Report: The Customer Journeys That Matter The Most

Few organizations deliver outstanding experiences to their customers. In fact, only 6% of companies earned an “excellent” score in the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings. To better understand which types of interactions are most likely to affect the customer’s perception of an organization, we asked customers to identify the most problematic journeys across 19 different industries. In this report, we:

  • Examine feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers about their journeys with 318 companies across 19 industries.
  • Identify which customer journeys consumers think most need improvement and look at how those responses differ across age groups.
  • Evaluate how different customer journeys impact five loyalty behaviors: likelihood to recommend the company, likelihood to repurchase from the company, likelihood to forgive the company if it makes a mistake, likelihood to trust the company, and likelihood of trying new offerings from the company.
  • One of the key findings across industries is that journeys that touch customer service are often the most prevalent and the most impactful on customer loyalty.

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Here’s the first figure in the report, which has a total of 58 figures (three detailed graphics for each of the industries):

Most Problematic Customer Journeys Across Industries

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Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2018

To understand how the quality of a customer’s experience – whether it was good or bad – affects their behavior, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with more than 300 companies across 20 industries. We then compared results with similar studies we’ve conducted over the previous seven years.

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Here are some highlights:

  • Purchase and download Temkin Group report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2018About 18% of the customers who interacted with TV & Internet service providers reported having a bad experience – a considerably higher percentage than in other industries. Of the companies we evaluated, 21st Century, Comcast, Cox Communications, and New York Life deliver bad experiences most frequently.
  • We created a Sales at Risk Index for all 20 industries by combining the percentage of customers in an industry who reported having a bad experience with the percentage who said they decreased their spending after a bad experience. According to this Index, TV & Internet service providers stand to lose the most revenue (6.4%) from delivering bad experiences, while utilities stand to lose the least (1.4%).
  • When it comes to recovering from delivering a bad experience, Investment firms are the most effective and TV & Internet service providers are the least effective.
  • After customers have a very bad or very good experience with a company, they are more likely to give feedback directly to the company than they are to post about it on Facebook, Twitter, or third party rating sites. Customers are also more likely to share positive feedback through online surveys and share negative feedback through emails.
  • Compared to previous years, customers are less likely to share feedback across almost all channels, with a particularly large drop in the percentage who post on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Across almost all age groups, consumers are most likely to share their feedback directly with the company. Consumers between 18 and 34 years old are the most likely to share their good and bad experiences on Facebook, while older consumers tend to use 3rd party ratings sites more than Facebook or Twitter.

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Here is one of the 12 graphics in the report:

Mastering Customer Experience Metrics (Infographic)

As an organization’s customer experience efforts mature, CX metrics become a critical guidepost for all of its activities. You can see different ways to download this infographic below.

Mastering Customer Experience (CX) Metrics Infographic

Here are links to download different versions of the infographic:

Here are links to the research referenced in the infographic:

Making AI Customer-Centric

Making AI Customer-Centric (Temkin Group Report)Temkin Group just published a new report, Making AI Customer-Centric. Here’s the executive summary:

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – often in the form of chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants – is becoming more widespread in customer experience. However, despite its prevalence, few companies are employing AI in the right scenarios or using it to its fullest potential. In this report, Temkin Group creates a model and shares best practices for AI-Driven Interfaces (AIDI), which we define as digital interactions with customers that are being directly manipulated by machine learning algorithms.

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To successfully deploy customer-centric AI, companies need to:

  • Integrate the elements of the Human Conversational Model into the design of AIDI.
  • Bring together Five Ingredients: Conversational Design, Targeted Use Cases, Optimized Data Aggregation, Responsive AI Engine, and Continuous Tuning.
  • Determine Organizational AI Readiness before deployment by tying AI to business strategy, auditing data sources, assessing employee skills, and planning for agent/AIDI interactions.

Five Ingredients of Customer-Centric AI

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Report: State of the CX Profession, 2018

Download report, State of the Customer Experience (CX) Profession, 2018We just published a Temkin Group report, State of the CX Profession, 2018. This is the fifth year that we’ve examined the roles of CX professionals and the third year that we’ve done a compensation study. Here’s the executive summary:

To understand the mindset and roles of customer experience professionals today, we surveyed 221 CX professionals and then compared their responses to similar studies we’ve conducted over the previous six years. We asked respondents about how their CX efforts impacted their organization last year and what their company plans to do during the coming year. This report also includes a compensation study, which is based on the 158 respondents who agreed to participate. Here are some highlights from the research:

  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents say that their customer experience efforts have had a positive business impact in 2017.
  • Ninety-six percent think that customer experience is a great profession to be in.
  • Eighty percent think that customer experience will be more important for their companies in 2018 than it was in 2017, compared to the 5% who think it will be less important.
  • Forty-eight percent expect to see an increase in their customer experience staffing levels this year, compared with only 6% that expect a decline.
  • Respondents plan to increase their spending most on voice of the customer software.
  • Respondents plan to increase their focus most on Web experiences and customer insights and analysis.
  • The total amount of compensation in our study ranges from $104,000 for mid-level individual contributors to $296,000 for CX executives.

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Here’s some data showing some of the results from the compensation study:

Compensation ranges for customer experience (CX) professionals

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The Future of VoC: Insight & Action, Not Feedback

The vendor market for Voice of the Customer (VoC) products and services has been heating up, with numerous acquisitions and mergers. All of this is happening as companies are trying to figure out how to run successful VoC programs. It appears that we on the verge of the next stage in evolution for VoC. So I decided to step back and look at the overall market.

VoC Programs Need To Grow Up

Our research shows that nearly three-quarters of large companies rate their voice of the customer (VoC) programs as being successful (only 8% say that they’ve been unsuccessful). That’s great—infusing almost any type of customer insights into a business can add value. 

Level of Maturity for Voice of the Customer (VoC) Programs in Large Enterprises

However, companies aren’t close to reaching their full potential. Only 14% of companies have reached the the two highest levels of Temkin Group’s VoC Maturity Model.

One of the reasons for this immaturity is a simple fact: creating and managing great VoC programs isn’t easy. They take significant leadership commitment and a  variety of expertise. In many cases, however, companies don’t redesign their approach to customer insights, they simply end up updating and automating many of their historical practices.

The big change for VoC programs is that they must focus more on enabling action across their organization. We found that only 24% of large firms think they are good at making changes to the business based on the insights. For VoC programs to fully mature, they need to become hyper-focused on generating insights in the right form at the right time to help people across their organizations make better, more informed decisions.

As if that’s not enough to work on, companies will need to address Six Customer Insight Trends that will reshape VoC programs: 1) Deep Empathy, Not Stacks of Metrics; 2) Continuous Insights, Not Periodic Studies; 3) Customer Journeys, Not Isolated Interactions; 4) Useful Prescriptions, Not Past Descriptions; 5) Enterprise Intelligence, Not Customer Feedback; and 6) Mobile First, Not Mobile Responsive.

VoC Vendors Need To Grow Up

In 2010, I rejected the label “Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM)” that was being used to describe vendors that provided technology and services for VoC programs. Instead of EFM, I labeled them as Customer Insight and Action (CIA) Platforms and here’s why:

To some degree, surveying functionality is becoming a commodity. Organizations are recognizing that feedback is not valuable on its own; it only becomes valuable when it’s used as an input to insights which drive some type of action. So the focus is no longer on feedback, but on insight and action. Hence, Customer Insight and Action (CIA) Platforms.

Fast forward to 2018 and I think that CIA Platforms is still the correct name for these offerings (from vendors such as Confimit, InMoment, MaritzCX, Medallia, and Qualtrics). They continue to evolve towards this description I used in 2010:

CIA Platforms need to support closed-loop voice of the customer (VoC) programs that are going beyond structured, solicited feedback (traditional surveys). With the maturing of text analytics and the rise of social media, companies are increasingly mining insights from unstructured, unsolicited feedback like customer comments on surveys, notes and verbatims from contact center conversations, inbound emails, online chats, social media sites, customer feedback comments, etc

But new channels of feedback (also called “listening posts”) are not the only element that distinguishes CIA Platforms from their predecessors. These applications also provide actionable insights by:

  • Incorporating non-feedback data like customer profiles and transactional history
  • Distributing tailored, contextual insights across an organization
  • Providing alerts based on specific criteria
  • Supporting workflow associated with taking action based on the insights
  • Integrating with other applications like CRM and workforce management

Next Generation CIA Platforms

Okay, so we got that right eight years ago. What’s next? Here’s where I think the market is heading for enterprise CIA Platforms:

  • Advanced analytics. We’ll see a considerable increase in the use of predictive analytics and the use of speech analytics to unlock insights from invaluable contact center conversations.
  • and way smarter analytics. The current set of analytics are mostly designed for analysts to uncover insights, but we’ll see more “packaged” analytics that mask complexity to provide tailored recommendations that improve high-impact decisions across the enterprise.
  • More focus on casual users.The days of generic metrics and dashboards will hopefully be a thing of the past. The information provided to people will be specific to their roles, and will proactively highlight the information that they need to know. It may take the form of highly customized dashboards, but it could also be a monthly infographic that can be posted in the lunchroom for hourly workers.
  • Less surveys, but more data. We already see in our research that organizations are becoming less reliant on surveys. This feedback will become less about understanding what’s being said by individual customers, and more about using the insights in predictive models to extrapolate what it might mean across entire segments of customers. This will require companies to integrate feedback with lots of customer data from other systems.
  • More selective, targeted feedback. Companies will get better at strategic sampling. What is this? Being smarter about who they get feedback from and when they get that feedback. The current approach of trying to hear from as many customers a possible in as many places as possible is conceptually attractive, but it’s an inefficient use of internal resources, and it puts a strain on an even more important commodity—customers’ time and attention.
  • Easier to use, but less “self-service.” In many cases, large enterprises lack the internal skills and know how to create and sustain a strong VoC program. While the technology platforms will continue to become easier for companies to administer and use without vendor support, strong VoC programs will increasingly recognize the need to tap into externally provided support across a number of areas, including:
    • Program setup
    • Data management
    • Sampling strategies
    • Dashboard design
    • Analytics
    • Insight distribution
    • Operational redesign

The bottom line: VoC programs and vendors need a makeover.

Free eBook: The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience

Download free Temkin Group eBook, The Sx Laws of Customer ExperienceThis is an update to the original eBook that was published in 2008. It has been downloaded and read by tens of thousands of people around the world and is likely one of the most-read documents ever published on the topic of customer experience.

So enjoy the updated eBook: The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience: The Fundamental Truths That Define How Organizations Treat Customers

Download free eBook: The Six Laws of Customer Experience

Just like the three laws that govern all of physics, there are a set of fundamental truths about how customer experience operates. This eBook outlines the following 6 laws of customer experience:

  1. Every interaction creates a personal reaction.
  2. People are instinctively self-centered.
  3. Customer familiarity breeds alignment.
  4. Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers.
  5. Employees do what is measured, incented, and celebrated.
  6. You can’t fake it.

The bottom line: To understand CX, you must first understand these laws.

NOTE: CX Institute’s CX Fundamentals eLearning module provides online training for employees across an organization to learn and apply these laws, helping organizations to become more customer-centric.

Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018

Download Temkin Group research report, Lessons in Customer Experience Excellence, 2018We just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018. The report provides insights from six winners in the Temkin Group’s 2017 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which has more than 70 pages of content, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. This report has rich insights about both B2B and B2C customer experience.

Here’s the executive summary:

This past November, we named six organizations the winners of Temkin Group’s 2017 Customer Experience Excellence Award – AARP, Allianz Worldwide Partners, Century Support Services, Nurse Next Door Home Care Services, Reliant, and Sage. This report:

  • Highlights specific examples of how these companies’ customer experience (CX) efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses.
  • Describes winners’ best practices across the four customer experience competencies: purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness.
  • Includes all of the winners’ detailed nomination forms to help you collect examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.

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Here are some highlights from the winners: Read More …

Report: The State of CX Metrics, 2017

Purchase and download report: State of Customer Experience (CX) MetricsWe published a Temkin Group report, The State of CX Metrics, 2017.

Temkin Group surveyed 169 companies to learn about how they use customer experience (CX) metrics and then compared their answers with similar studies we’ve conducted annually since 2011. We also had them complete our CX Metrics Program Assessment that evaluates the degree to which these efforts are Consistent, Impactful, Integrated, and Continuous.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Only 11% of CX metrics programs received “strong” or “very strong” ratings, while 64% of companies received “weak” or “very weak” ratings. Only one out of five companies earned at least a moderate rating for being Integrated.
  • Sixty-five percent of companies are good at collecting and calculating metrics, but less than 20% are good at using analytics to predict future changes in the CX metric.
  • Satisfaction and likelihood to recommend remain the most popular CX metrics, with satisfaction at a transactional level delivering the most positive impact.
  • Only 10% of companies always or almost always make explicit tradeoffs between CX metrics and financial results.
  • Companies identified the lack of taking action based on CX metrics as a top obstacle to their programs. The identification of this as a top problem increased the most between 2016 (54%) and 2017 (62%).
  • We asked companies about their effectiveness at measuring 19 different elements of customer experience. They are most effective at measuring customer service, phone interactions, and customers who are using their products and services. They are least effective at measuring the experiences of prospects, customers who have defected, and multi-channel interactions.
  • When we compared companies with stronger CX metrics programs with those with weaker efforts, we found that the stronger firms have better overall CX results, more frequently use and get value from likelihood to recommend metrics, and report fewer obstacles.

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Here are the results from Temkin Group’s CX Metrics Program Assessment:

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Report: Five Steps For Building A Strong CX Metrics Program

Five steps for building a customer experience metrics programWe published a Temkin Group report, Five Steps For Building A Strong CX Metrics Program.

A robust customer experience (CX) metrics program allows an organization to systematically measure the quality of the experience it delivers to customers and provides insights that help companies spot improvement opportunities, prioritize investments, track CX progress, and unify the organization around a common goal. Despite these benefits, few organizations have actually built a strong metrics program. In this report, we provide a blueprint that organizations can follow to create an actionable CX metrics program. Here are some highlights:

  • Temkin Group has identified five steps an organization must go through to create a strong CX metrics program: 1) Determine a Core CX Metric, 2) Set Achievable Goals, 3) Identify Key Drivers, 4) Establish Key Driver Metrics, and 5) Make the Suite of Metrics Actionable.
  • To illustrate what these steps should look like, we share nearly 30 best practices from companies including Brainshark, Caesars Entertainment, Ciena, Cisco, Horizon BCBSNJ, Oxford Properties, and Wyndham Worldwide.
  • We provide an assessment companies can use to both evaluate the effectiveness of their CX metrics program and identify where to focus improvement efforts.

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Here are the best practices highlighted in the report:

Examples of 5 Steps for An Actionable CX Metrics Program

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Net Promoter Score: Fact and Fiction

It seems like every year I get a surge of questions about Net Promoter® Score (e.g., NPS®). Well, it’s that time of year.

Rather than re-writing my answers, I decided to share a webinar that I recorded a few years ago. Much of that data has been updated, but the content remains totally applicable. This is a great primer on NPS. Enjoy!

You should also check out Temkin Group’s VoC/NPS Resource Page for current data and more advice on how to use NPS. In particular, read My Latest 9 Recommendations For NPS.

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

Report: State of Voice of the Customer Programs, 2017

State of Voice of the Customer Programs, 2017We just published a Temkin Group report, State of Voice of the Customer Programs, 2017. Here’s the executive summary:

For the seventh straight year, Temkin Group has benchmarked the competency and maturity levels of voice of the customer (VoC) programs within large organizations. This year we surveyed close to 200 large companies and asked them to complete Temkin Group’s VoC Competency and Maturity Assessment, which evaluates their capabilities across what we call the “Six Ds:” Detect, Disseminate, Diagnose, Discuss, Design, and Deploy. This report also includes data from these companies’ responses to help you benchmark your own company’s VoC efforts. We compared this year’s results with those from previous years and found that:

  • While most companies think that their VoC efforts are successful, less than one-quarter of companies consider themselves good at making changes to the business based on the insights.
  • Companies find their VoC programs to be most valuable for “identifying and fixing quick-hit operational issues” and least valuable for “identifying innovative product and service ideas.”
  • Companies expect technology will continue to heavily impact their VoC programs in the future, especially for integrating survey data with CRM and operational data.
  • In the future, companies expect the most important source of insights to be customer interaction history and the least important source to be multiple-choice questions.
  • The most common activity for VoC teams is defining customer experience metrics for their companies, and this activity became even more popular over the past year.
  • Only 14% of companies have reached the two highest levels of VoC maturity (out of six levels), while 46% remain in the bottom two levels.
  • When we compared higher-scoring VoC programs with lower-scoring programs, we found that companies with mature programs are more successful, technology-focused, and mobile-oriented and have more full-time staff and more involved senior executives.
  • Companies with more mature VoC programs identified “integration across systems” as the most common obstacle they face, while less mature VoC programs struggle the most with “cooperation across the organization.”

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Here’s the VoC competency & maturity levels, which is one of 29 graphics in the report:

Voice of the customer competency and maturity levels

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Free eBook: 25 Tips For Becoming A More Purposeful Leader

Free eBook: 25 Tips For Becoming A More Purposeful LeaderAs part of our CX Day celebration, which this year is focussed on Elevating Purpose, we’re giving away this free eBook: 25 Tips For Becoming A More Purposeful Leader.

Free ebook download

One of Temkn Group’s Four CX Core Competencies is Purposeful Leadership. To master this competency, a company must be able to affirmatively answer the question, “Do your leaders operate with a clear, well-articulated set of values?” Purposeful leaders create an engaged workforce and help their organizations deliver positive customer experiences.

This eBook contains these 25 easily adoptable tips from across the Five P’s of Purposeful Leadership. Here are the tips:

25 tips for becoming a more purposeful leader

Also check out our recent video on Purposeful Leadership and the Elevate Purpose page.

The bottom line: Purposeful leadership really matters!

Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2017

Net Promoter score benchmark study, 2017We published a Temkin Group report, Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2017. This is the sixth year of this study that includes Net Promoter® Scores (NPS®) on 299 companies across 20 industries based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Here’s the executive summary:

Many large companies use Net Promoter® Score (NPS) to evaluate their customers’ loyalty. To compare scores across organizations and industries, Temkin Group measured the NPS of almost 300 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Here are the highlights from this benchmark:

  • With an NPS of 66, USAA’s insurance business earned the highest score in the study for the fifth year in a row.
  • Comcast received the lowest NPS for the third year in a row with a score of -9.
  • The industry average for NPS ranged from a high of 43 for auto dealers down to a low of 9 for TV & Internet service providers.
  • Citibank, whose NPS lagged 35 points behind the banking average, fell the farthest behind its peers.
  • All industries saw their average NPS decline over the past year, though Utilities dropped the most.
  • 18- to 24-year-old consumers give companies the lowest NPS (with an average score of 17 across industries), while consumers 65 and older give the highest NPS (with an average score of 38 across industries).
  • NPS is highly correlated with customer experience. On average, customer experience leaders enjoy an NPS over 18 points higher than customer experience laggards.

See the NPS Benchmark Studies from 2012, 201320142015, and 2016.

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

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Here are the NPS scores across 20 industries:
range of net promoter scores across industries

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If you want to know what data is included in this report and dataset, download this sample Excel dataset file.download Net promoter score study data sets

If you’re looking to create a strong NPS program, check out our VoC/NPS Resource Page.

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, 2017 (B2B)

tech vendor NPS benchmark studyWe just published a Temkin Group report, Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark, 2017. The research examines Net Promoter Scores® (NPS®) and the link to loyalty for 58 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 five years. Here’s the executive summary:

For the sixth year in a row, we looked at the correlation between NPS and loyalty for technology vendors. To examine this link, we surveyed 800 IT decision-makers from large North American firms, asking about their relationships with their technology providers. Through this research, we found that:

  • Across the 58 tech vendors we examined, NPS ranged from +43 to -22.
  • Microsoft, SAS, Google, and VMware earned the highest NPS, while Accenture consulting, ACS, Autodesk, and Fujitsu received the lowest.
  • Overall, the average NPS for the tech vendor industry decreased by more than eight points from last year, down from 29.9 to 21.4 – the lowest level of any year we’ve studied.
  • Our analysis shows that NPS is correlated to customers’ willingness to spend more with tech vendors, try their new products and services, forgive them after a bad experience, and act as a reference for them with prospective clients.
  • When it comes to loyalty, IT decision-makers are most likely to purchase more from Microsoft and HP, try new offerings from Microsoft and Google, forgive SAS and Microsoft if they make a mistake, and act as a reference for Apple and IBM SPSS.

The report includes graphics with data for NPS, likelihood to repurchase, Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, and Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient (likely to try new offerings).. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 58 companies as well as summary data for other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2016.

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Download sample spreadsheet to see details. 
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As you can see in the chart below, the NPS ranges from a high of 43 for Microsoft servers down to  a low of -22 for Fujitsu.the Net promoter score of 58 tech vendors

The industry average NPS decreased from 29.9 last year to 21.4 this year this year.

the average net promoter score for tech vendors

Report details: The report includes graphics with data for NPS, likelihood to repurchase, Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, and Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient (likely to try new offerings).. The excel spreadsheet includes this data (in more detail) for the 58 companies as well as summary data for other tech vendors with less than 40 pieces of feedback. It also includes the summary NPS scores from 2016.

Download report for $695
Purchase includes Excel spreadsheet with data.
Download sample spreadsheet to see details. 
download net promoter score for tech vendors report

Note: See our 2016 NPS benchmark2015 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.