That is probably the number one question we get from customers and people who know that we are 'in the business of NPS'. People like to benchmark of course. In comparison to 'them', how well or bad are we doing? It's our competitive side on the one hand, but it just gives a sense of direction. So here is my answer:
A great NPS score is the one better than yesterday.
Don't kid yourself with big industry comparisons. There is no good point in comparing yourself to competitors and companies like yours. Just think about this: suppose your competition has a much better score, you can't get there yourself overnight anyway. And if they are much worse, it's not a free pass to not do anything to further improve your organisation. If your score matches the average, will that make you happy? Bottomline is to look at yourself and improve what's in front of you.
That's in large part the philosophy we live by. Our belief is further strenghtened by the arguments that follow:
- You don't have all the facts
If you are going to compare, you need to make sure you are not comparing apples and oranges. As you know Net promotor score is a very emotional and elastic scoring mechanism. It's a very 'in the moment' rating of parts of your business and very much influenced by contextual things. Even the timeframe in which you pop the question may influence scoring behaviour.
- It's a constant process
Benchmarks don't chance that very often. Especially the ones you find online. They take NPS scores mostly from one-time surveys and create a momentarily benchmark. A benchmark to be somewhat true at that specific moment. But every company is in movement, is taking action - or not, is influenced by external factors, is fluid. So a benchmark taken a year go is no longer valid. A benchmark taken two months ago is no more valid.
Frankly, benchmarks are backward looking, whereas if you aspire to be customer centric, to change, to be a winner in the future, you need to be forward thinking. Look ahead, not back. Look at your own path, envision your own future and look to that.
- Values and authenticity can't be copied
Customer centricity is a very intimite process, it's building real relationships with your customers, so it is all about your values and identity and understanding exactly who your customers are. Not just their spending behaviour, but what they like, what the wish and what they need.
This intimite process cannot be copied. It has to start within. Looking at competitors can perhaps inspire you, but it's not a key to success. Being yourself and understanding who it is you are serving and who it is you are creating value for will make you win in the end.
So, dear reader, baby steps. Believe in yourself, get to know your customers intimately and build that relationship genuinely. Don't strive for industry averages, strive for excellence. And let your best NPS score be the one that's better than the one of yesterday.