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. In comparison to 'them', how well or bad are we doing? That is called our competitive side on the one hand, but it actually just gives a company a sense of direction. So here is my answer:
Don't fool yourself by making 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 the score is much worse, it's not a free pass to do nothing to improve your organisation. If your score matches the average one, will that make you happy? The bottomline is: 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:
If you are going to compare, you need to make sure you are not comparing apples and oranges. As you know the 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 it very much depends on the context. Even the timeframe in which you pop the question may influence scoring behaviour.
Benchmarks don't change very often. Especially the ones you find online. They take NPS scores mostly from one-time surveys and create a momentarily benchmark, which is a benchmark that is somewhat true at that specific moment. But every company is moving, is taking action - or not, is influenced by external factors and is fluid. That is why a benchmark taken a year ago, and even a month ago, is no longer valid.
Frankly, benchmarks are backward looking, whereas if you aspire to be customer centric, to change and to be a winner in the future, you need to be forward thinking. Look ahead, don't look back. Take a look at your own path, envision your own future and focus yourself on that.
Customer centricity is a very intimite process, it's about building real relationships between you and your customers. That is why it is all about your values and identity and, moreover, about understanding exactly who your customers are. Not just their spending behaviour, but what they like, what they wish and what they need.
This intimate 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 a winner in the end.
So, dear reader, remember: baby steps. Believe in yourself, get to know your customers intimately and build a genuine relationship. Don't strive for industry averages, strive for excellence. Moreover, let your best NPS score be the one that's better than the one yesterday.