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Net Promoter Score (NPS) - All it’s cracked up to be?

Post by
Andy Evans
January 10, 2022
Net Promoter Score (NPS) - All it’s cracked up to be?

How on Earth does a single-question metric get so much airtime?

At humii HQ we’ve been racking our brains over this for a long time. The origins of the NPS “system” date back to the 90’s but it wasn’t until the early 2000’s the folks at Bain grabbed hold of it and started using it as a way to measure customer sentiment and ultimately, attempt to predict a business’ future growth.

In truth, there are a few things we like about NPS:

  1. It’s dead simple
  2. It’s well known and reasonably well understood
  3. It provides a way to benchmark against competitors

But is it sophisticated enough for businesses to use as a key performance indicator? To determine employee bonuses? To pivot an entire business strategy around? Even the creator of the NPS score himself will tell you these are terrible ideas!

There’s a few fundamental issues we see with NPS;

It’s outdated

Let’s not forget NPS was created before Pulp Fiction AND Donkey Kong (1993) - well before online shopping was even a thing. In the 2020’s, online shopping rules and there’s no point pretending it’s not a world full of challenges. Trying to cram all of this complexity into a single question doesn’t do it any justice.

It’s difficult to interpret results

A low NPS score might give an indication something is wrong, but it can’t tell you what that something is or more importantly, what to do about it.

Sample sizes are often small

It’s estimated that less than 1% of customers - the “vocal minority”, actually respond to customer feedback requests. Can we trust results from such a small sample size?

It’s based on bad science

If you’re the sciencey type like us, you’ll appreciate the obvious flaws in how NPS data is collected and calculated - as pointed out by many over the years, including the folks at the Harvard Business Review and Sloan.

Luckily for retailers, you’ve got humii! We’re constantly analysing our customers' online shopping experience, dissecting the complexity and distilling it down to provide retail leaders with clear, actionable insights on the things that matter most. Our 8 dimensions break the online shopping experience down into meaningful chunks that you can easily understand and directly target.

To find out more about how humii is helping Australian retail businesses thrive, get in touch today.