Today Satmetrix released its 2011 Net Promoter industry benchmark report.
I was happy to see some of my favorite brands score well, like Amazon.com, JetBlue, Southwest, Trader Joe’s and Zappos.
According the press release, the rankings were based on a survey of 22K US consumers, each ranking one or two companies they have purchased from in the past 12 months. A company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS®) is based how consumers answer a likelihood-to-recommend question, calculated as the percentage of consumers giving a 9/10 rating (“promoters”) minus the percentage of those giving a rating of 6 or less (“detractors”).
Now, it should be noted that there are different ways to get the same score, because it’s a net percentage. This is one of the technical flaws of this metric. However, there’s no getting around the fact that high NPS scores — generally north of 50% — can only be achieved when a company earns a lot of 9s and 10s and relative few in the 0-6 range.
As you can see in this chart, the range of scores is also highly industry specific. For example, the average NPS in grocery (49%) is greater than the industry leaders in cable TV (28%) and credit cards (41%).
I wonder if the leaders in weak industries look to other more customer-centric industries for inspiration on setting new goals. They should, otherwise they could see a competitor come out of left field like Apple in the cell phone industry.
OK, maybe some industries are “tougher” than others to get good scores. But I’d say the airlines industry is about as tough as it gets, and somehow JetBlue (NPS=60) and Southwest (NPS=59) have managed to score well and make money. I know other airlines are trying to catch up, but the gap is huge.
Of course, there’s the score and then there’s how to get the score. In my view, the industry leaders use NPS and other industry surveys like ACSI, JD Powers, etc. to validate they’re on the right path. But the reason they’re out ahead is because they keep innovating, delivering more value and providing great customer experiences.
The full benchmark reports are available at www.netpromoter.com/benchmarks.
Not being willing or able to pay $950 for the Satmetrix report on the Grocery & Supermarkets sector, I do not know what the report has to say about its sector “star”, Trader Joe’s.
But I do know a lot about Trader Joe’s … as a customer, and the close relative of a TJ’s employee, and a concerned citizen. I see the attraction of TJ’s to a certain kind of customer, who is taken in by the fixed obligatory smiles of the employees and the officious eagerness to help. After all, TJ’s employees are taught to be doormats. Any customer complaint to corporate HQ in Calif. can lead to summary dismissal. And lately, TJ’s has cut back on the retirement plan that was FORMERLY quite generous to employees (those who stayed long enough with the firm).
The company treats many of its suppliers shoddily, and cuts loose long term suppliers who refuse to let their products go under TJ’s private label. (Just ask the employees of King Arthur Flour). And TJ’s hides behind its cloak of obsessive corporate secrecy to refuse to offer, even verbal support to mistreated farm workers in Calif. and Florida.