Are telco experience managers falling out of love with NPS?

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August 13, 2018

Fred Reichheld created the Net Promoter System back in 2003 and it’s been the favoured measure for customer satisfaction in telco ever since. But fifteen years on, many of the experience managers we talk to are starting to ask some big questions about NPS.

In our rapidly changing world has NPS kept up?

Telecoms has changed dramatically since NPS came on the scene. The way customers use their devices today is very different from typical usage 15 years ago. In the age of smartphones, smart homes and media streaming, customer satisfaction is unlikely to be achieved using the customer support processes that dominated at the start of the millennium, so why do we continue to use a customer satisfaction index that has never changed?

How likely are you to recommend our service to a friend or colleague?

First and foremost, Net Promoter Score is simple to implement and simple to understand. The entire system is based on just one question: “How likely are you to recommend our service to a friend or colleague?”  Customers have become familiar with the NPS process. They know it’s quick and painless. And, over the years, reams of data have been crunched into hard-hitting analysis to help retain NPS’s credibility.

NICE Satmetrix is the co-developer of the Net Promoter System. In its annual benchmark report, the operation claims sales leads that come from promoters (via referral) are 30% more likely to convert than other leads.

We’re not suggesting that happy customers don’t contribute to profitability. We’re sure they do.

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Keeping customers prone to recommend the services you offer for longer comes with obvious benefits. But in today's ecosystem, where big data can be harnessed and AI is supporting more new customer experiences every day, NPS on its own looks just a little bit...well...analogue.

When we look at NPS charts in telco, most companies find that 30-40% of their customers give them ‘passive’ scores of 7 or 8, and the difference between high performing companies and lower performers, is largely down to the number of 9 scores.

Since telco customer service processes are often long, complex, and tiresome, often requiring multiple calls, even users who get a successful outcome are unlikely to score a 9 or 10. Which is why we believe telcos languish at the bottom of NPS tables.

In a bid to drive passive NPS scores of up to promoter grade 9s and 10s, experience managers in telco are striving to simplify and shorten customer service journeys. But that’s not easy when the support issues that customers need resolving are becoming more complex and diverse every day.

Finding new ways to support customers with an increasingly diverse range of services is the problem Support Robotics was born to solve. That’s why we think it’s time to reboot customer service in telco.

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