The “Net Promoter Score,” has been around for a long time. In 2003, Fred Reichheld introduced it in his HBR article: “One Number You Need To Grow”
The concept of the NPS is simple, you ask a customer: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? The answer is usually rated on a 0-10 scale. Promoters are those providing scores of 9-10, Detractors are those providing scores of 0-6. The NPS Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.
It’s not unusual for an organization to have a negative score.
There are a number of views about problems with this concept, about whether it is a good measure of customer loyalty, and other things; but as a quick and dirty indicator, the concept is not bad.
Recently, Rich Weidel was telling me how he uses the concept for himself and his team. Rich is one of the most talented executives I’ve met. He’s a real innovator and is obsessed with continuous learning and improvement.
As part of that obsession, Rich measures himself on NPS. For example, at the end of this post, you’ll see a video Rich made on measuring NPS of a meeting he led. He asked the people participating in the meeting, “Would you recommend this meeting to your friends and colleagues?” He got a negative 22! Watch the video to see how Rich learned from the feedback.
As I reflected on what Rich is doing, I thought, this concept could be very powerful for what we do as individuals and leaders.
For example, think how much you could learn if you had an app that enabled people to quickly give a NPS score to every meeting you have?
- Would you recommend Dave as a manager that conducts helpful deal reviews to your fiend and colleagues?
- Would you recommend Dave as a manager that conducts helpful 1 on 1s?
- Would you recommend Dave as a manager who invests time in effectively coaching you to improve?
- Would you recommend Dave as a manager committed to your personal and professional development?
- …….or ………
You can see where this is going.
As an example, Rich has his people measure him quarterly on a number of areas, including: Freedom, Integrity, Responsibility, Purpose, Compassion, Humility, Truth, Grit.
You might extend this concept to internal support organizations–for example Sales Enablement, Marketing, and so forth. After all, the principle of NPS is pretty adaptable. Sales people, for example, are the customers of their managers and sales enablement.
Think about it, what if we had a simple mechanism to understand our own “NPS?” What would we learn, how might we improve, how might we create better experiences within our own organizations?
Of couse, we wouldn’t measure everything—“Would you recommend the way I greet you every morning to others…..?” But there are a few things that we do regularly with our people, peers, and colleagues that would be very useful to measure. They can help us figure areas where we can improve, better use the time of others, and increase our impact.
And of course, w have to have the courage to to be open to the feedback we get. As Rich outlines in his video, he took his -22 score as an opportunity to learn and improve.
But a caution–the value of this is not the score itself. I can imagine managers starting to post their NPS scores on LinkedIn: “I had an NPS of 85 in my last role as sales manager……”
The score is just a starting point, the real value of doing this is to understand how people perceive what we do , what we can learn, and and the actions we take to change and improve. Without this, NPS becomes just another meaningless number.
Think of the impact this might have on our performance? Think of how it could help us in improving how we coach and develop our own people. Or how we improve our own internal operations?
It takes courage and commitment, but it can be a powerful mechanism for learning and improvement.
Thanks so much for sharing, Rich!