Net Promoter Holy Wars?!?
Monday, November 20, 2006
Wow! I can’t believe how much hostility surrounds the Net Promoter concept. Who would have ever thought that the let’s-all-work-together customer loyalty crowd could be so at odds?
I recently attended the North American Conference on Customer Management (NACCM) in Orlando and was surprised by the level of conflict. Some attendees referred to the conference as a “Net Promoter lovefest” while others, such as GE Healthcare, espoused claims like “a 10 percent increase in our NPS yielded a $500M increase in directly attributable revenue.” Fred Reichheld spoke to a warm audience, but was confronted by somewhat hostile questioners at the end of his keynote. (Of course, the hostile questioners were from loyalty firms who promote different approaches.) One presenter even dedicated his entire session to debunking Net Promoter, mostly by trying to use Fred Reichheld’s quotes and his own data.
My take? First, we should all thank Fred Reichheld for bringing so much attention to this important topic. Whether or not you’re a Net Promoter fan, you have to admit: Fred has gotten the attention of many top executives and board members. Take advantage of the opportunity to advance your own internal initiative. Second, we should all implement our loyalty programs with a somewhat skeptical eye. We’re never going to get it 100% right so we should always be asking what we can do to improve our initiatives and metrics. As one very wise conference participant put it, “We should view incidents where our metrics fail as opportunities to learn and get better at what we do, not as a failure of the initiative itself.”
Steven Nicks, VP Steven.Nicks@phelongroup.com