Proposed Open Data Interchange for the Net Promoter System
This is a guest post by Adam Dorrell, CEO CustomerGauge on a newly published open data interchange approach for Net Promoter data.
For numerous businesses, consultants, software vendors, and other organisations, the Net Promoter® System has become the customer loyalty metric of choice since its launch as the Net Promoter Score in 2003. We know – we first started to use it ten years ago, and launched our software service CustomerGauge, which uses NPS as its sole metric, in 2007.
In this first decade of its existence, the concept of an Open Data Interchange – essentially a common standard for importing and exporting Net Promoter data from system to system – has been talked about, but has never become a reality.
Step 1. Creating a standard
Over the course of numerous Net Promoter rollouts, we found that one point that slowed down implementation was how to define a data format between us and the client that would allow their CRM data to be surveyed. In theory, we can import just about any data, and some clued-up clients also had the same capabilities, so there was usually some back-and-forth between us as we agreed on fields to add or delete.
So we took best practice learned over ten years and set out to design a standard that allowed us to include all the most important fields that we had been pulling from CRM systems. Publishing that to clients was the first step – we could at least start with that format, in XML or CSV and then tweak any field names as needed.
Steps 2. Not just CRM data, but NPS data
Step two was the realization that when clients import our CustomerGauge “NPS-enriched” data and use that in their own CRM systems or BI tools, they also did not know what fields to take. So we defined a set of fields that included all the key information that we believed they would want (for example, NPS score, verbatim comment, action required, timing etc).
Step 3. Making it Open
The final step was to embrace openness. We took feedback from clients and industry folk, and then started to think what a truly open standard could do. We had read that one of the barriers to adopting SaaS solutions was the fear of not being able to get data out. So why not make it available 24/7, in an open standard, so clients could take the data and farm it out to the right tool for the job – perhaps data gathering in one tool, workflow management in another.
It’s scary sometimes to do this, know that you are providing a weapon for your clients to use against you: You make it easy for them to leave! However, we really embrace the Net Promoter philosophy – who needs “bad profits”? If they want to leave, no amount of proprietary file system lock-in will help future revenue.
Furthermore, the benefits of an Open Data Interchange are potentially enormous. Three key ways they can benefit the industry are:
- For organisations that use the metric, it gives a far greater freedom to port data between any Net Promoter software services that adhere to the standard, and cuts implementation time and cost.
- For organisations that are considering implementing a Net Promoter program, it improves transparency and provides the assurance that they retain control over their data.
- For the Net Promoter industry as a whole, including consultants, software vendors, and others, it puts the Net Promoter System a significant step further on the path to becoming the gold standard cross-industry customer loyalty metric.
The Result: Launching an Open Data Interchange Import/Exchange Template 1.0
With the view to collaborate with Net Promoter stakeholders to develop and refine it for the benefit of the industry as a whole, we have now launched a proposed Open Data Interchange. This includes a Standard Import/Exchange template 1.0, which spans areas such as Scale, Customer Type, Methodology, Geography, Timing, Response Rates, and Score.
I sincerely hope that all colleagues in the field of Net Promoter will help to establish this as a standard – we think that this could be one of the key measures to transform the measurement of loyalty.
Full support documentation, including downloadable templates and contact information can be found here: http://opennetpromoter.org/