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NPS, Customer Centricity and Employee Engagement

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“When an organisation is committed to creating a culture of customer centricity, those employees who want to share in the journey will respond positively with a sense of increased engagement”

The days, when Net Promoter Scores (NPS) were touted as a short-lived C-Suite fad, are long behind us. There is no denying that NPS Programs now have a solid foothold within organisations around the world (Apple, Qantas, GE to name a few) and it’s unlikely to be fading away any time soon.

The focus of NPS has traditionally been two-dimensional – the customer and the organisation. The customer provides feedback, and the organisation listens and improves, resulting in better experiences for the customers. At the coal-face of these improvements, there are generally the organisation’s employees.

There will always be a handful who would resist change. Still, for the most part, when an organisation is committed to creating a culture of customer centricity, those employees who want to share in their journey will respond positively with a sense of increased engagement.

The design and implementation of the NPS program itself can also impact the engagement of the organisation’s employees. Simply put, NPS can be used as a carrot or stick, and it is common sense that employees will be more engaged with a constructive program rather than a detrimental program.

A well-implemented NPS program will put the customer’s feedback in the hands of those at the coal face, and when an employee can see that they have contributed to a customer’s positive experience, this can help create job satisfaction. Naturally, not all feedback will be positive, and if managed correctly this should be dealt with as an opportunity for improvement via coaching or training.

A poorly implemented NPS program will see NPS treated as a single metric. NPS used as a KPI (achieve the target or fail) will deliver the wrong message to the employees, and the organisation will find it a struggle to make much of an impact in terms of engagement.

I view NPS as an indicator – much like a barometer. To understand what is going on with the weather, we use the movement of barometric pressure rather than the static value. The same goes for NPS. The movement of the score should be the focus rather than the actual score. This focus will help employees avoid viewing NPS as a ‘stick’ KPI.

Finally, the sense of belonging is a critical primal instinct in humans, and an organisation must have its employees share its values and vision. Each one of us is a customer in some sense, and from our own experiences, we know what constitutes customer satisfaction. To belong to an organisation striving towards improving customer satisfaction, an employee who is marching alongside is being improved their engagement with each step.

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