#53 – NPS benchmarks – Who is responsible for CX – Infographic – Making employees want to smile


Useful new free source of NPS competitive benchmarks? Where should Customer Experience report? Welcome to the 53rd edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Possibly useful free source of competitive NPS competitive benchmarks 
  2. Discussions about who is responsible for customer experience
  3. Latest blog posts
  4. Notable items from other sites – Customer service infographic, and why employees smile
  5. Looking forward
Possibly useful free source of NPS competitive benchmarks

Customer experience leaders and others often ask the following question when they see the first NPS scores for their company: “Is this a good score?” The answer is that good scores and trends are those that are better than your competitors’ scores. NPS trends compared to competition explain between 20 and 60% of market share trends according to Bain research.

The ‘catch’ is that all of these scores have to be measured in exactly the same way. The only solution available up to now has been to pay a research firm for a double-blind benchmark study that already happens to cover you, or pay them even more to start to cover you.

If you happen to be among the 500 largest US companies that sell to consumers, you may be in luck. I have come up with an alternative solution. It is not completely satisfactory, but I believe it is a lot better than nothing. I have used public data from Temkin and ACSI to create an ‘ACSI to NPS translation equation’.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index covers about 500 companies, and can be found here. Bruce Temkin provides public NPS scores by industry. The latest report is here. I simply mapped the benchmarks by industry for the last three years to each other. You can find the full description of what I did here. The result is a translation equation which I will round to NPS = (1.5 x ACSI) – 88. Please try it out an let me know what you think. If you have an alternative source of free double-blind NPS competitive benchmarks, please also let me know.

Discussions about who is responsible for customer experience

I have been engaged in several online discussions about this sensitive topic over the last few weeks. Generally the people initiating the discussions hold one of two points of view. The first is that ‘everyone is responsible for customer experience’ so therefore no single leader is needed for it. The second viewpoint is that Marketing should ‘own’ customer experience. In my view, the first viewpoint is just silly, and the second one is sub-optimal. Here is why…

Customer experience improvement opportunities fall into two categories. The first category is improvements for which a single business or function is clearly responsible and for which they already have all necessary funding and people. They can just get on with it. The second improvement category covers things that cross functions and business units. These items correspond to the ‘Outer Loop’ in the Net Promoter System, for example. Unless someone is responsible for making these things happen, they just will not happen. The second category constitutes the core work of the Chief Customer Officer or equivalent. (I have blogged about the subject here.)

So, supposing the need to have a person responsible for the cross-business opportunities is accepted. Where should that person report? At the risk of controversy, I have to say that if the answer is not ‘To the CEO’, then your company does not consider improving customer experience to be a top priority. My personal view is that the corporate Chief of Staff should have the CX responsibility, if it has to be shared with other work. Marketing would be a distant #3 choice. Personally I would have sales as my #2 choice. The advantage the Chief of Staff has is that he or she sets the agenda for all leadership meetings and events, so CX can always be there. Marketing’s main ‘jobs to be done’ are demand generation and sales support. CX improvement initiatives would be a low priority for the CMO. Not zero, just low. Not optimal.

As always, feel free to disagree…


Our latest blog posts

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

image Useful if you have no NPS® benchmarks for your company – Please help me to improve this ACSI to NPS converter

As many of you know, public competitive NPS benchmarks are exceedingly rare. This article proposes an approximate solution for translating American Customer Satisfaction Index data into NPS numbers.

image Yet more reflections on why corporate cost benchmarking is often evil and destructive

Regular readers will know that I am not a fan of cost benchmarking. The reason is simple. I think it is almost always misused, sometimes producing disastrous results. The primary reason is that the cost cutting takes place in the absence of clear statements and actions to spend more on the areas where companies want to invest and grow.

image Employees love these companies, and customers hate them… and vice-versa

My research this month and a year ago (see below) has established that there is little or no relationship between employee and customer satisfaction. This post simply gives the lists that should not exist: the companies employees hate but customers love, and vice-versa. If the conventional wisdom that the two always go together were true, these lists would not exist.


Notable customer experience items from other sites

16best.net: Infographic – 23 Awesome Customer Service Stories

Anecdotes and personal stories are powerful. They often outweigh other data simply because they are memorable. While their main business is providing users with discount coupons, 16best.net occasionally publishes nice infographics, and this one is no exception. It is massive and includes nice stories from many top American brands. You can read and download it here.

Alain Thys on LinkedIn: How do you make employees smile?

Our Belgian friend Alain Thys is ‘Chief Coach’ at Customerfit, a consulting company whose mission is to help companies become more customer-centric. Alain provides three leadership actions that he believes are key to making employees genuinely happy that they work for your company.

His article reminds me of my brother’s experience travelling from Dublin to Melbourne two years ago. He flew (in sequence) with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul and Bangkok, Thai to Melbourne, then Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa on the way back. I asked him which of the four he preferred. He answered that Turkish was his favorite, saying they smiled and seemed to genuinely enjoy their work. He said that the Singapore Airlines crew seemed to smile 100% of the time, but that it was fake. Read Alain’s article here.


Looking forward

I will be doing the first of what I hope will be a series of webinars for ClearAction Exchange on April 25th. I should be able to provide more details next week.

Here are links to all of our books on Amazon.com. Kindle versions are available in all stores. Print versions are available from the major stores only, with the notable exception of Australia, where print versions are not available from amazon.com.au.

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

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