#43 – Industries that have no way to ‘delight’ us, NPS standards, and more


Welcome to the 43nd edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Are there entire industries where making customers happy is impossible?
  2. Does NPS need a single standard?
  3. Latest blog posts
  4. Notable items from other sites
  5. Looking forward
Are there entire industries where making customers happy is impossible?

While listening to a friend complain about his cable TV provider over the holidays, I asked myself whether cable TV companies can ever make customers happy. Perhaps their only opportunity is to make us unhappy. After all, if their service works perfectly, we don’t event think about it.

I think this ties into Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation. He studied workplace / job satisfaction and found that there is a set of factors that motivate us, and a non-overlapping set of factors that demotivate us. The demotivators are also called hygiene factors, which I have discussed in various blog posts and in our books. I now believe that the motivators and demotivators available to different companies are simply different. Specifically, some have lots of available motivators and others do not. Please take a look at the industries represented in the Temkin 2017 NPS benchmark results, shown below.

At the top of the graph, I feel car dealers, streaming media companies like Netflix, and computer / tablet manufacturers have far more opportunities to remember you and give you an excellent experience than, for example your electricity supplier, down at the bottom of the table. You only notice that you have an electricity supplier when you receive the bill or when it stops working.

Before my latest reflections, I used to believe that the bad performance of the companies at the bottom of the graph came exclusively from their monopoly or duopoly status in most markets. That still matters, but it is not the only factor.

What is the NPS ‘standard’?

I sent my team to Satmetrix NPS training a few years ago. I noticed that what they were taught was not the same as what Reichheld and Markey have documented in ‘The Ultimate Question 2.0’ and on the netpromotersystem.com website and podcasts. I speculate that the CXPA certification exam may have yet a third standard for NPS. Would anyone from CXPA or who has done the certification care to enlighten me?

An example may help clarify what I mean. Reichheld and Markey’s standard NPS survey has three questions (recommendation score, ‘Why?’, and ‘What could we do better?’). Satmetrix certification has or at least had two questions, and the second one is not simply ‘Why?’. What version is in the CXPA exam, assuming NPS is covered at all?

I could give many other examples, and will pick one. The overall Net Promoter System Framework taught by NICE/Satmetrix is not the same as the one on netpromotersystem.com.

Personally I feel a single standard is needed for a variety of reasons. Among others, it would allow software developers to be more consistent in what they propose, both for surveys and for anaytics. Your views are welcome. Please write to me at the address given at the bottom of this newsletter or open it and post a comment on our newsletter page at customerstrategy.net.


Our latest blog posts

Here are the latest posts. Older posts are still available on the blog page.

image Journey mapping – The Main Customer Experience Measurement and Improvement Systems – Part 7

This is the final article in a series of seven about CX measurement and improvement systems. I hope you have enjoyed them, and that you learned at least a little.…

image The main customer experience measurement and improvement systems – Part 6 – Proprietary systems

Various consulting companies propose proprietary measurement systems. Your company may have its own composite metric too. The Temkin Group, for example, has both the Temkin Loyalty Index and the Temkin Experience Rating. They are useful examples…

image Most-read articles in 2017

A list of the five most popular articles on customerstrategy.net and the most popular article I wrote on LinkedIn in 2017. The LinkedIn article is not about customer experience, and is still worth a read, I think.

Notable customer experience items from other sites

Speaking of cable TV – Comcast price gouging

Continuing the theme of companies that can only make us unhappy, this headline grabbed my attention: Comcast celebrates repeal of net neutrality by hiking prices in 2018. As you might expect, it is not totally accurate, though Comcast constantly raising prices for people who have few or no alternatives does seem to be real. (The inaccuracy here and in most media is that the Federal Communications Commission did not ‘repeal net neutrality’. They simply said they felt ISPs should be regulated by the Federal Trade Commission instead, as they should no longer be considered ‘common carriers’.) As I have written some time ago when discussing the EpiPen, price gouging often produces acts of revenge. I would condier this article to be an act of revenge. Revenge feels good in the short term, but generally has no real effect. (Epi Pen prices continue to rise.)

Forbes / Micah Solomon: How long will it take to develop a customer culture at my company?

Some good customer culture tips from Micah Solomon. Two of the four tips are about getting the right messages to new employees on their first day, or even earler. It is about a three-minute read here.


Looking forward

It is still January and there is still time to think about your professional goals for 2018. What about doing something for your customers? But what? Our books can help! Here are links to each on Amazon.com. If you use a different country site, you can just open the link, then edit .com to .co.uk, .de or whatever:

Customer Experience Strategy – Design & Implementation

Net Promoter – Implement the System

Customer-centric Cost Reduction

“So Happy Here”: The Absurdist but Essential Guide to Better Business (Color edition)

“So Happy Here”: The Absurdist but Essential Guide to Better Business (Black & White edition)

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