CX Myth #4: Net Promoter Score Is The Best/Worst Metric

CX Myths: Debunking Misleading Beliefs About Customer Experience

Many common beliefs about customer experience are misguided, based on oversimplifications or a lack of consideration for real-world constraints. In this series of posts, we debunk these myths.


CX Myth #4: Net Promoter Score Is The Best/Worst Metric

What’s Wrong: People often argue that Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the greatest metric, while other people argue that it’s a terrible metric. Both of those points of view are off the mark.

What’s Right: 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 many cases, NPS is a reasonable choice, as our data shows that it often correlates to customer loyalty. The way you use a metric is often far more important than the metric that you chose.

What You Should Do:

  • Pick a simple metric. It’s important that you choose a metric that employees will understand, so they are motivated to help improve it. The metric can be based on customer attitudes (like NPS), behaviors (like repeat purchases), or even results (like first call resolution). Just pick a simple metric that aligns with your business goals.
  • Follow our five steps. To drive improvements using the metric, follow Temkin Group’s five steps. to 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.
  • Focus on all four action loops. People often discuss an action loop with CX metrics, but we’ve identified four customer insight-driven action loopsImmediate responsecorrective actioncontinuous improvement, and strategic change. Any CX metrics program should put in places processes to close all four loops.
  • Don’t compensate too much. When companies establish CX metrics, they often establish compensation based on them. While this can be a valuable approach to raise awareness and alignment, it can also be a problem if the level of compensation is too large (can encourage bad behaviors), it focuses on individual results (CX is a team sport), or the goals are too precise (some metrics are inherently jittery).
  • Have very clear sampling strategy. The approach for sampling often has a very significant impact on results. If you have multiple segments of customers and they each have a different profile (as many do), then your overall scores can change wildly based on the mix of those customers that are included in your calculations.

The bottom line: Obsess about your metrics program, not your metric.

Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2018

Temkin Group Net Promoter Score (NPS) BenchmarkWe published a Temkin Group report, Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2018. This is the seventh year of this study that includes Net Promoter® Scores (NPS®) on 342 companies across 20 industries.

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 342 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 65, USAA’s banking business earned the highest score in the study, followed closely by its insurance business and Navy Federal Credit Union.
  • Spectrum and Consolidated Edison of NY received the two lowest NPS, with scores of -16 and -12 respectively.
  • The industry average for NPS ranged from a high of 39 for auto dealers and streaming media down to a low of 0 for TV/Internet service providers.
  • USAA’s and Navy Federal Credit Union’s scores both outpaced the banking industry average by more than 40 points, while Motel 6’s and Super 8’s scores both fell nearly 30 points behind the hotel industry average.
  • Only five industries saw their average NPS increase over the past year. Of those, airlines’ and utilities’ scores increased the most, going up three points each.
  • Although a majority (54%) of companies’ NPS declined over the previous year, three companies – BCBS of Florida, Fairfield Inn, and Ameren Illinois Company – actually increased their NPS by more than 20 points since 2017.
  • 18- to 24-year-old consumers give companies the lowest NPS, with an average score of 3 across all industries. Meanwhile, two age groups – consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 and those who are older than 74 – tied for giving the highest NPS, with an average score of 36 across industries.
  • NPS is highly correlated with customer experience. On average, customer experience leaders enjoy an NPS that is 21 points higher than the NPS of customer experience laggards.

See the NPS Benchmark Studies from 2012, 2013201420152016, and 2017.

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

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Here are the top and bottom 10 companies:

Here are the NPS scores across 20 industries:
Temkin Group Net Promoter Score (NPS) Benchmark Industry Scores

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Report Outline:

  • USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union Earn Top NPS Across 342 Companies
    • USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union Earn Top Spots in NPS Rankings
    • NPS Increases With Age
  • Want Higher NPS? Improve Customer Experience

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. Temkin Group Measured Net Promoter Scores For 342 Companies Across 20 Industries
  2. Net Promoter Scores (NPS): Top and Bottom 20 Companies
  3. Range of Net Promoter Scores (NPS) Across Industries
  4. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 1)
  5. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 2)
  6. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 3)
  7. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 4)
  8. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 5)
  9. Promoters, Passives, and Detractors By Industry
  10. Net Promoter Scores (NPS): Most Above and Below Industry Average
  11. Industry Average NPS, 2016 to 2018
  12. Net Promoter Scores (NPS): Largest Gains and Losses Between 2017 and 2018
  13. Net Promoter Score (NPS) by Age by Industry
  14. Customer Experience Correlates To Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

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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: 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 Outline:

  • Why Focus On Customer Journeys?
  • Examining Customer Journeys Across 19 Industries
    • Banking Customer Journeys
    • Computers & Tablets Customer Journeys
    • Insurance Customer Journeys
    • Investment Customer Journeys
    • Credit Card Customer Journeys
    • Health Plan Customer Journeys
    • TV & Internet Service Customer Journeys
    • Parcel Delivery Customer Journeys
    • Wireless Carriers Customer Journeys
    • Airline Customer Journeys
    • Hotels & Rooms Customer Journeys
    • Retail Customer Journeys
    • Fast Food Chains Customer Journeys
    • Rental Car Customer Journeys
    • Supermarket Customer Journeys
    • TV & Appliance Customer Journeys
    • Auto Dealers Customer Journeys
    • Software Customer Journeys
    • Utility Customer Journeys

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. Most Problematic Customer Journeys Across Industries
  2. Banking: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  3. Banking: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  4. Banking: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  5. Computers & Tablets: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  6. Computers & Tablets: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  7. Computers & Tablets: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  8. Insurance: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  9. Insurance: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  10. Insurance: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  11. Investments: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  12. Investments: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  13. Investments: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  14. Credit Cards: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  15. Credit Cards: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  16. Credit Cards: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  17. Health Plans: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  18. Health Plans: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  19. Health Plans: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  20. TV & Internet Service: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  21. TV & Internet Service: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  22. TV & Internet Service: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  23. Parcel Delivery: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  24. Parcel Delivery: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  25. Parcel Delivery: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  26. Wireless Carriers: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  27. Wireless Carriers: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  28. Wireless Carriers: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  29. Airlines: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  30. Airlines: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  31. Airlines: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  32. Hotels & Rooms: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  33. Hotels & Rooms: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  34. Hotels & Rooms: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  35. Retailers: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  36. Retailers: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  37. Retailers: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  38. Fast Food: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  39. Fast Food: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  40. Fast Food: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  41. Rental Cars & Transport: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  42. Rental Cars & Transport: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  43. Rental Cars & Transport: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  44. Supermarkets: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  45. Supermarkets: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  46. Supermarkets: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  47. TVs & Appliances: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  48. TVs & Appliances: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  49. TVs & Appliances: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  50. Auto Dealers: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  51. Auto Dealers: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  52. Auto Dealers: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  53. Software Firms: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  54. Software Firms: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  55. Software Firms: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups
  56. Utilities: Severity of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  57. Utilities: Loyalty Impact of Problems Across Customer Journeys
  58. Utilities: Problematic Customer Journeys Across Age Groups

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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:


Report Outline:

  • Bad Experiences are Prevalent in the TV & Internet Services Sector
  • Bad Experiences Can Be Very Costly
  • Consumers Give More Feedback After a Bad Experience
    • The Channels for Direct Company Feedback
    • Feedback Differs Across Age Groups

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. TV & Internet Service Providers Deliver the Highest Percentage of Bad Experiences
  2. Companies That Deliver The Most And The Fewest Bad Experiences
  3. How Consumers Cut Their Spending After A Bad Experience, By Industry
  4. How Consumers Cut Their Spending After A Bad Experience, By Industry
  5. Sales at Risk Due to Bad Experiences
  6. How Industries Respond to Bad Experiences Overall
  7. How Consumers Give Feedback
  8. How Consumers Give Feedback to Companies
  9. Changes in How Consumers Give Feedback After a VERY GOOD Experience, 2013 to 2017
  10. Changes in How Consumers Give Feedback After a VERY BAD Experience, 2013 to 2017
  11. How Consumers Across Age Groups Give Feedback After VERY GOOD and VERY BAD Experiences
  12. How Consumers Across Age Groups Give Feedback Directly to Companies After VERY GOOD and VERY BAD Experiences

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The Future of VoC Actionable Insights: Assistance Engines

Earlier this week I gave a speech called “The Future of CX: Humanistic, Prescriptive, and Responsive.” During that session, I discussed a missing link in today’s VoC technology: Assistance Engines. Here’s a picture of the future that I have in mind.

Architecture For Prescriptive Customer Insights

Before I describe Assistance Engines, I want to go back to 2010 when I labelled VoC technologies as Customer Insight & Action (CIA) Platforms. The naming was important, because it correctly identified that vendors needed to focus more on “insight & action” than on customer feedback.

It turns out that this is still the case. In the future, VoC vendors will be completely judged by results that their clients get from taking actions on the insights that these vendors provide.

Action is the holy grail! All of the efforts around surveying, integrating data, analyzing, etc. are only as valuable as the actions that they lead to. Most of the vendors now understand this key concept, and are working feverishly to improve the actionability of the insights they provide.

Companies still have a long way to go in taking action on their VoC insights. As you can see in our recent infographic, only 24% of large companies think they are good at taking action.

To help refine the insights, most vendors are developing some sort of an Intelligence Engine. This technology combines direct customer feedback with other customer information, and then applies different analytical and machine learning approaches to create predictive insights about large groups of customers.

While this technology is helping companies to better understand their customers, the output does not often translate directly into actionable insights. Why not? Because there’s a wide gap between insights from the Intelligence Engine which are often delivered in charts and dashboards, and the types of information that employees need to make their a day-to-day decisions.

No matter how much smarter these platforms get about customers, they won’t be truly actionable until they also get smarter about employees.

That’s where Assistance Engines come into play. What is an Assistance Engine?

A set of technologies that uses analytics and machine learning to provide increasingly valuable advice to help different employees across an organization make customer-centric decisions.

Or you can think of it more simply as…

Technology that recommends employee actions based on customer insights.

Assistance Engines will provide timely, actionable insights that are embedded within role-based processes, and delivered as answers and recommendations, not as charts and numbers. This technology will also fine-tune its recommendations based on feedback from employees about the types of recommendations that they find valuable.

Think of the Assistance Engine as being like an analyst who works for the employee. A good analyst can comb through data in an Intelligence Engine, understanding her bosses needs, and translate the customer insights into a very relevant set of recommendations. Over time, the analyst gets better at anticipating what her boss needs or wants to see.

Here are some examples of insights that an Assistance Engine might deliver (think about the employee simply asking Alexa a question):

  • When a product manager is defining a new product, the Assistance Engine will recommend a set of features that a product manager should include in its next release.
  • When a contact center supervisor finds that she has 15 minutes free, the Assistance Engine can tell her which agent to spend time with and what to cover during the session.
  • When an executive is looking to improve the companies NPS, the Assistance Engine will identify the regions to focus on and the activities that should be improved in those regions.

The early use cases for Assistance Engines will likely focus on recommendations that are already being made by analysts. But instead of having someone spend a lot of time manually digging through troves of data, the Assistance Engine will simply answer end users’ questions.

Companies still have a long way to go in building out their Intelligence Engines, so we do not expect to see Assistance Engines become mainstream for several years. But the maturing of end-user responsive analytics such as IBM Watson and Amazon Analytics will help accelerate the development.

The bottom line: Actionability requires more focus on employees.

 

Building A Strong Voice of The Customer Program (Infographic)

Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs are a critical component for many CX efforts. This infographic examines those efforts. Make sure to visit our VoC/NPS Resource Page for more help in building your VoC program.

Here are links to download different versions of the infographic:

Here are links to the research referenced in the infographic:

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.

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: 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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Report Outline:

  • VoC Programs are Successful, But Have Room To Improve
  • Assessing the Maturity of VoC Programs
    • Six D’s: Detect, Disseminate, Diagnose, Discuss, Design, and Deploy
    • Five Levels of VoC Maturity – From Novices to Transformers
  • Anatomy of Successful VoC Programs
  • Propel Your VoC Program to the Next Generation

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. Effectiveness of Voice of the Customer Programs
  2. Evaluation of Voice of the Customer Elements
  3. Where Companies Get Value From VoC Programs
  4. How Technology Enables Voice of the Customer Programs
  5. Changing Importance of Customer Insight Channels
  6. Collecting Customer Feedback Via Mobile
  7. Structure of Voice of the Customer Organizations
  8. Responsibilities of Voice of the Customer Teams
  9. Voice of the Customer Executive Involvement
  10. Obstacles to Voice of the Customer Success
  11. Six D’s of a Successful Closed-Loop Voice of the Customer Program
  12. Maturity Levels of Voice of the Customer Programs
  13. Temkin Group Voice of the Customer Program Competency and Maturity Assessment (Page 1 of 2)
  14. Temkin Group Voice of the Customer Program Competency and Maturity Assessment (Page 2 of 2)
  15. 10 Highest Scoring Competency Questions
  16. 10 Lowest Scoring Competency Questions
  17. Competency Questions That Increased The Most Between 2016 and 2017
  18. Competency Questions That Decreased The Most Between 2016 and 2017
  19. Voice of the Customer Competency and Maturity Levels
  20. Voice of the Customer Competency and Maturity Levels, Changes
  21. Success Rates of VoC Programs Based on VoC Maturity
  22. VoC Insight Sources and Technology Based on VoC Maturity
  23. Mobile VoC Based on VoC Maturity
  24. Areas of Success Based on VoC Maturity
  25. The VoC Organization Based on VoC Maturity
  26. Responsibilities of VoC Teams Based on VoC Maturity
  27. Senior Executive Involvement in VoC Based on VoC Maturity
  28. Key Obstacles Based on VoC Maturity
  29. Percentiles of Results From Temkin Group VoC Competency & Maturity Assessment

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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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Report Outline:

  • USAA and JetBlue Lead the NPS Benchmark of 299 U.S. Companies
    • USAA and JetBlue Earn Top Spots in NPS Rankings
    • NPS Increases With Age
  • Want Higher NPS? Improve Customer Experience

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. Temkin Group Measured Net Promoter Scores For 299 Companies Across 20 Industries
  2. Net Promoter Scores (NPS): Top and Bottom 20 Companies
  3. Range of Net Promoter Scores (NPS) Across Industries
  4. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 1)
  5. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 2)
  6. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 3)
  7. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 4)
  8. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 5)
  9. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) By Industry (Page 6)
  10. Promoters, Passives, and Detractors By Industry
  11. Net Promoter Scores (NPS): Most Above and Below Industry Average
  12. Industry Average NPS, 2015 to 2017
  13. Net Promoter Score (NPS) by Age by Industry
  14. Customer Experience Correlates To Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

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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: Renovating Your Voice of the Customer Program

renovating your voice of the customer programWe just published a Temkin Group report, Renovating Your Voice of the Customer Program.

Here’s the executive summary:

Voice of the customer (VoC) programs are essential to any customer experience effort. In recent years, VoC efforts have continued to expand and support their organizations; however, going forward they will need to adapt to significant changes in data sources, technology, operational pressures, and consumer behavior. In this report, Temkin Group details how companies can propel their VoC programs into the future by:

  • Identifying 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.
  • Sharing 30 examples that exemplify innovative VoC practices across each of the trends.
  • Helping companies lay the groundwork for VoC innovation with a description of how to drive change through three distinct stages.

For this report, we received submissions of innovative VoC practices from Confirmit, InMoment, Rant & Rave, Qualtrics, Verint, and Walker.

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Here are the best practices described in the report:

Innovative voice of the customer practices

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Report Outline:

  • Voice of the Customer Programs Need an Overhaul
  • Six Trends That Will Reshape VoC and Customer Insights
  • Best Practices For Tapping Into VoC Trends
    • Trend #1: deep Empathy, Not Stacks of Metrics
    • Trend #2: Continuous Insights, Not Periodic Studies
    • Trend #3: Customer Journeys, Not Isolated Interactions
    • Trend #4: Useful Prescriptions, Not Past Descriptions
    • Trend #5: Enterprise Intelligence, Not Customer Feedback
    • Trend #6: Mobile First, Not Mobile Responsive
  • Introduce Innovation Throughout VoC Programs

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. Growing Role of Technology and Insight Sources in VoC
  2. Vendor-Submitted Best Practices By Trend
  3. Vendor-Submitted Best Practices By Trend
  4. Vendor-Submitted Best Practices BY Trend
  5. Innovative VoC Practices Across the Six Customer Insight Trends
  6. Intuit Design for Delight (D4D)
  7. GE Healthcare: Adventure Series
  8. Petsmart: Collecting Non-Mobile Feedback Through Mobile
  9. Mobile Telecommunications: Explore Variation by Channel
  10. Ally Bank: Design Standardized Methods For Prioritizing Insights
  11. Using Text Analytics to Understand Satisfaction Scores
  12. Example of Condensed Survey Design
  13. Probe for Immediate Survey Follow-Up
  14. Example of Mobile-Friendly Alert for Employees
  15. Customer Insights Readiness Checklist
  16. Mobile Feedback Transforms the Six D’s of Voice of the Customer

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La Quinta “Gaming” Highlights Flaws in NPS

I’m in Las Vegas to watch some NBA Summer League games (Go Celtics!), and am staying overnight at a La Quinta near the airport. I found this note on the table next to the bed.

While there’s no problem with a nice thank you note, one section caught my eye…

*********
You may be receiving a guest satisfaction survey from La Quinta in the near future and we hope you feel confident that you may answer the question “Would you recommend us to your family and friends” with a 10.

If you should be surveyed, La Quinta uses a 1-10 scale (10 being the best). Although the scale ranking is from 1 to 10, scores of 8 or below results in a negative impact on the overall rating for this hotel.
*********

First of all, this is what I would call “gaming” the system. Anytime you ask for a specific score or range of scores, it’s gaming. Instead of getting a true response from the customer about his/her experience, the customer is forced to balance her honest feedback with a request for a specific score. Some customers are likely to be intimidated, since they may think that the hotel has visibility into their specific response. This would lower response rates and alter true feedback.

The second problem this highlights is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) calculation (since this is clearly an NPS question). As you probably know, NPS segments responses into three categories: Detractors (6 or less), Passives, (7 or 8) and Promoters (9 or 10). Is there really that much difference between an “8” or “9” on this scale? I think people giving either of these ratings would think that they are saying that the experience was good, but not the best that they’ve ever had. The choice of an “8” or “9” may be more driven by an internal rating gauge (that is different in each person), then it is being caused by a distinctive difference in the actual experience.

[Side note: La Quinta’s NPS is 9 points below the hotel industry average in Temkin Group’s latest NPS benchmark study]

The final, more substantial problem is how the metric is being used. My guess is that La Quinta is using NPS to substantially impact the compensation of some hotel employees. This pushes people to focus on “the number” as opposed to what’s really important, the ability to continuously improve.

To be honest, the issues I discuss above are not NPS-specific. I’ve seen them with a variety of metrics, and we work with many companies that are successfully using NPS. So let me share some advice for improving your use of CX metrics….

I wrote a post a few years ago that listed these five rules to stop employees from gaming your feedback system:

  1. Don’t mention or refer to a score
  2. Don’t mention specific survey questions
  3. Don’t mention any consequences
  4. Don’t say or imply that you will see their responses
  5. Don’t intimidate customers in any way

Check out my most about nine recommendations for NPS programs:

  1. The choice of metric is not as important as people think
  2. Driving improvements is what’s critical
  3. Promoters & detractors need their individual attention
  4. Sampling patterns really, really matter
  5. NPS is for relationships, not transactions
  6. NPS is for teams, not individuals
  7. Compensation can be a real problem
  8. Target ranges make more sense than single numbers
  9. There are four loops to close

The bottom line: CX metrics need to focus on improvements, not numbers

CX Competency: Customer Connectedness (Video)

Temkin Group has found that the only path to sustainable customer experience differentiation is to build a customer-centric culture. How? By mastering Four Customer Experience Core Competencies.

This video provides an overview of one of those competencies, Customer Connectedness, where the goal is to infuse customer insight across the organization.

Here Are Four Strategies For Customer Connectedness:

Customer Connectedness


CX Sparks: Guides For Stimulating Customer Experience DiscussionsThis video is a great introduction to a discussion with your team. That’s why we’ve created a CX Sparks guide that you can download and use to lead a stimulating discussion.

Report: The Shift To Customer Journey Insights

THe shift to customer journey insights reportWe just published a Temkin Group report, The Shift To Customer Journey Insights. Here’s the executive summary:

Customer insights are critical to customer experience programs. However, current insights’ efforts tend to focus on individual interactions rather than on a customer’s entire journey, and as a result, they often fail to provide a complete picture of a customer’s experience with the company. This report helps companies shift their insights efforts from concentrating narrowly on single transactions to focusing broadly on customers’ journeys.

Here are some highlights :

  • We developed an approach to help companies create a comprehensive view of journeys called Customer Journey Insights (CJI), which is made up of five strategies: Internal Journey Alignment, Journey Data Farming, Journey Performance Tracking, Journey Visualization, and Journey Prioritization.
  • We share 20 examples of best practices from companies that are applying these strategies to develop a more complete understanding of their customers’ journeys.
  • To help companies master these strategies, we have identified three stages organizations proceed through on their path to enabling customer journeys: 1) Customer Journey Orientation, 2) Customer Journey Enablement, and 3) Customer Journey Mastery.

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Here are the best practices focused around five strategies for shifting towards customer journey insights:

  1. Internal Journey Alignment. Shift the company’s mindset away from siloed interaction success to customer goal facilitation.
  2. Journey Data Farming. Tap into adjacent data sources and make linkages across channels.
  3. Journey Performance Tracking. Overhaul metrics to measure performance across customer journeys.
  4. Journey Visualization. Create mechanisms for communicating insights in a way that reinforces the centrality of customer journeys.
  5. Journey Prioritization. Focus on the journeys, customer segments, and channels that are strategic business priorities.

Customer journey insights best practices

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Report Outline:

  • Customer Insights Need An Overhaul
    • Customer Insights Are Falling Short
  • The Rise of Customer Journey Insights
    • Strategy No. 1: Internal Journey Alignments
    • Strategy No. 2: Journey Data Farming
    • Strategy No. 3: Journey Performance Tracking
    • Strategy No. 4: Journey Visualization
    • Strategy No. 5: Journey Prioritization
  • The Path To Customer Journey Analytics

 

Figures in the Report:

  1. The Changing Importance of Customer Insight Channels
  2. CX Measurement Across Different Interaction Channels
  3. Shift To Customer Journey Insights
  4. Customer Journey Insights Best Practices
  5. Linking Customer Journey InsightsTo A Strategic Goal
  6. Examples Of Data Types And Uses By Channel
  7. Use of CX Metrics
  8. Visualization Of A Financial Services Journey
  9. Design Dashboards Differently For Customer Journeys
  10. Explore Variation by Channel
  11. Identify and Prioritize Specific Customer Journeys
  12. Customer Journey Insights: Common Challenges
  13. The Evolution to Customer Journey Insights

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Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2017

what happens after a good or bad experience reportWe just published a Temkin Group report, What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2017. This is our annual analysis of which companies deliver the most and least bad experiences, how consumers respond after those experience (in terms of sharing those experiences and changing their purchase behaviors), and the effect of service recovery (see last year’s report).

Here’s the executive summary:

To understand how good and bad experiences effect customer 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 six years. Here are some highlights:

  • About 19% of the customers who interacted with Internet service providers and TV service providers reported having a bad experience – a considerably higher percentage than in other industries. Of the companies we evaluated, 21st Century, Spirit Airlines, and HSBC deliver bad experiences most frequently.
  • We looked at the percentage of customers in an industry had a bad experience and combined that number with the percentage of customers who said they decreased their spending after a bad experience and then used this data to create a Sales at Risk Index for all 20 industries. Rental car agencies stand to lose the most revenue (6.7%) from delivering bad experiences, while retailers stand to lose the least (1%).
  • Investment firms are most effective at recovering after a bad experience, whereas TV 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 more likely to share feedback over Facebook and Twitter, and these channels are most popular with consumers who are between 25- and 44-years-old.
  • Of all the companies we evaluated, The Hartford is the most likely to receive negatively biased feedback directly from its customers, while Chubb is likely to receive the most positively biased feedback.

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Here are excerpted versions of 3 (out of 19) graphics in the report:
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