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Customer Experience and Net Promoter Score (NPS)

I don’t agree with statements like “Net Promoter is now the worldwide standard for organizations to measure, understand and improve their customer experience”. I do however agree that organisations can use several different strategies that will positively affect their NPS score. This can include having a strategic objective to manage the overall customer experience and to understand the customer’s perspective of the journey.While it’s inspiring to see so many brands trying to understand customers and their needs, a single focused NPS will not be satisfactory. It might be a good gauge for customer loyalty and how loyal a customer is to your brand but that’s about it. If you set your aim on delivering an amazing customer experience and being truly customer centric, NPS is only a catalyst!

Fred Reichheld, the creator of the Net Promoter System®, was quoted as saying: “It’s not the score that matters, it’s what you do with it to make Promoters that really count”.

If you are aware as to how the score impacts the overall customer experience, you are effectively leveraging your NPS program. The focus should never be on NPS but on your operational improvement of the customer’s journey which will roll-up into a better customer experience. NPS measures only translate into customer centricity when organisations use these insights to drive actions within a larger customer experience program.

Customer experience programs typically integrate empathy as part of the design framework. Empathy is a crucial element of customer experience design. It guarantees designs centered on the customer’s needs and add value to the customer. The emotional concerns of all customers have been acknowledged as important in customer experience (CX) design, which leads to empathy as the focus of CX design. CX is a complex design discipline within a complex context that combines moment needs, customers’ expectations and emotional elements, to identify opportunities of improvement.

CX design reinforces elements like insight, observation and empathy with the aim of translating observations into insights and insights into design solutions thus leading to customer centric products and services. Empathy is the most important challenge in customer experience design and reflects emotional aspects and experiences of all customers in context.

Designers need the ability to really place themselves in the customers’ shoes to grasp what they really need and the need to “empathise with their complex lifestyle”. Empathy is the basis of human centered design.

A successful customer experience program should focus on all these mutually and use NPS to measure their effort.

PS. I wouldn’t resist this image and though it was quite “appropriate” for the article.


Michelle Badenhorst

Michelle is a CXPA-certified practitioner who helps organisations build profitable & sustainable customer-centric businesses by transforming the way they think about their customers and employees. She has established Customer Experience business units, Voice of the Customer and end-to-end Customer Journey frameworks for a range of organisations. Michelle is also the co-author of the best selling Customer Experience: 22 international CX professionals share their current strategies for achieving impact and visibility using best practice CX.
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