By 2025, more than 75% of organizations will have abandoned Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a measure of success for customer service and support, according to Gartner, Inc. Customer service and support leaders should move now to build the case to remove NPS from post-transaction surveys because of the challenges related to making its data actionable.
“NPS is one of the most common key performance indicators (KPIs) globally, but it consistently fails to provide actionable insight for customer service and support leaders,” said Deborah Alvord, senior director analyst in the Gartner Customer Service and Support Practice. “The broad language used in the NPS metric captures customers’ intent based on their evaluation of more than just customer service, making it difficult to identify what actions customer service should take to improve performance.”
Other factors that make it difficult for customer service and support leaders to action on NPS include the price or quality of a product which often results in confusion regarding the true root cause of the customers’ evaluation. As a result, customer service is left with a lack of relevant insights, causing it to waste time and resources analyzing NPS results from transactional surveys. Despite these challenges, C-suite leaders believe NPS is the best indicator of loyalty.
According to the 2021 Gartner NPS survey of 42 heads of customer service in March 2021, 58% of customer service and support leaders are required by their executive leadership to measure NPS. In fact, CEOs often use it for talking points and competitive positioning with investors, making it challenging for customer service and support leaders to move executives away from that perception. However, one-third of customer service and support leaders are either unsure or disagree that NPS is valuable to customer service.
“To move executives away from this perception, service and support leaders must begin using more valuable customer experience (CX) metrics than NPS,” said Ms. Alvord. “If, however, executive leadership requires NPS to be measured, it should be done in a way that meets expectations but doesn’t overvalue the importance of NPS in customer service.”
To effectively measure service and support CX, Gartner recommends that leaders consider the following:
- Utilize and draw attention to other customer service experience measures: Evaluate customer service performance at the interaction level by capturing more actionable metrics such as customer satisfaction (CSAT), customer effort score (CES) and value enhancement score (VES).
- Build the case to deprioritize NPS in customer service: Build an internal case to phase out NPS from post-interaction surveys in customer service by shifting focus to other customer service metrics that provide better actionability.
- Adapt NPS for customer service: Adapt NPS for customer service if required to measure it by identifying customer-service-specific influencers and root-cause drivers of NPS while deprioritizing its importance.
Gartner for Customer Service & Support Leaders clients can learn more in the report "NPS Is Everywhere, but It’s Useless for Customer Service."
About Gartner for Customer Service & Support Leaders
The customer service and support function is vital to maintaining customer loyalty and influencing brand perceptions. Gartner for Customer Service & Support Leaders provides indispensable insights, advice and tools needed to achieve service and support leaders’ mission-critical priorities, specifically improving the customer experience while managing costs. Gartner’s research, advice and best practices equip customer service and support leaders to design an optimal service channel strategy; measure and reduce customer effort; and hire, develop and retain high-potential frontline talent.