The method of « Net Promoter Score », increasingly used by customer satisfaction analysts, should logically lead us to this rule of 4-1. But interpretations of the NPS are very diversified.
The NPS is linked to the question « Would you recommend our services … etc.? Please give your answer on a scale of 0 to 10”. The NPS classifies the answers into three categories:
– 10 and 9: the « Ambassadors » of the Brand
– 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and 0: « Detractors »
– 7 and 8: « Neutrals »
This very clear classification should be followed by an “expert” comment. If the president of a company asks: « If I have 50% of ambassadors and 30% of detractors, is our brand in a good situation? » … what should be the “expert” comment?
The answer should be « No, Mr. President, you have lost the game ». And you could add: « To win the next game, you would need four times as many ambassadors as detractors – for example 50% of ambassadors and 12% maximum of detractors or 60% of ambassadors and 15% of Detractors. » Why? Just because your critics are stronger than ambassadors : In the early 90s, an American study had shown that customers who are fully satisfied with their experience talk about it to an average of 3 people … those who are unsatisfied talk to an average of 12 people !
20 years later, this ratio continues to be right .. and it’s maybe more than 4 because of the « buzz » that can make an unhappy customer on the Net, blogs, social networks, to hundreds of potential customers.
For example, when you go on the site of a hotel, how many positive reviews do you need to counter one negative opinion? Or, more specifically, how many negative opinions do your read before going to another potential provider?
These are the kinds of behaviors that prevent us from simply subtracting the detractors from the ambassadors, which is the “typical” way to analyse the NPS. You should divide the ambassadors by the detractors , and set the bar at 4/1 … to be at ease with your brand !
ANDRE COUPET, Founder and Partner – SECOR / Europe