[Guest Post] Employee NPS: An Early Warning System for Managers


employee-net-promoter-scoreI’ve talked before about Employee NPS (eNPS) as a great way to collect feedback on how your staff feel about the organisation.

However, as I’m not an expert in organisation design it’s been difficult for me to muster the arguments for replacing or even augmenting the existing very long annual employee engagement surveys so often used by organisations.

But recently I was chatting to Beatrice Hofmeyr, who is an expert in organisation design, and she was just as keen about eNPS, and for the same reasons!

Beatrice agreed to discuss using eNPS and how/why it is so effective.

Take it away Beatrice…

Engaged employees are generally enthusiastic about their work and their company. Happy employees approach the job with energy, which in turn delivers productivity, innovation and customer excellence for the company.

Recently Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is being recognised as a great early warning system for monitoring employee engagement. Annual employee surveys still have an important role to play but in today’s fast moving world early warning systems are critical.

Since April this year I have been researching what the best-performing Australian organisations do to stay on top, and specifically how they manage organisational restructures.

You Need Two Types of Metrics

From that research I can say organisations that are heads and shoulders above the rest use two key early warning systems to tell leaders when organisational design needs to be reviewed:

  1. Business metrics; and
  2. Employee Engagement Metrics

Keeping their fingers on the pulse of these metrics means that they can make small, quick and effective “tweaks” before a major problem develops. As you can imagine this is much less painful for everyone than big bang organisation structure changes.

My research has also shown that after years of delayering and flattening of Australian organisations, the role of the middle manager has changed significantly. Managers have higher than ever accountability to design their own structures to make their units more efficient and get better results.

On top of this rapid changes in customer expectations, IT systems and the competitive landscape means re-structuring is necessary far more frequently than a decade ago.

The over 40 managers I spoke to felt that they need a more effective early warning system of when things are not working anymore. Everyone has business metrics in some form but business metrics measured together with eNPS make a very powerful combination.

The two combined can become that much needed early warning system.

What is eNPS?

The core eNPS question is

“How likely are you to recommend working at [ABC Company] to a friend or colleague?”

Without going into the detail of survey design and whether one should have extra questions to support the core eNPS question, I see the two key benefits of the eNPS as:

  • Frequent, short surveys: The eNPS is a very simple and short survey which means you can administer it to employees more frequently and with less survey fatigue. I think that a monthly survey to employees on a revolving basis is an excellent way for managers to have their finger on the pulse.
  • Sharing in Real Time: In an eNPS system the emphasis is on sharing feedback as quickly as possible with managers and team leaders. The closer to “real-time” data managers have the data, the quicker they can respond with effective “tweaks” that can quickly make a difference.

Lastly, anonymity is crucial to guarantee to employees that the results will be used appropriately. Without absolute rigour applied to the confidentiality of results eNPS becomes a useless tool.

Beatrice HofmeyrAbout Beatrice Hofmeyr

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Dr. Beatrice Hofmeyr’s experience spans 20 years in the fields of Organisational Improvement and Business Transformation, across public and private sector organisations. Beatrice specialises in all aspects of Organisation Design including target operating model design, organisational structure, value stream mapping and performance metric design.

Email Beatrice at beatrice@hofmeyr.com.au.

Most People Don’t Understand Sample Size


bigstock-young-business-man-holding-his-53002933You’ve spent weeks working through the numbers to unpick what customers are saying. After checking through the data and analysing a range of root causes, you have created a really practical plan to solve a key customer issue.

The PowerPoint presentation you’ve created nails each of the points you want to make. It starts right up front with the bad news: Net Promoter data for the business group in question.

Before you walked in, you were fully prepared for this meeting, so how is it that 3 minutes in you’re under attack on the very first slide? A senior manager is pointing accusingly at the screen: “I don’t believe that NPS – you don’t have a big enough sample size.” [Read more...]

Surprise: Rob Markey and I agree on Net Promoter® Benchmarking


delight-the-customerAnyone that has been reading this blog for more than a couple of weeks knows that the subject of Net Promoter benchmarking gets me fired up.

In talking to clients and prospects the question of “what’s a good Net Promoter score” almost invariably arises. Many times I have had to choose my words carefully when I tell people don’t waste your time on external Net Promoter® benchmarks.

I’ve also been careful to explain that not everyone agrees with my views on this topic.

One of the people who disagrees with me is Rob Markey (Bain Partner and co-author of The Ultimate Question 2.0). Clearly he knows something about the subject.

Well, recently when chatting to Rob for one of his Net Promoter System podcast interviews he took me to task on my anti-benchmarking views and, surprisingly, we came away in a violent agreement.

He outlined the specific scenarios where Net Promoter benchmarking is useful and I agreed with every one of his points.

[Read more...]

[Guest Post] 4 Insights Into Building a Better Organisational Structure With Customer Feedback


Auto_mechanic_toolsThe only reason we collect customer feedback, including Net Promoter ® is to understand how we can improve the customer experience and lift profits. Often this impacts the organisational structure, but driving change in this area can be difficult.

Beatrice Hofmeyr having identified this issue and is doing something about it. She is currently collecting practical, best practice techniques from real Australian organisations. In today’s guest post Beatrice provides some great early findings from the project.

Please welcome Beatrice Hofmeyr…

[Read more...]

The Practicalities of Giving Frontline Staff Net Promoter Targets


bigstock-Dart-in-bulls-eye-of-dartboard-16555100“If you don’t give us a 9 or 10 on the survey you receive it will mean we have failed”. On the surface it was an odd way to end my check out process at a well known hotel chain but one I suspect that many of us have experienced. It’s called score begging and it’s an indication of poorly set front-line customer satisfaction targets.

One of the critical success factors for NPS or customer feedback success is ensuring that everyone in the organisation has the score in their personal goals. But applying that idea to front line staff is difficult and if done poorly, as you can see, it drives the wrong behaviours.

To me it is clear that you must link NPS/CSAT to performance review outcomes at least as strongly as you link other hard metrics: revenue, average handle time (AHT), etc. If you don’t staff, quite rightly, deduce that NPS is nice but what you really care about is AHT and sales at all costs.

Not having a strong CSAT/NPS goal is at the heart of many issues in the customer experience. If you’ve ever been relentlessly handed off between operators in a contact centre you have felt the effects. You know they have a tight AHT goal and it’s more important to keep their personal AHT down by shuffling you to another operator than to solve your problem. [Read more...]

Customer Journey Maps Must Come Before Transactional Customer Feedback


Transactional customer feedback is a very effective way of improving business performance. With it you can diagnose problems and processes that are driving customers away and reinforce the drivers of customer loyalty in the business.

But how do you decide which transactions should be included?

What is a Customer Journey Map?

Customer Journey Maps document the interactions that customers have with your business before, during and after their relationship with you.

With so many practitioners using them, there are many different forms of customer journey maps; none of them right or wrong, just used in different ways.

[Read more...]

Writing the Perfect Customer Feedback Survey Invitation


bigstock-Vintage-Typewriter-41977552You already have a great survey invite subject line and now you need to follow that up with an email body that drives people to start the survey.

The invite doesn’t have to be long and complex, in fact it should be short and to the point but to be most effective it must include some key information.

At all times remember the goal of the invite: to persuade the respondent to provide their feedback on your organisation. That’s it. Nothing more. Don’t add words into the invite that do not directly help you achieve that goal. [Read more...]

Email Subject Lines that Drive Customer Feedback Survey Responses


bigstock-delete-button-18380024Before a customer can complete your meticulously developed customer feedback survey, they need to open the email invitation. You have precious few seconds to prevent their finger jabbing at the delete key and your subject line is your first defence. So make it a good one.

There is lots research into what drives higher general email open rates and we can leverage this to make sure that we can maximize the open rates of our client surveys. So let’s take a look.

[Read more...]

[Webinar] Using 5 Whys Root Cause Analysis on Customer Feedback


5 Whys is one of the most commonly used quality system tools. It is a simple and methodical way to identify the root cause of an issue.

When applied to Customer Feedback you can convert “interesting feedback” in to root causes and actions plans to drive improvement in your customer experience.

In this 30 minute webinar, we’ll teach you how to use this high value Customer Feedback tool:

  • Defining The 5 Whys Approach – What exactly is The 5 Whys Approach?
  • Customer Feedback Application – How to apply The 5 Whys Approach for Customer Feedback with practical examples.
  • Is it really for me? – When should you use The 5 Whys Approach?

[Read more...]

Post Call IVR Surveys: Popular But Not That Useful


After spending 15 minutes on the line to my bank the nice lady asks me if I will hold on the line after she hangs up to take a short survey. Sure what’s one more survey to someone who lives them 24/7!

After a couple of prompted button pushes to enter scores I get the chance to provide verbal feedback. I’m not the type to use circumlocution, I like to get straight to the point but I proceed with a relatively detailed account of a recent issue. I’m only half way through when I’m interrupted with a tone and being told that the recording has ended. Not a great experience.

Post call IVR surveys like this are the new in-thing with more and more organisations using the approach to gather transactional customer feedback.

The question is not whether they are possible, clearly they are, but whether they are useful. It turns out: not so much.

So let’s review how post call IVR surveys compare to email invites to web base surveys to see which is more effective.

[Read more...]