NPS – Does it work for B2B?


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If you suggested I rename this blog something like NPS News, I couldn’t blame you; I’ve been thinking a lot about NPS lately. Mostly, it’s been about the straightforward advantages of this useful market indicator. But NPS has a fundamental problem too – NPS was designed for a B to C market.

After you’ve rented a car, the agency asks you if you’d recommend their car rental company to a friend. A simple sale, simple process. But nothing about B to B is simple. Both the sales process and the customer experience is complex. Can NPS work in that arena?

If you’re helping a customer rent a car or book a flight, you need to know your product, be helpful, be seen to be getting them a good deal, and solve problems quickly.

In B2B, your relationship touches different types of people. Say you’re selling sophisticated electronic equipment to an organization. You’ll be contacting both the engineer who’s using it and the senior management. Each will have different questions, and different reasons for contacting customer support. The engineer has functionality questions, and needs problems fixed fast. Senior management wants to know if the solution fits their strategy, so they need to be working with people who understand their business. They’re not buying equipment – they’re buying a solution.

So the challenge : how to use NPS in this complex B2B environment? The single NPS question (“would you recommend us …”), is too superficial. Your result would be meaningless, giving you no insight to act on.

Can NPS work in a B2B environment? Sure – but you need to approach it differently. This post is getting a bit long, so I’ll explain how next week.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Thompson Morrison
Thompson Morrison has spent the last couple of decades figuring out how companies can listen better. Before co-founding FUSE, Mr. Morrison was Managing Director of AccessMedia International (AP), a consulting firm that provides strategic market analysis for the IT industry. His clients included Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, IBM, and Vignette.


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