NPS, InfoQuest and Numbers


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Here is one for the statisticians. It’s boring as hell. Sorry.

A Net Promoter Score survey with 100 respondents that asked the question “Would you recommend” achieved a score of 7.2.

The 7.2 means something when it is in context. So, to put it into context, last time’s score was 7.4.

It is clear that the 100 customers that expressed an opinion this time around were less inclined to recommend than the previous 100 customers.

What is not so clear is why.

If what has been scored is a B2C operation where there is a point of sale, such as a restaurant or a store or a website or a call-centre, then someone who is very familiar with where the ‘experience’ or ‘transaction’ took place stands a reasonable chance of identifying what changed, over time, to affect the score. (And, to add to the variables, there is always the possibility that nothing at the point of sale changed – rather it was the expectations of the customers that had changed over time, either from their experiences at other points of sale or by the way that this particular point of sale had recently been promoted).

It is complicated, isn’t it! There’s no wonder that a whole industry has sprung up to support the NPS theory.

For comparison, an InfoQuest survey was conducted and 100 customers responded.

In the survey the customers were asked their opinion on 60 aspects of the business (chosen by the business). This covered everything from billing and invoicing, product quality, management interactions, communication, quotations, ordering, business practices and customer support and there were five response options for each of the 60 points of interest.

Where NPS took the views of 100 customers and turned them into one datum point, the InfoQuest survey has treated each of the 100 customers as valued individuals with their own needs, wants, political agendas and, of course, perceptions. Or, if you are a statistician, 1 datum point versus 6,000 datum points.

The nearest that InfoQuest gets to a summary is the figure that gets reported for the percentage of customers that were, ‘On an overall basis’ totally satisfied with the business. This result, by the way, is then benchmarked against the results that have been attained by the same question (which is always posed as the final question in the survey) in around 150,000 other B2B surveys that used the InfoQuest box. Oh, and the ‘recommend’ question has been used in every survey since 1989.

You too could achieve a score of 7.2. But if you are in B2B you might want to take a look at the sort of report you could get – .

John Coldwell
From an operations background, John's attitude towards B2B customer satisfaction surveys is that they must be useful. Interesting doesn't interest him. You should be able to grab the feedback by the scruff of the neck and do something with it. For the past 15 years John has been running InfoQuest's full-day senior-team post-survey workshops around the world.


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