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Managing your end-to-end customer experience is not easy and I’ve seen many failed attempts. So here are just a few examples to learn from, and mistakes to avoid.

I recently visited a well-known furniture retail store which I enjoyed spending a bit of my time in and even made a small purchase. Two days later I received an SMS from the company asking me based on my recent experience with them, how likely I would be to recommend them to a friend of family member – on a scale from 0-10 (10 being most likely).

Getting customer feedback for the sake of getting feedback

I felt obligated to respond, partly because of my passion for customer experience and because I knew I could jippo the system. I responded with a rating of 7, because I know that a 7 or 8 rating is considered passive in the world of NPS. Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is a system that was developed to measure customer experience and predicts business growth. You calculate NPS using the answer to the question: using a 0-10 scale: How likely is it that you would recommend a brand to a friend or colleague?

Companies segment respondents into the following three groups:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fuelling business growth. The model predicts promoters are extremely like to recommend a company or brand.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings. The model predicts passives are neutral and can go either way.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth. The model predicts detractors are not at all likely to recommend a company or brand.

I clearly remember considering, myself, what value I’m creating for this brand by answering this simple, yet supposedly effective question. It felt like they were merely getting feedback for the sake of getting feedback. Even worse, for the sake of getting a rating.

Value of actionable customer feedback

Many organisations have been implementing NPS and the likes of it, simply because they need to report on their customer experience at board or executive level. They never intend to use it as an anchor for managing and improving their customer experience.

In order for NPS and similar metrics to be effective, you need to compliment it with other actionable metrics and customer feedback from various points along the customer journey. Customer journey metrics are just as important if not more, than customer perceptions metrics like NPS.

I recommend the following actions to ensure better results:

  1. Collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Customer experience metrics like NPS and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score), can indicate something is wrong but it can’t tell you what exactly is wrong. Qualitative data will help companies to identify the root causes and help them fix the right problem.
  2. Track performance over time. It’s also important to not look at data without considering the bigger context over time. Tracking and monitoring your customer feedback over time will solidify and reinforce your arguments.
  3. Close the loop. The real value of NPS, is the additional information you collect by asking follow-up questions.

In summary: make sure you have clear objectives for collecting and measuring customer feedback; and make sure the objectives drive your selection of customer feedback mechanisms. Be sure to review this regularly to make sure you are still achieving your desired outcomes.


Michelle is a hybrid design & business strategist that solve business and organisation problems by applying various business design methodologies and design mindsets. She is a passionate individual who enjoys helping courageous individuals to confidently inspire, initiate and implement meaningful change. As a business professional, she excels at helping businesses to drive real business change based on customer insights resulting in financial success.

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