Almost one year ago to the day I wrote a somewhat controvertial article about Net Promoter Scores.
This article is a response to a reader’s question – “what I would recommend as an alternative?”
The original article is here along with video, but here is an excerpt – with my answer to the question below.
Companies obtain their Net Promoter Score by asking customers a single question on a 0 to 10 rating scale: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?”
So it’s simple, easy to collate, and even easier to communicate to staff. But let’s look further. I am a Qantas frequent flyer with high status and rarely buy my own ticket (because most of my travel is business) would I recommend? Some questions
Who would I be recommending to? My budget conscious parents or my CEO peer group?
Would I be treated the same as others? I know I’m treated better. What about smokers? Are they likely to recommend to non-smokers? What about other smokers who have been smoking a rival brand for 20 years? Of course not.
Would you recommend you favourite nightclub to your family?
Although you love the nightclub, you might not want your family there.
If you are a Bank Manager, is it fair that you NPS is largely driven by Head Office policies which affect your customers? You might have given awesome service deserving of a 10 score, but your customer’s loan may have been unceremoniously declined by a computer program over a minor technicality.
It’s all about context. The moment you need to clarify context, the simplicity is lost. By all means, use NPS as part of your service matrix but not as the sole tool.
Below are some killer single question surveys which can be used as an alternative to Net Promoter Score (NPS).
But – if you are focused on a one question survey I would be more specific.
Here are some examples for a restaurant (but don’t ask all of them).
Would you call this one of your favourite restaurants?
Can you see yourself calling yourself a ‘regular’?
Do you think you will come back for a similar occasion?
Will you go home and rave about your last experience here?
Would you recommend us to friends with similar tastes and budget to you?
If you are a regular, how would you rate this experience with previous ones? (scale = Better, consistent, Not as Good).
Did you receive the service you expected when you walked in today?
Was the product as good as you expected when you walked in today?
Be specific, be brave. The context is as important as the question.
Don’t ask vague questions allowing interpretation and loose context.
Tighten it up – you will get real information, and real truth.