October 16, 2013
In this post, let’s explore the frequency of collecting NPS data. If you are doing a once a year NPS relationship measure, you are missing the point.
Yes, NPS is a measure of customer loyalty, yes, NPS links to financial performance, but the point of NPS is how it drives a customer centric culture. That culture is impacted every day through every interaction with every employee. You miss most of the benefit by just measuring annually.
First of all you should definitely monitor the customer experience at critical touch points. Transactional measures are effective at improving the performance of individual touch points, and optimizing performance within an organizational boundary. You should also link your transactional measure to relationship NPS to understand how it will impact your overall NPS.
NPS is a relationship measure that evaluates your customer loyalty and links to growth (see earlier post). At a minimum it should be measured quarterly. Every quarter you measure your financial measures, why wouldn’t you want to know your customer measure? When organizations only measure NPS annually, they lose the benefit of NPS as a leading indicator, and they lose focus. Every quarter your executive team reviews current financial data (rear view mirror), but have no indication of whether there are trends in customer loyalty that will impact future quarters (your headlights). They are also making investment decisions without any input on what matters the most to your customers. So, to be an NPS leader, you must integrate it into the rhythm of the business.
Now, you may ask, how do I measure customers every quarter? We are not suggesting that you ask all customers every quarter. Best practice states that you should segment your customers in “waves”. These waves run periodically, monthly or quarterly, and you assign customers to a wave. These assignments may be geographic, segmentation based, or randomly selected. However you do it, just be sure that you have a balanced sample if you want to do period over period analysis. Different samples are likely to yield different NPS results.
Bottomline: Measure your NPS continuously and embed the measure into your management rhythm the same way you look at your financial measures. Keep your headlights on so you know where you are going.