Yaquta Mandviwala: How the Net Promoter System Helped Transform an Apparel Retailer



An Indian apparel retailer embraced the Net Promoter System® and saw change on several levels. Yaquta Mandviwala, a partner with Bain's Customer Strategy & Marketing practice, discusses how the retailer was able to adopt the NPS® and establish a continuous learning process.

Read the transcript below.

YAQUTA MANDVIWALA: We started working with a firm, which was an apparel retail firm in India, an extremely reputed, very respected company. And it was really a "good to great" story for them.

So they wanted to know, how do they drive like-for-like growth in their existing stores using a customer-oriented ... lens, starting with who is the customer: Why do they recommend, why do they love this brand, why do they not? There are some customers that walk in and then walk out without buying anything. What can they do differently? How can they drive growth?

It was fantastic to see a client and leadership within the client that was so focused around the customer, and driving change and growth by understanding customers better. We started off by doing a top-down NPS and understanding where they racked up vis-a-vis the competition in the market. But very quickly, we moved into the bottom-up NPS piece, right?

We took a few stores. We were running the bottom-up NPS pilot in these stores. And the intent was really to close the feedback loop, to transmit the voice of the customer to the frontline employees, so that there was a continuous learning process, as well as to close the loop with the customer.

Oftentimes, we all know about this whole black box the feedback goes into. And so customers were wowed and delighted that someone was responding. We had a callback system in place. And it was fantastic just to see the amount of learning and continuous improvement that was happening through the huddles that happened within the store, but also through the huddles that were happening at the back end, at the head office, and the changes that were happening in the assortment, the kind of training that was going into the service experience, the way in which even the layout was changing.

So at multiple levels, the kind of analytics and insights that were getting drawn and the actionability of the old system was excellent. In fact, I remember we ran an NPS of NPS, asking the store managers where we had piloted this ... whether or not they would recommend such a system to other store managers. And we got a 95%-plus NPS.

This is one company, I will say, that has adopted the entire bottom-up NPS system. They live it like a religion. And that's so great to see when you leave them, that they've understood it, they get it, they love it.