#22 – Benchmarking, Bain NPS podcast, Temkin Customer Service report


Welcome to the 22nd edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Comparing your company to others: benchmarking
  2. Questions for the Bain Net Promoter System podcast
  3. Latest blog posts
  4. Notable items from other sites
  5. Looking forward

Comparing your company to others using public ‘benchmarks’

One of the more common questions I am asked is “What is a good Net Promoter Score?” The simplest answer is “Any score trend that is better than that of your main competitor.” However, it is not easy to find your competitors’ scores. And all scores are not equal. So… what can you do?

A few words about the the word ‘benchmark’ are in order. The Merriam-Webster dictionary includes “something that serves as a standard by which others may be measured or judged.” This implies a consistent way of measuring something. I have to observe that there are various sources of ‘benchmark’ NPS data, but there is no single standard for how it should be measured. Bain has recently started a ‘certified NPS benchmark’ initiative, and I believe JD Edwards is the only company to have been certified so far. I believe you can trust NPS benchmarks from Satmetrix and Temkin, though they use different methods and are not free. Temkin does publish overall NPS ranges by industry free of charge, and you can find them here. If you sell to US consumers, you can at least try to understand where you are compared to your industry.

There are two other sites that provide what they call benchmarks. In practice, most of the content is data that companies themselves have provided. If you choose to use them to compare yourself to the competition, please do your best to understand where each number comes from. They are not well documented. The sites in question are npsbenchmarks.com and indexnps.com.

If you are not covered by any standard benchmarking report and can’t afford to fund a benchmarking effort of your own, I suggest using your relationship survey NPS scores for the comparison to others in your industry. They will be closer to benchmark results than transactional / touchpoint survey results.

The one thing you do not get from most benchmark studies is potentially the single thing that would help you most. This would be a summary of the verbatim comments and improvement suggestions for your competitors. If you can get these, your sales and marketing teams will be delighted.

Questions for the Bain Net Promoter System podcast recording

As mentioned last week, I will be recording a Net Promoter System podcast this coming Monday. The host is Rob Markey, co-author of The Ultimate Question 2.0. Thanks to those who have submitted about 20 questions by email and in the LinkedIn NPS Forum so far. More questions are still welcome, up until Monday morning, Geneva time. Send them to me by email at mfg@customerstrategy.net.


Our latest blog posts

The first two posts of three planned articles on deep customer relationship research are shown below. My Tropicana post surprised me in that it attracted both positive and negative attention. At least nobody has contradicted what I stated about the control distributors and supermarket chains have over farm prices. Older posts are of course still available on the blog page.

image Customer relationship research / surveys – Third of three articles

This is the third and final article in my series on deep relationship research, particularly for B2B. The main subject this time is how to overcome objections from inside your own company to the whole process. These objections usually come from sales teams.

image Customer relationship research / surveys for B2B – Second of three articles

The second article in the series covers who to interview in a customer organization, how to perform the interviews, and how to track and report results.

image  Why I became disloyal to Tropicana – A story about brand image

I have been fiercely loyal to Tropicana since late 2005. Reading the results of an orange juice comparison test in a Swiss consumer magazine changed my mind, and I don’t expect to buy Tropicana products anytime soon. Read on to understand why.


Notable customer experience items from other sites

Net Promoter System podcasts – my three favorites

Since I will be recording one on Monday, I thought it would be a good idea to provide you with links to my past favorites. I think my all-time favorite is the one with Horst Schulze, formerly of Ritz-Carlton, explaining what he did to create the legendary service culture of the hotel chain. I also liked the one with Lee Cockrell, formerly EVP of operations for Disney’s Orlando resort. It includes some of his experiences in Paris too. Finally, I loved the one with VimpelCom executives Anton Telegin and Natalia Macpherson. They talked about what it took to get that Russian telco’s leadership to believe in and sponsor their NPS work. Note that the link to the VimpleCom podcast takes you to the iTunes podcast library and you can find it as ‘Ep. 74’.

Temkin Customer Service Ratings

Temkin Group has just published its latest report on Customer Service based on a survey of 10,000 US consumers. It covers 295 companies across 20 industries. As usual, you have to pay to read the full report. However, I think you will find the free tables here to be interesting reading.


Looking forward

Thanks to those who have bought and read our books up to now. If you like them, please recommend them to friends and colleagues. No matter what you think of them, please post your thoughts on Amazon. This will help us to improve and will help others with their buying decision.

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

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