How to convince company leaders to ditch NPS in customer serviceby
Gartner predicts more than 75% of organisations will abandon NPS as a measure of success for customer service by 2025. Here's how to build a business case to phase it out.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one of the most popular metrics used globally by companies to evaluate customer experience (CX), and its results often influence enterprises’ strategic prioritisation and financial investments and allow organisations to benchmark themselves against competitors. It is a proven measure of customer loyalty and helps identify brand-loyal customers that companies can foster into brand advocates.
However, identifying actionable insight from NPS data specific to customer service and support proves challenging for leaders. For this reason, Gartner predicts more than 75% of organisations will abandon NPS as a measure of success for customer service and support by 2025.
Leaders should build an internal case to phase out NPS from post-transaction surveys using the following rationale.
Factors beyond customer service’s control
NPS does not deliver actionable insights that are specific to customer service because a customer’s response to the NPS question is based on contributing factors that reach beyond customer service, such as the price or quality of a product.
Customer service and support leaders responsible for Voice of the Customer (VoC) programmes capture CX metrics results with CX initiatives. These results should provide customer service and support leaders with actionable insights regarding the customer service journey’s successes and failures that are within their control.
Lack clarity for customer service reps
For customer service reps to align their actions with strategic priorities and be willing to make the effort needed to achieve customer service goals, they must understand how to achieve the goals and be motivated to do so. But NPS results fail to provide a clear understanding of the actions reps should take to positively influence the metric. As a result, reps struggle to interpret how an NPS score relates to their performance and what they need to do to improve, which creates frustration and confusion.
Alternative CX metrics, such as customer satisfaction (CSAT), customer effort score (CES) and value enhancement score (VES), help customer service organisations uncover root causes for successes and failures, which leads to improved employee experience and engagement. When reps understand how their performance makes a difference, positively impacting customer service’s ability to achieve CX and business objectives, they’re more likely to repeat positive behaviours.
Wasted time and resources
When evaluating NPS results, customer service and support leaders are expected to articulate what caused the results and what actions the organisation should take to replicate strong performance and improve poor performance. However, the lack of insight from NPS results makes this a daunting task and results in significant amounts of time and resources spent digging into verbatim feedback, customer journey information, channel performance and other data to try to identify root causes.
Customer service and support leaders waste time and resources challenging scores or removing detractors from a customer service dashboard. For example, a survey verbatim that states “the agent was great, but I am unhappy with how quickly the product broke” should be removed to avoid skewing results.
Customer service and support leaders can conduct a time study to prove to stakeholders how much time and resources are wasted by quantifying the expense required to analyse NPS. They can then compare the expense to the value realised when evaluating other CX metrics and VoC, which regularly provide actionable and specific insight. The results of this activity should demonstrate that resources are better spent actively capturing customer-service-specific CX metrics and acting on that insight.
Overall, organisations must recognise that NPS captures customers’ intentions but not their actual behaviour. As a result, an overreliance on one measurement to determine performance and loyalty is not advisable because of the risk of managing to a single number and the possibility of data manipulation to achieve desired targets.
If, however, executive leadership requires NPS to be measured, customer service and support leaders should do it in a way that meets executives’ expectations but doesn’t overvalue the importance of NPS in customer service.