Making NPS Real

When I was the CMO of Ascentium, an award-winning digital agency in Seattle, my bonus structure was tied purely to the company’s quarterly NPS.  To me, this made sense- it was brilliant in its utter simplicity and like the whole idea around NPS and “The Ultimate Question”, one “score” served as a proxy for the health of Ascentium’s marketing effort.  No doubt, proxies are imperfect but have a scorecard of 50 variables too is imperfect so I was happy with the idea; better yet, I actually received bonuses here and there!

The idea of tying my bonus to NPS belonged to Steven Salta and Jim Beebe who, along with Curt Doolittle, founded Ascentium.  Now, Salta and Beebe have launched a new firm, Luminetix, dedicated to making NPS Real for medium sized company and teams in enterprises.  Bringing the best of breed toolset to bear coupled with decades of hardcore consulting power, Luminetix hopes to help companies create loyal customers and a loyalty continuum between customers and employees.

There are countless debates about the relative merits and demerits of NPS, which are beyond the scope of this article but suffice it to say that all companies should have a system by which they seek dialogue about performance, listen, and act.    NPS is one such system.  The problem for most companies is the absence of a way of listening and acting so I readily welcome Salta and Beebe’s efforts to help companies figure this problem out, without breaking the bank or getting into lengthy and cumbersome processes.

I also applaud the focus on employees and culture that is inherent to NPS.  The experiences of Southwest Airlines, Nordstrom’s, Zappos, Four Seasons and others shows that thrilled and happy employees lead to thrilled and happy customers.  The NPS “score” is in some ways a measure of the “thrill factor” your employees feel as they serve customers.

So overall I’m excited to see how Luminetix does, but I’ll still end on a cautionary note.  For customers, putting in a customer loyalty program is not a one-shot deal.  My admonition to all companies and organizations is that customer loyalty is an ethos not a project so think about that when you embark on this wonderful journey.

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About Romi Mahajan

Romi Mahajan is a globally-renowned marketer, IT and strategy thinker, and author.

His career is a storied one, including spending 9 years at Microsoft, being the first CMO of Ascentium, a leading digital agency, and founding the KKM Group, a boutique advisory firm focused on strategy and marketing. Romi has also authored two books on marketing: most recently, "To Thine Own Self: Honesty in Marketing".

A prolific writer and speaker, Mahajan lives in Bellevue, WA, with his wife and two kids.

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