Making The Most Of Net Promoter Scores: Guidance For Contact Center Managers

10 August 2015
 Categories: , Articles

A company's Net Promoter Score measures how likely it is that a customer would recommend the organization to other people. This type of brand advocacy is a great way to measure the overall experience your customers are having. For contact center managers, Net Promoter Scores offer a useful way to measure performance, but it's important to understand how to meaningfully apply these metrics. Make the most of Net Promoter Scores in your contact center with the four following performance-boosting tips.

You should focus on improvement and not absolute targets

Net Promoter Score is a useful metric because the calculation behind the measure is simple. A positive score means you have more promoters than detractors. A negative score indicates that the opposite is true. As such, everyone should focus on pushing the score in a positive direction.

Setting a target for the measure is not so simple. Ideally, every customer would promote your business, but it's almost impossible to delight every client, every time you speak to them. As such, it's important to find a realistic NPS that you should aim for.

Contact center managers generally aim for absolute metrics. For example, you normally manage your business according to a set call handling time target. This approach won't generally work with Net Promoter Scores because of all the different variables that can affect the customer's perception. As such, it's better to solely focus your efforts on driving an improvement in NPS, or you could spend all your time chasing a target you cannot achieve.

You must target the right customer events

Companies focus on certain events to survey their customers for Net Promoter Scores. For example, you may ask customers to complete a survey every time they buy something or each time they need to make a claim on your insurance policy.

Different events are likely to drive different scores. For example, if you survey customers after they make a complaint, you'll probably see a lower score because customer dissatisfaction at this stage is invariably high. As such, to get value from the metric, you need to choose customer events where the experience can genuinely influence the customer's response.

Many organizations start with a survey after a customer first uses their product or service. This decreases the risk that a customer's preconception will influence the score. You can also consider specific events that focus on your contact center (sale, enquiry, renewal and so on) to help you focus on your agents' impact on customer satisfaction.

You can't use NPS in isolation

Net Promoter Score is a great barometer of overall customer satisfaction, but you need to consider the measure as part of a balanced scorecard of measures. Efficiency, financial performance and call quality all remain critical in any contact center, and you cannot disregard conventional metrics in favor of Net Promoter Score.

What's more, NPS may send out a warning sign, but you'll need to look at other metrics to find more actionable evidence. For example, a decrease of 10 percent in your NPS score would suggest that something new is alienating or annoying your customers, but you'll then need to look at other measures to spot what is going wrong. A large increase in abandoned rate could point to a problem with your scheduling, but NPS will simply show you the effect the issue is having on your customers.

You need to make everybody aware of your results

To make the most of Net Promoter data, you need to make sure everybody in the business is aware of and understands current performance. NPS is almost meaningless if you only discuss the issue at a senior level. A contact center agent is in a strong position to directly influence a customer's perception of the business, so it makes sense to let him or her know the outcome of surveys on an ongoing basis.

When it comes to performance metrics, some contact center managers suffer from analysis paralysis. It's easy to spend too much time analyzing the numbers, without enabling your team members to take corrective actions. In team huddles and briefings, spend a short time discussing your current NPS results, but use most of the time to talk about how your team can influence the future score.

Net Promoter Score is an increasingly popular way for contact center managers to understand how customers feel about their business. Use NPS as a barometer of performance, but remember that you still need to use other metrics and management tools to change the results. For more information, you may want to contact an NPS consulting company.