#96 – WSJ article on NPS, Temkin research now free, Journey Mapping, Improved version of original NPS research


The Wall Street Journal writes about NPS. Free Temkin Group research. Welcome to the 96th edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. WSJ article about NPS
  2. Almost all Temkin Group research is now free of charge!
  3. Latest blog posts – New series on NPS
  4. Notable items from other sites – Journey mapping
  5. Looking forward

Wall Street Journal article about the Net Promoter Score

Khadeeja Safdar and Inti Pacheco wrote an article about NPS that appeared last week. It has the rather odd title of The Dubious Management Fad Sweeping Corporate America(Note that you will not be able to see the full article unless you are a subscriber. Since I had this problem, I chose to subscribe for three months for the equivalent of $1, which I can apparently cancel at any time.)

I was among the people interviewed by one of the two journalists behind the article. I spent about 45 minutes with Khadeeja Safdar on the phone. I also sent her some material about the subjects she raised during the call.

Despite the odd headline (which neither of the two journalists supplied, so I suppose it was written by an editor who did not actually read the article), I found the article quite positive about NPS. There are some relatively trivial inaccuracies.

In her call with me Khadeeja introduced me to the main new subject she brought to the discussion which is the increasing use of unattributed NPS numbers by CEOs in earning calls and annual reports. Mind you, unattributed does not mean they are not correct, just that the methodology has not been described when the numbers are provided. You would hope that they all come from double-blind benchmarking studies, but that is almost certainly not the case.

Personally, I think it is great that more and more top CEOs at least mention customer experience in their calls and messages.

I believe that at least one other point is worth noting. While various people have published papers suggesting that their favorite metric (always one that is a compound metric, therefore more complicated than NPS) has equal ability to predict market share trends, nobody has presented a metric with significantly better predictive ability. Khadeeja mentioned peer-reviewed papers critical of NPS. I have studied every such paper I can find in detail and have found none with any merit. One, for example, included a study of NPS versus revenue in Norwegian retail gas stations from 2000 to 2003, a period when the price of a barrel of oil went down by 30%. And some may know that gas stations in Norway are a state-owned monopoly, so it is not possible to study NPS versus market share.

I hope at least some of you will be able to read the full article. The data on the mentions of NPS in annual reports and earnings calls is quite surprising, at least to me. I learned quite a lot from the article.

Almost all Temkin Group research is now free of charge!

Great news! I have often said that the lack of public domain double-blind NPS benchmarks is a problem. That problem has now been solved. Bruce Temkin just announced that his historic research findings are now available free of charge. I immediately registered and was able to download the full 2018 NPS benchmarks report. It used to cost a minimum of $495.

Temkin Group was acquired by Qualtrics in October 2018. Qualtrics was in turn acquired by SAP in January 2019. Bruce stayed along for the ride and his team is now called the Qualtrics XM Institute.

So, please go over to their website and have a look. You will find the research reports in the lower half of the home page. You can filter on ‘Metrics’ to find NPS benchmarks and loads of other interesting stuff. You must register to be able to download the reports. Enjoy them here.

Our latest blog posts

The posts at the top of this list are the first in a lengthy and deep series about the Net Promoter System. Older posts are still available on the blog page.

image NPS (2) – Basics and history of the Net Promoter Score and System

This series supposes the reader is already familiar with the basics of the Net Promoter System, and ideally has read The Ultimate Question 2.0 by Fred Reichheld and Rob Markey.…

image NPS (1) – Do you really need a customer experience measurement and improvement system?

This is the first in a series of blog posts about implementing the Net Promoter System. The Net Promoter System®[1] is the most widely adopted system for managing customer feedback…

image Useful if you have no NPS® benchmarks for your company – ACSI to NPS converter

As many of you know, public competitive NPS benchmarks are exceedingly rare. The only large-scale public customer satisfaction data I know of is the American Customer Satisfaction Index. So… here is how to convert ACSI scores to approximately accurate NPS numbers.

Notable customer experience items from other sites

Instrktiv / Ferry Vermeulen – Customer Journey Mapping

A nice article giving a list of ten things to bear in mind if you are going work on a customer journey map. I have to say he had me when he mentioned Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Peak End rule’. Regular readers will know that I don’t believe journey mapping should be applied indiscriminately. It is at its best when your customers have told you that you have one or more processes that need to be improved. Spend your time and effort there, rather than trying to map everything that exists in your company.

I hope you will find the article useful. You can find it here.

Jeff Sauro: Assessing the predictive ability of the Net Promoter Score in 14 industries

There is a slight risk of excessive NPS focus this week. Jeff has written a fabulous article that takes the basic research Fred Reichheld and friends did when coming up with the NPS concept and takes it further. No historic data was available when Fred did his landmark work. Jeff added further years of data. Among other things, he tries to answer the ‘chicken and egg’ question. And the result is that NPS is indeed a predictor.

If you are a customer experience professional, I believe this a page you need to read, bookmark, and share with your colleagues and friends. Get it here.

Looking forward

I have recorded a new Net Promoter System podcast with Rob Markey. I will give you more details when I know the release date.

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. And as of two weeks ago, you can find the books, or at least order them in many bookstores. If you have already read any of our books, please write reviews on Amazon.

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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