"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?
H.M. Warner, Warner Bros.,1927
Continuing my predictions for 2011, with the general theme of “hopefully you haven’t heard this one before”.
Number 3: The (IT) Empire Strikes Back
Information technologies are a big part of the success story behind voice of the customer programs in general. Trying to engage thousands of employees and hundreds of thousands of customers (in any kind of coordinated exercise) is generally considered to be, first and foremost, an exercise in technology enablement. Net Promoter as a discipline puts the Information Technology cat amongst the data pigeons by suggesting that everyone on the front line with the customer will be getting context specific real time reporting and closed loop support. And that’s just for starters.
Net Promoter data will create a major information resource for corporations that provides segmented attitudinal data in a scale and detail that companies have never had before. Heck, this could be the best database the company has; after all, unlike your CRM database, you know these customers exist as they replied to your survey! Data mining will suddenly seem very exciting, as will the opportunity to finally connect all those CRM data sources to your NPS data to our social media data etc etc.
Of course, all of this is non-trivial, and a lot of it will require IT assets from within the firm that have previously been out of the loop. NPS program leaders who effectively outsourced IT to their Software-as-a-Service vendors in the past will find they need a lot more internal support if they are going to make all these systems work together. And, with perfect timing, IT organizations are becoming increasingly aware that those “in the cloud” systems that their internal clients are buying outside their controls are becoming part of the information lifeblood of the business.
It’s a marriage for sure. Shotguns optional.
If you are running your Net Promoter program, expect a lot more IT department dependencies, involvement and complexity as your program becomes a mainstream information systems initiative.
Number 4: Some things won't happen
It should, in theory, be easier to predict something won’t happen than predict it will. After all, there are a finite series of things that will occur, and an infinite list of those that won’t. But there is something to learn from looking at good ideas that just don’t seem to gain traction so I’m picking a couple.
Employee Promoter Score is my first. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of employee loyalty, and just about every program should care about employee adoption of NPS. But formal employee loyalty process stays in the sidelines for most companies as they either go through the motions, or just skip the idea altogether. I know I’m going to get upset emails telling me about how great your employee loyalty program is, but all I can say is “well done, thanks for sticking with it”. My bet is you are a minority.
Equally egregious will be the lack of investment in reference programs. I love reference programs; I keep thinking that every b2b firm should have a sophisticated approach that takes known promoters and funnels them into a database which then… well, you probably get the picture. Some of the case studies are exceptional. People won’t fund it sufficiently.
Please feel free to prove me wrong on both these.