Jason Barro: How to Use a Competitive Benchmark Net Promoter Score®

To perform a customer experience transformation, it is important to get a clean competitive read on your Net Promoter Score®. Jason Barro, a partner with the Customer Strategy & Marketing practice, shares tips on building a portfolio of scores and gauging your competitors' performance in order to create the best possible roadmap for improvement.

Read the transcript below.

JASON BARRO: When any company is starting on a Net Promoter customer experience transformation, they often want to know how are we doing? What's the starting place? And then they will want to know how they're doing as they're making improvements.

The answer to that question is actually more complicated than just comparing any Net Promoter Score that they might already be calculating, because within any Net Promoter System, there are multiple flavors of scores that will be floating around any company. So there's the type where you're just measuring it after a particular interaction and you want to know how did the last thing go.

There will be times when you want to talk to customers about how the relationship is going and just overall how happy are you. And then, most importantly, particularly at the beginning of a Net Promoter journey, it's important for a company to understand competitively where they stand. And mechanically, to do that, it's important to be asking the question in a blinded way, so that you can be asking questions of your company's customers and your competitors' customers in an apples-to-apples way and be able to do the comparison. The mechanics of doing that can be a little bit complicated.

It's going to be important to understand who our customers are. So you're going to want to know which segments of customers are we interested in knowing? Are we ahead or behind? You're going to want to know which geographies we're talking about. You're going to want to know who the relevant competitor set is.

And even more importantly, it's often very helpful to get the Net Promoter Score down a level and to understand, not just how we stand at the overall relationship level, but to understand the component pieces of all of the various journeys and product experiences that are making up the overall Net Promoter Score. And it can be very helpful to get a clean, competitive read at the journey level on how they're doing at that within those pieces, and why they have those gaps, and how far away they are from where they want to be.

So again, just early on in any of the Net Promoter transformations, we find all companies find it quite important to build this portfolio of scores. And, in particular, to get this competitive read to help them really build the roadmap of what it is they need to improve on.

Net Promoter System® and Net Promoter Score® are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.