Customer Experience Assessment: Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Call centers directly represent companies and brands and must, therefore, deliver a positive and consistent customer experience. For this reason, effective call center management depends on several standard metrics that measure and assess the customer experience.

For the most part, the Customer Satisfaction Score, Customer Effort Score, and Net Promoter Score measure different aspects of the customer experience and work together to portray call center performance.


Defining Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Companies can use the Net Promoter Score in their call center to assess the loyalty of their customers and the likelihood of which customers will recommend their brand to others. Net promoters can dramatically increase the reach of a brand and thereby create sustainable sales growth for it.

The NPS is a survey that uses a single question to obtain information about customer sentiment. After collecting data from callers, managers can use the metric to determine whether the customer experience provided by the firm is an asset or a liability and then take action as needed.


Measuring NPS

Companies use a simple question to find out whether customers will promote their brand. Although the exact wording of the question may vary, they all follow a basic model: ‘On a scale of 0-10 how likely would you be to recommend [brand or company name] to a friend or colleague?”

Customers who will promote the company or brand in question will answer the NPS question with either a 9 or a 10. These people will advocate for the brand and recommend it to other people. Consequently, these customers offer tremendous value to the firm.

So-called “passive” customers answer the question with either a 7 or an 8. Those who will actually cause damage, “detractors,” answer from zero to six. These customers will likely buy again, but their experience was not sufficiently outstanding for them to suggest the brand to their associates.

Detractors often have had a negative experience with a brand and might spread information online and offline that can have a detrimental impact on the reputation of a brand. For this reason, managers want to maximize call center customer satisfaction and avoid scores in the 0 to 6 range.

Managers calculate NPS by subtracting the number of customers who are “detractors” from the number of those who are “promoters” and dividing the result by the total number of responses. After that, the number is multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.

If for example, suppose that out of ten callers, three were passive, two were detractors and five were promoters. The NPS for that firm would equal 30 (((5-2)/10) x 100).

NPS scores can range from +100 to -100 and managers can consider any positive NPS as a good result. To accurately assess performance, firms should compare their score to a global benchmark.


Applying NPS to the Call Center

For many firms, the call center represents the hub of the customer service effort. After all, it forms the basis for the majority of interactions between customers and a brand. Moreover, the outcome of a call can have a substantial effect on how customers feel.

By triggering NPS surveys via software after the close of a call, managers can assess whether the call center contributed to customer satisfaction. Surveys can take the form of telephone prompts at the end of a call a message sent via SMS or email. Regardless, collecting the data represents the first step toward using NPS to improve call center performance.

After calculating NPS for the current period, managers can compare the score historical data and global benchmarks to assess relative performance. Also, managers should listen to or read additional comments left as part of the survey to help interpret the results.

Furthermore, the firm should implement a strategy to follow-up with customers about their NPS ratings to gain insights about the strengths and weaknesses of their experience. Using that information in conjunction with other call center reporting data, managers can identify the reasons why customers feel dissatisfied and disloyal.

In the light of the customer experience evaluation, managers can create an action plan to remediate the deficiencies of the operation and exploit its strengths. Afterward, the company can monitor NPS data to look for evidence of improvement.


Which Metric to Use?

In addition to the NPS, two other metrics can shed light on the customer experience.

First, the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) can generate customized results because it uses numerous questions to assess the customer experience. After each question, customers rate their degree of satisfaction from one of five possible levels. Generally, the CSAT works well when managers want to check caller satisfaction about a single encounter. In other words, it usually fails to predict long-term customer loyalty.

Second, the Customer Effort Score (CES) measures how easily callers received a resolution for their issue. Basically, the CES can help companies focus on ways to make their products and services easier to understand and buy. It is considered to be a great indicator of the lifetime value of a customer

In contrast to the CSAT and CES metrics, NPS assesses customer satisfaction based on their likelihood to promote a brand after interacting with it. Given these points, a critical activity of the firm is to measure the customer experience. Regardless of which metric managers choose, doing so allows them to create a basis to assess current and future call center performance.


Providing Outstanding Customer Experience

Companies must provide and outstanding customer experience to remain competitive and relevant in the modern marketplace. By the same token, a satisfactory customer experience can create the foundation for long-term sustainable growth in two ways.

Simply by satisfying customers, customers can gain an army of brand advocates who recommend products and services based on their experience. Such free advertising can reduce marketing costs while increasing sales and profits. Also, customers who have a satisfactory experience are likely to become loyal customers. More repeat business reduces the overall selling costs of the firm and, therefore, increases its profitability.


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