#78 – My new NPS podcast on Healthcare, customer and employee satisfaction research, dropoff rates, Temkin/Qualtrics


My new Net Promoter System podcast on healthcare with Rob Markey, customer vs. employee satisfaction research . Welcome to the 78th edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Starting my annual research on customer and employee satisfaction 
  2. My new Net Promoter System podcast with Rob Markey is available
  3. Latest blog posts
  4. Notable items from other sites – Survey completion rates, Temkin & Qualtrics
  5. Looking forward

Starting my annual research on customer and employee satisfaction 

Most of you know that I have published research on the relationship (or lack thereof) between customer and employee satisfaction in March this year and last. My process is to assemble employee satisfaction data from Glassdoor in October and November, and to add the American Customer Satisfaction Index data for each company the following March. The thought process is that changes in employee satisfaction should lead to changes in customer satisfaction. We would not expect the effect to be instantaneous.

Once I have three years of data I should be able to do my first investigations of the trends over that time. If a company has had three straight years of employee satisfaction improvement or decline, has that had any effect on customer satisfaction? And I expect to investigate market share trends for some industries.

I was going through some Glassdoor data today I was wondering whether employee satisfaction has declined at companies that have had major scandals of whatever kind. This is not the place to describe the nature of each scandal, but here is the 2017 to 2018 employee satisfaction trend for a few such companies:

  • Wells Fargo: No change from 2017, and the 2017 score was up slightly from 2016.
  • Facebook: The 2018 score is lower than the scores for 2017 and 2016, again slightly.
  • United Airlines: Employee satisfaction improved slightly.
  • Apple: No change.

Two remarks. First, I did not decide that these companies had notable scandals. I just did a Google search on ‘Corporate Scandals’. Second, employees don’t seem to care much about scandals that affect their employers.

It will be interesting to see how the customer satisfaction trends turn out.

My new Net Promoter System podcast with Rob Markey is available 

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had recorded a new ‘Net Promoter System podcast’ with Rob Markey of Bain. It went live on the iTunes podcast feed just before I wrote these lines. The subject this time is customer experience measurement, or I suppose it is really patient experience measurement and improvement in the healthcare industry.

The podcast is the first in what I hope will be a series on specific industries. I feel strongly about healthcare because I believe it is the extreme example of an industry that measures things for its own benefit and does so in a way that does almost nothing for patients. I believe this is easy to understand.

If you have been hospitalized for any reason, think back on how the hospital asked you for feedback after the intervention. Let’s pick the semi-random example of a hip-replacement operation. It takes some time after the operation before you can understand how effective it was. So… when did the hospital ask you for feedback. It almost always seems to happen just as you are preparing to leave or are walking out the door. Did anyone (including the surgeon) ever come back six months later to ask you how functional your hip was, and whether you would recommend the operation to someone else? I thought not.

I write these lines, the iTunes podcast feed has pushed this one to my phone. It is not yet live on the Bain site. You can find all past Net Promoter System podcasts, including the eight I did with them, on iTunes and at http://www.netpromotersystem.com/resources/podcast.aspx.


Our latest blog posts

Older posts are still available on the blog page.

image Tips for communicating the purpose of cost reduction (7-minute read)

I was talking to a former colleague yesterday. He described a recent meeting where he learned that major cost cutting still continues where we used to work. The discussion made me reflect on the horrible mistakes and best practices I have seen when cost reductions are communicated…

image When should you ask for customer feedback? And should you survey customers at all? (5-minute read)

I have a sort of hobby: answering companies’ requests for my feedback and seeing whether they will write back to tell me what they have learned and what they are going to do to improve. They almost never do…

image Contra Revenue: Could it be your easiest way to improve profit margins? (5-minute read)

On the general subject of ‘customer-centric cost reduction’ I would like to discuss an area that many medium to large companies do not examine at all, and the rest do poorly. If you have never heard of Contra Revenue, please read on…


Notable customer experience items from other sites

SurveyMonkey – The effect of the number of questions on survey completion rates

Please read the title and what follows carefully. This is not about response rates, but about completion rates. There is a difference. The question the people from SurveyMonkey answer comprehensively is whether adding more questions causes a significant number of people who have started to respond to a feedback request to stop responding when they are part way through. The answer is that there is only a very small effect. To study the question, they looked at 2,000 randomly-selected surveys with one question, 2,000 with two questions and so on, up to 2,000 survey with 50 questions.

There is, however, some evidence elsewhere that the quality of responses goes way down as survey forms get longer. After a while customers may just pick random answers from a list in a bid to get finished quickly. People creating surveys also do silly things. An example would be a popup survey that appears immediately when you open a web page, and which asks you what you think about that web page. You may be prepared to answer any number of questions randomly in a bid to get to a comment box that lets you say that the feedback request should come after you have been able to actually use the site.

The study is about ‘dropoff’ or ‘dropouts’. This is not at all the same as response rates, as the research only covers people who answered at least one question. If they did not answer any questions they are not included in the research. I have to say that I have tried to work out how to study the effect of the number of questions on response rates, and I can’t come up with a good scientific method. Suggestions welcome. Read it here.

Temkin Group acquired by Qualtrics

Bruce Temkin just announced that his company has been acquired by Qualtrics. They simultaneously announced the creation of the Qualtrics XM Institute which Bruce will lead. The institute will provide both customer experience benchmarks and thought leadership in a variety of areas. I admire the work Bruce has done up to now, including the creation of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. He publishes an annual NPS benchmark report as well as reports covering his own more complex metrics. Read all about the new setup here.


Looking forward

October has set a new book sales record for a month of October! Thank you. Of course there was only a single month of October available for comparison. But still… October last year was by far our record month at the time. Other than that, I am looking forward to hearing what you think of the new Net Promoter System podcast and which industries you would like us to cover, assuming the series moves forward.

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.

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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