Posted on April 9, 2018 by Brian Meincke
Here is why you should. When you evaluate a prospective services provider, how do you truly know they’ve got what it takes to deliver the right caliber of support for your project? Are a couple of marketing sheets highlighting hand-picked client successes enough?
Of course, reference materials and client interviews are fantastic evaluation tools. But those methods alone don’t always give you a broad enough view of a provider’s overall performance quality. Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) is a powerful assessment tool — and industry benchmark — that you should also strongly consider when choosing a solutions provider.
What’s NPS and why is it important?
For providers like Mythics, NPS gauges how many of our clients would authentically champion our services to others. According to Bain & Co., more than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies rely on this independent survey process to track client satisfaction and loyalty.
Obviously, companies want clients to be happy with their products or services, which drives repeat and referral business. The challenge is really knowing how their clients feel. And usually, traditional customer satisfaction surveys don’t deliver that level of insight.
NPS targets this information by asking a simple question:
The client’s answer gets to the heart of how valued they feel, and whether the provider has been effective in serving its client base. If a client is willing to share their success story with others whose trust they value, a provider has achieved the gold standard in quality service delivery.
How does Mythics determine NPS?
Since 2013, Mythics has worked with an independent, third-party survey provider to determine our NPS. Every six months, the survey firm interviews our active clients as well as clients whose projects were completed since the last survey cycle. This ensures our total portfolio is represented in the findings, and that we’re getting a complete picture of our successes and pain points.
Looking at the score clients give in response to the question, “How likely are you to recommend Mythics to a colleague or friend?”, the survey firm groups respondents as follows:
Based on the total number of responses, the Net Promoter Score is calculated by the following formula:
For example, if there were 50 responses to the survey consisting of 20 Promoters, 25 Passives, and 5 Detractors, the NPS would be 30, calculated as follows:
What’s a good score?
The higher the score, the better. As you can glean from the equation above, NPSs can range from -100 (when every client is a Detractor) to +100 (when every client is a Promoter). Generally, positive scores are considered “good”, and scores above 75 are considered excellent. At Mythics, our company goal is to achieve an NPS of 70 or higher.
Mythics’ NPS of 81 reflects 14 separate survey waves covering nearly 300 unique responses. For each wave, we typically see a 15–25 percent response rate (which is great, given a “typical” phone survey response rate is around 5 percent). Each cycle includes approximately 100 clients, although this number varies from cycle to cycle.
What are Net Promoter Scores for other companies you know?
If you do a quick web search for other companies using NPS, you’ll find a lot of them out there, across multiple industries.
A 2016 published benchmark from Satmetrix (the co-developer of NPS) offers examples of leading-brand NPSs within specific industry segments:
While this is just a small sampling of data for comparison purposes, it does illustrate a wide disparity across industries. It also highlights the companies that are getting it right with their clients.
What other questions do we ask and measure?
In addition to the “recommend” question that drives NPS, we ask several other questions (all rated on a 1–10 scale) to gain more complete and granular picture of our performance across our portfolio. They include (but aren’t limited to):
We also give clients the chance to tell us in their own words how we can improve their experience.
Their answers give us keener insight into the performance factors that are impacting each client’s level of satisfaction. That helps us understand our strengths and weaknesses, and allows us to make strategic adjustments.
Our data reveals the strongest correlation between how clients rate their “total experience with Mythics staff” and how they respond to the “recommend” question is what drives NPS. That makes a lot of sense — because on these consulting and managed services projects, our people are the heart and soul of our business.
Why do we use a third party?
While, in theory, anyone can conduct the surveys, we’ve found outsourcing this capability to a third-party firm works best for us. We see several direct benefits with this approach, including:
What should you look for in a provider?
If you’re seeking providers for IT consulting services, implementation support, managed services, etc., be sure to ask questions like:
Ask these questions early, and ask them often.
Any provider can work with a select client to create a “reference document” that highlights one perfect engagement. But how do you gain an accurate understanding of how they’re doing across their whole project portfolio? NPS tells you the impression they’re making — good or bad — throughout their client base.
NPS isn’t the end-all-be-all in evaluating an IT consulting or services provider. But it is a valuable tool that can add clarity and insight to the vendor selection process. In the end, that helps you make more informed decisions for the good of your project — and your organization.
The Mythics Advantage
At Mythics, we’re very proud of our NPS. It’s our public grade report that reflects our clients’ trust in us, their satisfaction with our performance, and — most important — their willingness to recommend us to others with whom they have trusted relationships.
Other industry providers may do client surveys, but they don’t target their clients’ desire to endorse their services. As a result, they’re missing out on critical feedback that reveals what their clients truly think and feel.
Mythics unlocks the value of that feedback by measuring and responding to client needs in real-time. That makes us a trusted and valued partner, helping our clients leverage their technology to fulfill their mission.
Brian Meincke, Vice President Program Management and Quality, Mythics Inc.