Single Question Metrics


Share on LinkedIn

In my last post entitled cherish customer complaints, they make you stronger I mentioned the article entitled Stop trying to delight your customers.

In that paper, the first proposition is that: “Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty, reducing their effort-the work they must do to get their problem solved-does.”

The authors were introducing or promoting, Customer Effort Score, or CES. 3 metrics were evaluated on their predictive power for customer loyalty, they also evaluated CSAT and the NPS.

The Customer Effort Score asks the question, “how much effort did you have to put forth to handle your request?”

The authors argued, that the CES is stronger in the service environment, and it was a compelling argument, given that their study conducted involved questioning of 75,000 B2B and B2C customers, it would be remiss, however, not to point out that the authors of the article work for the Corporate Executive Board, the company behind developing the metric.

Notwithstanding that, they were able to show the metric had strong predictive powers for loyalty, they said the reason it was stronger than NPS for loyalty because it “could capture customer impressions at transactional level”.

They went on to state that the NPS was is good for capturing holistic impressions of a company. There have been plenty of ‘detractors’ of the NPS as a metric, I have come across the following grievances raised about the metric:

  • Works poorly for industries with few competitors
  • Fails to predict loyalty
  • Doesn’t differentiate between promoters and detractors
  • Performs worse than satisfaction and liking questions
  • 0-10 scale performs worse than 3 other scales
  • Less accurate than a composite index

Having said that, it is hugely popular worldwide, and if one looks to Bain’s analysis (NPS is a registered trademark of Fred Reicheld, Satmetrix and Bain) of the NPS, there is a remarkably high correlation between long terms profitable growth and NPS. NPS performance leaders outgrow their competitors in most industries by an average of 2.5.

There is no doubt there is considerable value in each of these metrics, I am willing to see the advantages of the CES, in particular at transactional level, and some of the arguments in the article resonated. But the NPS, in my view, remains the ‘Ultimate question’, largely because of its ubiquitous presence, and the impact it is having on the importance of Customer Experience in business today.

That said, I am hopeful that more single questions metrics such as the CES emerge, as it is nice to see certain questions suited to capturing more defined scenarios or environments.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

David Heneghan
David founded CX Index to help businesses leverage feedback to make more profitable decisions. Through our software platfrom we conduct sophisticated data analysis to help businesses drive more porfitable customer centric decisions. @cxindex


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here