#36 – Career Advice, and is my new NPS or CSAT metric any good?


Welcome to the 36th edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Unexpectedly popular career advice post on LinkedIn
  2. So, I have my first NPS or CSAT score. Is it a good score? 
  3. Latest blog posts
  4. Notable items from other sites – Provide Support Infographic and Quora.com
  5. Looking forward

Unexpectedly popular career advice post on LinkedIn

I had someting on my mind after talking to a few former colleagues recently. Since it was not strictly about customer experience, I chose not to write about it on my own blog, but to post it on LinkedIn instead. My own daughters are at university, and I suppose I was thinking of them too. I feel quite strongly about this career advice. About 1400 people have read it on LinkedIn up to now. And some people disagree with me, as can been seen in the comments.

The core advice in the article is as follows: Don’t work for a company whose entire business is cost reduction. Their reduction business model will include reducing you. The working atmosphere is depressing as you are constantly surrounded by people being fired, buildings being closed, and other cost-cutting negativity.

You might think I am talking only about outsourcing, and outsourcing companies are the extreme examples. The advice applies to any type of outsourcing, meaning any business where a client’s work is moved to another company that promises to do that work at lower cost. As I have written in Customer-Centric Cost Reduction, this can be great news for the client companies. They are able to reduce costs in areas that their customers don’t care about, so they can invest more in things that will make a difference. However, it is not great news for the employees of the outsourcing companies. After all, they are the ones that have to do the same work at 20% lower cost. Not fun. You can read more and read about the exception to the general rule on LinkedIn here

So I have my first NPS or CSAT score. Is it any good?

I have been busy doing some research for a client this week. It looks like we will get a survey response rate between 30 and 40%, so I am optimistic it will both representative and useful. In any case, there are already lots of improvement suggestions.

Since it is the first time such a survey has been carried out, I am certain the client will want to know whether the resulting Net Promoter Score is good or bad when I present the results next Wednesday. The simple-ish answer is that I don’t know, and that it does not really matter. What matters are the improvement suggestions and what is done with them.

A single NPS number is meaningless in isolation. If you are fortunate enough to have a benchmark study for your type of comany or organization, you are in luck. Otherwise, you just can’t tell, as you have no point of reference. What I will be suggesting is to repeat the research after implementing the first few improvement suggestions. The trend will be useul, and will indicate whether the changes have made a difference. It is a complex subject, so I decided to blog about it. You will find the post at the top of the blog list in the next section.


Our latest blog posts

Here are the latest posts, including the one just mentioned above. Older posts are still available on the blog page.

image OK, so I have my NPS or CSAT score. Is it good or bad?

The short answer is… it depends. It is difficult to interpret a first score, but it can be done. Read on for more

image Behavioral Economics and Smoking for 11-year-olds

A story about how an innovative teacher effectively stopped my junior high school class wanting to smoke. I still shudder when I remember it…

image Here is how to avoid getting a ‘Yes’ for your project, but without the people and other resources you need…

It’s probably one of the worst possible situations to be in. You prepare for days, weeks or months. You make a fabulous project proposal to your leadership team. You get approval for the project, but did not quite manage to get approval for the resources you need to be successful. Here are suggestions about how to avoid it.

Notable customer experience items from other sites

Provide Support Blog: Infographic with ‘Top 15 mistakes made by customer service pros’

Beautifully-made infographic with a list of 15 mistakes made by customer service professionals. The focus is on mistakes agents make while interacting with customers on the phone or by other means. It is a good list. I am sure you will be able to think of other items too.

When I think about the subject, I jump straight to what I wrote at the end of Customer Experience Strategy – Design and Implementation. The main thing most customers want is to be remembered. In the call center environment, this includes knowing whether a customer has called before, not asking them to repeat information multiple times when they are passed to different agents, and (probably the most difficult) understanding whether the customer has already tried to resolve the issue by a different means. See what you think of the infographic on the Provide Support Blog site.

Quora.com can be useful

Following the issues with the now-defunct Net Promoter System Forum in LinkedIn, I was looking for other ways to interact with customer experience and Net Promoter System professionals. I found Quora, and it is quite useful. The general rule in Quora is that you have to ask a question. As you might expect, most questions are being asked by people who immediately provide what they believe to be the best answer. However, there are lots of good exceptions and I have found some deep discussions in the Net Promoter System area here and in the Customer Experience area here. Enjoy.


Looking forward

On top of thinking about re-doing our website, I am thinking about re-writing the Wikipedia entry on the Net Promoter System. While anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, I have found it suprisingly difficult to avoid having my changes deleted by others who disagree with them. Have a look at the page, and please let me know if you have improvement suggestions.

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You can also email me, Maurice FitzGerald, at mfg@customerstrategy.net.