If you read my last post, you’ll know that I credit the launch of Net Promoter Score® as one of three pivotal events that paved the way for the customer experience discipline. Its brilliance is in its simplicity: Everyone from customers to top executives understand that willingness to recommend connects directly to an organization’s financial success.
As such, I hold a special place in my heart for NPS and the people that created it. I even got to have my own geek-out moment on a recent phone call with Rob Markey, partner at Bain & Company and co-author of The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World.
We talked about a wide range of customer experience topics, but my favorite point in the conversation was getting to ask Rob a question that’s been in the back of my mind since I first heard about NPS some dozen plus years ago: Why the 11-point scale? Typical surveys ask customers to provide the feedback on scales that range from 1 to 10, 1 to 7, and (less effectively) from 1 to 5. But 0 to 10? Why?!
Rob’s answer was simple: The data crunchers got statistically better results when they included the zero. One of the mysteries of the CX universe solved!
I was also intrigued when Rob revealed his biggest regret about NPS: that the “S” originally stood for “Score” and not “System.” I wholeheartedly agree. The scores are interesting and helpful, as they allow organizations to track their progress and benchmark themselves against each other. But the scores themselves won’t help any organization actually improve its customer experience. Processes like feedback, learning, improvement, and other components of the Net Promoter System® are essential to CX improvements.
As much as I love NPS, an understanding of customer feedback doesn’t tell you all you need to know about your customers’ experiences. To get the full picture, you also need to understand actual customer behavior.
Enter journey analytics, an approach to insights and measurement that examines customers’ behavior not just at individual touchpoints, but along the paths they take as they attempt to accomplish their goals and tasks. To do this effectively, you’ll need a journey analytics platform to aggregate data across multiple channels — and this data aggregation is incredibly powerful.
For example, rather than looking just at what customers did on your website OR asking how satisfied they were with a call to customer support, you can track those customers who tried to self-serve, then gave up and called a human. Even better, you can find out exactly which pages customers visited — and which of their paths lead to higher or lower satisfaction scores.
Of course, just like NPS, journey analytics isn’t a silver bullet by itself. To find out exactly what’s missing or broken on the website pages that drove your customers to the contact center, you’ll need to summon your usability team to provide some qualitative insights in the form of an expert review or a usability test. Or you could run A/B tests to figure out which of various page design changes will fix the problem. Or, or, or…
The point is this: Don’t get attached to one and only one insights or measurement technique. Use a mix of methods — and a mix of quantitative and qualitative data — to get the richest insights about your customers’ needs and expectations. But ensure that both NPS and journey analytics are part of your customer insights program.