[Case Study] How Zip Water UK Lifted NPS from 5 to 73

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In just three years Zip Water UK dramatically lifted their NPS from +2 to +73 by driving customer experience culture and relentlessly finding and correcting root cause issues for their customers.

In this case study we examine the reproducible steps and approaches they took to drive that change.

Zip UK’s 3 Year Transactional NPS Trend

Zip Water UK is the UK arm of Zip Water, an Australian-based company, with headquarters in Sydney Australia. Zip Water is part of Culligan International, a world leader in delivering premium water services and solutions that improve the health and wellness of consumers.

The CX / Net Promoter program at Zip Water UK is led by Amanda Graham – Head of Customer Experience. Amanda looks after 60 people in their Norfolk, UK, based contact centre.

Executive leadership comes from the top with Tracey Bamber (Managing Director, UKI at Culligan International, responsible for the UK and Ireland for Culligan) providing powerful sponsorship and support for the program.

Drive CX Culture Deep Into All Areas of the Organisation

Transactional and relationship survey data is collected using a CustomerGauge NPS account experience system integrated deeply with the organisation’s Salesforce CRM.

Zip UK uses the CustomerGauge system to review feedback and share it widely and deeply across the organisation. 

As head of the program, Amanda leads this process personally: reviewing feedback daily, celebrating great outcomes and sharing successes across the organisation. 

Importantly, while the process is informal, i.e. there are no specific NPS awards or bonuses, it is consistent and driven from the top.

Positive feedback is simply shared openly with staff to showcase individual staff and their successes. This feedback also finds its way, informally, into many of the organisation’s staff recognition programs.

This approach helps all staff to understand the importance of customer experience and continually reinforces the CX focused culture Zip has created.

Everyone in the organization, … the contact centre, the sales team, the finance team, anyone dealing with customers, really do understand that putting the customer first is an absolute critical pillar of our culture and our values.

Tracey Bamber

Relentlessly Perform Root Cause Analysis and Implement Fixes

While many organisations use root cause analysis and take corrective action in their business, Zip UK takes it to a whole new level.

The key for Zip UK is that they haven’t created long and detailed root cause programs or complex formal processes that can be cumbersome and difficult to implement. 

Instead, they simply view every comment through a root cause analysis and corrective action lens.

Every response is an opportunity to uncover and correct a problem and prevent future issues: 

A detractor score or even a passive score with any comment is an opportunity to take a deep root cause dive.

Amanda Graham

It’s in everyone’s interest, the customer and the business, to dive in and fix that one customer’s issue to prevent it happening again next week to them or to somebody else.

Tracey Bamber

This creates a powerful long term improvement path where continual small improvements lead to large long term gains.

I truly believe that the root cause fix approach, the rigorous systematic fixing of problems once and for all, is at the heart of why our score has changed.

Tracey Bamber

NPS is Not A Formal KPI and Not Linked to Remuneration 

While, Zip UK measures, shares widely and tracks Net Promoter Scores, they don’t directly tie individual or team rewards to it. While no individual or team has NPS improvement as a goal, it is an improvement goal at the enterprise level.

This is a best practice approach but lots of companies do directly reward individual and small team NPS data. Tracey explains the rationale behind their decision not to do this at Zip UK:

If we make NPS a direct KPI and / or financially reward NPS scores we run the risk that we are gaming to get a good score. So it’s not a reflection of reality and we could lose touch with the genuine unfiltered customer feedback we need to drive performance.  So actually – driving [NPS] hard can potentially dilute or distort the very thing we are seeking.

Tracey Bamber

Tracey further notes: 

We are driving customer experience into the culture, not simply into the remuneration of our staff. 

Tracey Bamber

The organisation recognises that it’s not just front line staff, often the only ones goaled on NPS, who impact the score – it’s everyone who impacts the customer, which is everyone in the company.

Create KPIs For The Drivers of NPS

While NPS is not a target for individuals or teams, there are targets for the drivers of NPS.

Zip used driver analysis to identify the two or three business areas that are most important to customers and ultimately drive Net Promoter Score. Then they created matching KPIs for those business areas.

For example, using CustomerGauge driver analysis, Zip identified First Contact Resolution (FCR) as an important driver of NPS. So, they started measuring FCR and then created programs to directly improve it long term.

We know it’s important to customers so we collect first contact resolution data to back that up.”

Amanda Graham
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