One of the first few questions that organizations ask after adopting the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is whether they should set NPS as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI). While the intention behind such a thought could be to ensure that the team is serious about NPS, it is equally important to ascertain that the program has reached the maturity level where NPS can actually be adopted as a KPI. Do it too early and it will face a lot of resistance from the team; do it too late and the program loses its value.
There is no right answer to when NPS should become a KPI in your employees’ scorecard. However, I recommend having the following prerequisites in place before introducing NPS as a KPI in your company.
Provide the required support to frontline staff
The company should give out a clear message to its employees that they have the management’s support in delivering great customer experience. When customer feedback starts flowing in, most organizations redirect detractors to the frontline staff or to the customer service team to follow-up at the first level. When negative feedback is received, the frontline team shouldn’t be unaware of the steps required to resolve the customer issues. This will only lead to further customer dissatisfaction.
Organizations must ensure that the first level team knows what to do and exactly whom to contact based on the type of customer concern highlighted in the feedback. Without a well-defined system, frontline employees would feel helpless in dealing with negative feedback, significantly lowering their morale.
The solution here is to define a process for handling customer issues and equipping the team with the right tools to collect customer feedback. Furthermore, organizations must analyze this data and take necessary action to address issues. The employees should get the message that the organization is as involved in the process as the team is and that it is willing to equip them with the right processes and tools.
Ensure data sanity
To create the finest quality product, you need to use the best raw material. Similarly, if you want to get the best results from your NPS program, it is important that the data you are collecting and using to make key decisions is relevant, reliable, and a good representation of your entire customer base. Initiatives based on non-reliable data will face resistance from all the departments affected. This resistance will also be rightly justified as decisions on unreliable data will not be credible and will yield misguiding results. The following are some points to consider for data reliability:
- The team must be trained and systems should be put in place to avoid “gaming” the score – surveying only satisfied customers, color coding the scale to influence customer response, and pleading customers for high scores.
- Efforts must be made to achieve a high response rate. For instance, keeping the survey design mobile-responsive could be your key to higher response rates.
- The NPS feedback should be collected through a channel where the likelihood of influencing a customer response is minimal. For example, an SMS with a URL or an email should be preferred over a telephonic feedback process.
Translate the NPS score to existing functional KPIs
Most organizations already have existing KPIs for all of their business functions. Since these KPIs are used to measure and monitor the performance of employees, I recommend translating the NPS into these KPIs. This would create less ambiguity within employees. Also, employees in each business function would easily understand what they need to do in order to support NPS improvement.
Of course, in order to translate NPS into existing KPIs, you need to first understand the correlation of existing functional KPIs with NPS. By performing simple statistical modeling of NPS data with KPIs of business functions, you can identify the key handles to NPS that every business function drives. It’s easy to do so once you have at least six to nine months worth of NPS data. Once these are identified, NPS targets must be communicated to individual departments in terms of KPIs associated with respective departments. Such an approach will also ensure a wider adoption of the NPS metric because it has been translated into the language that each department understands!
Though it is advisable to set NPS as a KPI, it is imperative to support your team in their initiatives and, in the process, always be focused on the ultimate goal to WOW your customers.
Image Source: Uttarakhand Incredible!