (see my post about the 6 Ds of a voice of the customer program).
  4. Don’t lose sight of segments. An overall NPS score across your customers may be a good metric for aligning focus across the company, but it’s not very diagnostic. A good VoC program needs to track this type of data across key customer segments and understand which interactions (“moments of truth”) are driving those scores.
  5. Understand the elements of experience. When it comes to making improvements, you need to understand the three core elements of any experience: Functional, Accessible, and Emotional. A good program needs to provides insights into how customers perceive each of these elements.
  6. De-emphasize the “N” in NPS. NPS improves by eliminating Detractors or by increasing Promoters. but those changes can also offset each other. So the “netting” of the scores removes important clarity. Companies need to look at the rise and fall of Promoters and Detractors independently, since the changes needed to affect these areas are often quite different.
  7. Tap into the power of the language. There’s a lot of data to suggest that other measures such as the ACSI’s satisfaction index are as good as NPS (many people argue that it’s better, but I don’t want to enter that debate). What sets NPS apart is the wonderfully clear language around “Promoters” and “Detractors.” Make sure that the education across the company focuses heavily on those terms.
  8. Build a strong VoC program, with or without NPS. The overall program is more important than the choice of a metric like NPS. So make sure you focus on building a strong VoC program whether or not you use NPS (check out our VoC resource page).
  9. Remember, this is a long-term journey. Companies can make short-term improvements with superficial changes, but long-term success requires institutional capabilities. Start by understanding the 6 laws of customer experience and create a roadmap for building four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness.

The bottom line: Successful NPS implementations require strong VoC programs

5 Market Research Lessons From Election Polling Miscues

161111_tornmarketresearchIn the NY Times article Pollsters Face Hurdles in Changing Landscape and Aaron Zitner discuss a number of reasons for recent high-profile polling failures, the Brexit vote and the U.S. presidential election.

Why should customer experience (CX) professionals care? Here’s what they say in the article:

The outcome also raises questions about the research businesses rely on to test new products and measure customer behaviors, since many of the same survey methods are used for market research.

The article brings up some good reasons for the poor predictions:

  • People are less likely to answer surveys, so it’s harder to get representative samples.
  • It’s more difficult and expensive to reach people via cell phones than it was by landline.
  • Decision factors are changing. For instance, education level was a more important decision driver in this election than it was in 2012.
  • The people who choose to respond to polls don’t fully represent the population.

My take: I’ve been talking about the need to shake-up market research for many years. As a matter of fact, my 2011 post Market Research Needs An Overhaul remains relevant today. All of the issues with recent polling projections are similar to what many companies face when trying to understand their customers. Here are five thoughts on how to prepare your market research efforts for the new realities:

  1. Embrace outliers. The traditional approach for dealing with data points that don’t fit a model is to ignore them or discount them as being “outliers.” But these counter-trend pieces of data can be much more than that. They may be a window into an emerging trend or a small signal about a set of customers that your current research is missing. When you see an outlying datapoint, don’t ignore it anymore. Think about what it might be telling you, and what insights you may missing.
  2. Always ask “who are we missing?” All research processes, including surveys, are biased in many different ways (see my Latest 9 Recommendations for NPS). You can minimize and address some of the biases, but there’s always the risk that you just don’t see some of them. One of the things you can do is to proactively look for the biases. Always seek to define the populations of people that you are missing or under-representing in your research, whether it’s caused by a demographic or attitudinal blind spot. If you can’t find them, then you haven’t looked hard enough.
  3. Listen, don’t just calculate. A lot of my insights about the election came from listening to what people were saying, not from crunching datasets. As the environment around your company changes, you need to spend a lot more time with qualitative, unstructured content. Why? Because structured data collection reflects historical assumptions, and may very well be missing the key variables required to fully understand changing customer attitudes and behaviors.
  4. Over-emphasize recency. If you’re building a predictive model, make sure that it is very sensitive to recent data. If you’re mapping out a long-term trend or trying to fit the data to a historical model, it may take a while for you to identify a substantive change in the environment. Even if you don’t change your core model, look at what it says if you significantly over-weight recent data points.
  5. Modernize your leadership. The way that organizations can and should use data is one of the shifts that is making traditional management techniques obsolete. That’s why you should adopt what I call Modernize Leadership: Shifting 8 Outdated Management Practices. This requires making a shift to Engage & Empower, Learn & Adjust, Detect & Disseminate, Observe & Improve, Purpose & Values, Strengths & Appreciation, Culture & Behaviors, and Experience & Emotions.

The bottom line: It’s hard to project from the past when the future is changing.

Report: ROI of Customer Experience, 2016

1610_roiofcx_coverWe published a Temkin Group report, ROI of Customer Experience, 2016. This research shows that CX is highly correlated to loyalty across 20 industries. Here’s the executive summary:

To understand the connection between customer experience (CX) and loyalty, we examined feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers that describes both their experiences with and their loyalty to different companies. To examine the CX component, we used the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings (TxR), which evaluated 294 companies. Our analysis shows that there’s a very large correlation between companies’ TxR and the willingness of customers to purchase more from them. This connection holds true for other areas of customer loyalty as well. We used this data to calculate the revenue impact of CX across 20 industries. We found that a moderate increase in CX generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues. Rental car agencies have the most to gain from improving CX ($967 million), while utilities have the least to gain ($645 million). While all three components of customer experience¬—success, effort, and emotion—have a strong effect on loyalty, our research shows that emotion is the most important element. When compared with companies with very poor CX, companies with very good CX have a 16.7 percentage-point advantage in customers who are willing to purchase more from them, 16.7 percentage-point advantage in customers who trust them, 10.3 percentage-point advantage in customers willing to forgive them if they make a mistake, and 7.1 percentage-point advantage in customers who are willing to try their new products. Additionally, companies with very good CX ratings have an average Net Promoter Score that is 22 points higher than the scores of companies with poor CX. We recommend that you build your own CX ROI models, using our five-step approach for guidance.

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This is one of the figures in the report, and it shows the high correlation between Temkin Experience Ratings (customer experience) and purchase intentions for 294 companies across 20 industries:
1610_purchasemorecorrelationgraphHere’s an excerpt from the graphic showing the three year impact on revenues for a $1 billion company in 20 different industries:

1610_roirevsbyindustry

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To see the customer experience levels of all 294 companies, download to the free 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings report.

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Exploring Multiple Emotions During Contact Center Interactions

In a previous post, I discussed results from a joint study that we conducted with Mattersight Personality Labs (MPL) to examine customer emotions within contact center interactions.

MPL isolated the occurrence of four specific emotions: joy, anger, sadness, and fear in more than 118,000 calls across 11 large brands. In addition to detecting the customer emotion, we also analyzed the lengths of the calls, the percentage of calls transferred to other agents or supervisors, and the Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) provided by customers right after their calls.

To normalize the analysis across companies, we divided the data for individual calls by company averages. So a “1.0” is equal to company average.

While the previous post examined the individual emotions, this post looks at the combinations of the four emotions. While less than 1% of callers experienced all four emotions, it happened during more than 650 calls­—more than enough for us to analyze.

1610_emotioncombinations

As you can see in the chart above:

  • Joy plus Fear creates the longest calls. When the calls contain all four emotions, they are almost two and a half times as long as an average call. The next two combinations, which are also more than two times as long as an average call, also contain joy and fear.
  • Multiple emotions create longer calls. The only calls that are shorter than average are those where we could only detect sadness. The next shortest calls were those that only had joy and anger.
  • Anger plus Fear creates the most transfers. When callers exhibit both anger and fear, the calls are transferred at a rate that is seven times the average. The next highest transfers also happen when the caller demonstrates fear.
  • Joy creates the fewest transfers. The three types of calls that have the lowest transfer rates all contain joy, as do six out of seven. The only types of calls without joy that also have below average transfer rates are those that only contain sadness.
  • Joy raises NPS. When a caller feels only joy, the call results in the highest NPS. Joy is also a part of the calls that earn the two next highest NPS.
  • Anger plus other emotions lowers NPS. The lowest NPS occurs whenever anger is combined with another emotion. The worst combination is anger plus sadness.

The bottom line: Anger and fear are terrible emotions to occur on a call.

Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2016

1610_npsbenchmarkstudy_coverWe published a Temkin Group report, Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2016. This is the fifth year of this study that includes Net Promoter® Scores (NPS®) on 315 companies across 20 industries based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Here’s the executive summary:

As many large companies use Net Promoter® Score (NPS) to evaluate their customer loyalty, Temkin Group measured the NPS of 315 companies across 20 industries. With an NPS of 68, USAA’s insurance business earned the highest score in the study for the fourth year in a row. Four other companies also earned an NPS of 60 or higher: Cadillac, USAA’s banking business, Apple, and USAA’s credit card business. In addition to earning some of the top scores, USAA’s banking, credit card, and insurance businesses also all outpaced their respective industries’ averages by more than any other company. Comcast, meanwhile, earned the lowest NPS for the second year in a row, coming in just below Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, and McDonalds. And while all 20 industries increased their average NPS from last year, utilities enjoyed the biggest improvement in its score. Out of all the companies, US Airways’s and Advantage Rent-A-Car’s scores improved the most, whereas TriCare’s and Lexus’s scores declined the most. On average across the industries, the youngest consumers gave companies the lowest NPS, while 35- to 44-year-olds gave them the highest NPS.

See the NPS Benchmark Studies from 2012, 20132014, and 2015.

Here’s a list of companies included in this study (.pdf).

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Here are the NPS scores across 20 industries:
1610_rangeofindustrynps

Here are some other highlights of the research:

  • Five industries toped the list with an average NPS of 40 or more: auto dealers, software, investments, computers & tablets, and appliances.
  • The bottom scoring industries are TV service providers, Internet service providers, and health plans.
  • USAA’s insurance, banking, and credit card businesses earned NPS levels that are 30 or more points above their industry averages. Five other firms are 20 or more points above their peers: com, credit unions, Chick-fil-A, Apple, and Trader Joe’s.
  • Five companies fell 25 or more points below their industry averages: RadioShack, Motel 6, eMachines, McDonalds, and Days Inn.
  • US Airway’s NPS increased by 31 points between 2015 and 2016, the largest increase of any company. Eight other companies improved by 25 or more points: Fifth Third, 21st Century, Fujitsu, DHL, MetLife, HSBC, Commonwealth Edison, PSE&G, and Hannaford.
  • TriCare, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Baskin Robins, and Nordstrom had double-digit declines in NPS between 2015 and 2016.

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If you want to know what data is included in this report and dataset, download this sample Excel dataset file.Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 4.05.17 PM

P.S. Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter, and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.

Customer Emotions (Joy, Anger, Sadness, and Fear) Affect Contact Center Interactions

As you may know, Temkin Group labeled 2016 “The Year of Emotion” in its annual listing of customer experience trends. Why? Because emotion drives loyalty. And yet, despite its significant impact on customer loyalty, organizations do not focus on emotion enough. So to help increase organizations’ awareness of this critical area of customer experience, we created the Intensify Emotion Movement.

As part of our efforts to bring emotion to forefront of CX discussions, we worked with Mattersight Personality Labs to examine customer emotions within contact center interactions, a notorious hotbed of customer discontent. Analysts at Mattersight did the heavy lifting, applying the company’s analytical models to more than 118,000 calls across 11 large brands. While customers experience multiple emotions during every call, for this analysis we isolated the occurrence of four specific emotions: joy, anger, sadness, and fear.

Temkin Group and Mattersight Personality Labs collectively analyzed the results of this work. In addition to detecting customers’ emotions, we also analyzed the lengths of the calls and the Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) provided by customers right after their calls. [Why NPS? Because we had the data.]

To normalize the data across companies, we divided the data for individual calls by company averages. So a “1.0” is equal to company average.

06_Call-Experience_v02

The chart above captures some of the key findings:

  • Joy leads to best calls. No surprise, the only positive emotion we examined results in the highest NPS, the shortest calls, and the least frequent call transfers. Interestingly, the calls where we detected joy are actually slightly longer than average (although well less than the other three emotions). While we didn’t analyze the exact reasons why this happens, it could be caused by the willingness of the caller and agent to take a bit more time conversing when the customer feels happier and more friendly.
  • Fear leads to most expensive calls. In instances when customers felt detectably fearful, the call time jumps to 87% higher than company average, by far the longest of any emotion. In these calls, we also found that the caller was transferred to another agent or supervisor more than 3.5-times as frequently as the company average. The NPS drops lower than average as well.
  • Anger leads to lowest NPS. When customers experience anger, they give the lowest NPS (19% below company average). The calls are also 40% longer than average and are more than twice as likely to be transferred.
  • Sadness leads to low NPS. Customers who experience sadness give companies an NPS that is only slightly higher than the one they give when they are angry (18% below company average).

Additional Findings

Here are some additional findings from the research:

Read more of this post

Use Customer Insights To Close Four Loops

Companies that have voice of the customer (VoC) programs (including NPS) often put in place a closed-loop process. Those efforts often focus on closing a single loop, immediately responding to a customer after they respond to a survey. But this represents only one of four loops that companies need to close.

In the report, Make Your VoC Action-Oriented, we introduced the concept of four closed loops.

1608_FourActionLoopsHere’s an example of the four loops for a restaurant chain:

  • Immediate Response. Reach out to a restaurant customer who responded on a survey that the bathroom was dirty and help take care of her ongoing concerns.
  • Corrective Action. Get the manager or employee to clean the bathroom in that restaurant.
  • Continuous Improvement. Create new process for restaurants to check and clean bathrooms on a regular basis.
  • Strategic Change. As part of new restaurant formats, design bathrooms so that they don’t require as much time from employees to keep them clean.

The bottom line: Make sure to build out four closed loops.

CX Tech Fest in Melbourne (August 2016)

Hi Everyone!

Thank you for being a part of my first speech in Australia. I enjoyed being a part of this great event and meeting many of you while I was there. Hopefully this content will help continue your learning from Temkin Group.

Here are some posts that augment my speech on Monday, 8 August: Key Trends Affecting the Future of Customer Experience:

Here are some posts that augment my speech on Tuesday, 9 August: Putting Emotion Back Into Customer Experience:

Other Resources
Here are some other FREE resources that I’m including, because they augment different discussions that I’ve heard throughout the CX Tech Fest:

Best regards,

Bruce Temkin
CX Transformist & Managing Partner
Email: bruce@temkingroup.com
Twitter: @btemkin

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