Several years ago, I worked for a large software company that used NPS®, or Net Promoter Score®, as the primary VoC measure for each of its product lines. For those of us in product line leadership rolls, receiving our NPS score was like having an annual grenade tossed in the room—particularly if the score had ample room for improvement. Regular business screeched to a halt and a mad scramble would ensue to figure out why our score wasn’t where we thought it should be and what could be done about it.
You can imagine the thrashing that occurred, typified by meetings held to discuss what could be done, often prefaced by a debate about what the metric meant anyway and whether it was even fair and accurate measure, followed by brainstorming how we were going to improve it, which usually produced solutions aimed at poorly-defined targets (ready, fire, aim!).
Ultimately, however, the fervor would eventually die down and things would return to “normal.” Since the delivery of the metric to our business unit was not accompanied by any means or expectation of follow-through, any actions taken in response were hit and miss at best, let alone documented or attributable in any way.
Not surprisingly, many questioned the benefit of this yearly exercise, asking if it really contributed any value or made any measurable difference.
Your CX experience hasn’t been nearly as dysfunctional as this one, right?
Unfortunately, when it comes to driving real, positive change (or not), my experience is more common that you might think. Several studies, including two done by MaritzCX, found that many organizations still struggle:
- Data are distributed to managers without identifying root causes or fixes to guide action planning.
- Insights from customer satisfaction measures are not distributed to frontline employees and/or many functional areas that could and should use them to improve quality and service.
- Customer satisfaction data tend to be used to support decision making in a very narrow and tactical, rather than broad-based and strategic fashion.
The good news is that there are those who are getting it right. Check out this whitepaper that not only goes deeper on the research findings above but, more importantly, describes one such example and details a proven approach to driving the kind of change to which we all aspire.
Nowadays, since I’m more enlightened, I can say that at least one of our un-aided machinations at my former software employer weren’t completely off the mark. In retrospect, one of the more effective things we did was back up and request the raw data. We would then sift through it looking for relevant customer comments or contact information that we could use to call some of the respondents—like a makeshift case management effort; both in an effort to understand the “why” behind our metric.
That part, at least, jives with the best practices detailed in the whitepaper. Check it out.