Want Improved NPS? Not So Fast – First, Perfect Your Performance


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You can improve your Net Promoter score, but companies must first take a long, hard look in the mirror.

The most common request I receive these days is “can I improve my company’s Net Promoter score (NPS) or customer satisfaction?” The short answer we provide is: yes.

However, “can you help me improve my NPS?” should really be rephrased as “can you raise my performance standards and ensure we delight customers consistently?” When you start thinking from the latter perspective, you’re ready to play ball.

The growing power of customers through social media, combined with the accelerated commoditization of products and services – and the rise of customer experience – have reshaped CMO agendas. Net Promoter score and customer satisfaction scores aren’t an achievement target. They’re a measure of real performance, and customers will happily (and most likely) voice their satisfaction or dissatisfaction to the entire world with the click of a button.

So how do you make sure they’re going to say nice things? Well it’s not luck. You can’t fool customers into loving you. You must earn it.

First, think deeply about why you don’t currently have a top NPS score. For most companies, the answer isn’t that you’re dysfunctional or doing a bad job. Most likely, your organization delivers a decent experience to customers, otherwise you’d be seeing massive defections.

The challenge for most organizations is that they’re just OK and haven’t realized it yet. Your actions haven’t impressed customers enough to cause them to rave about you. You’re boring. For that middle-of the-road performance, you’ll continue to earn middle-of-the-road scores.

To earn top customer satisfaction scores:

Find ways to raise performance standards and hold everyone accountable.
Take an honest look at the customer journey and redesign it to delight the customer at every touch point.
Empower employees to turn disappointments into “delight” moments.
Create a culture that focuses on the customer and not on internal politics.
Make it a mission to change the world – not just the stock price.
My mantra is “Exceptional, or nothing.” And I’ve seen it work multiple times.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from being on the journey over 150 times it’s that most companies aren’t ready to do it. They say they want to, but they aren’t ready to back up words with serious actions.

If you’re ready to have an honest conversation about performance standards, you’re getting ready to earn top customer scores.

Keep in mind, this isn’t a branding issue or a new ad campaign. Don’t rush to over promise your customers when the rest of your organization isn’t ready to deliver because, if you do, you’ll create greater customer disappointments.

This type of transformational change takes time and efficient strategy execution. Be ready to perform exceptionally, actually do it, and the scores will follow.

Lior Arussy
One of the world’s authorities on customer experience, customer centricity, and transformation, Lior Arussy delivers results. His strategic framework converts organizations from product- to customer-centricity. It is drawn from his work with some of the world’s leading brands: Mercedes-Benz, Royal Caribbean, Delta Air Lines, MasterCard, Novo Nordisk, Walmart and more.Arussy is also the author of seven books, including Next Is Now (May 2018)


  1. Lior – man, you nailed it here. I can even hear your voice in my head saying these things as though you were right here with me when I read this article.

    Nice job Sir!

    Stay well,


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