The dangers of giving NPS goals to everyone in your organization!

One thing first: this also applies to any other score for customer satisfaction. This article is not about the discussion around which score is good or bad. It is about how it can change the dynamics of an organization if everyone is focused on this score.

I understand the motive: customers should be a high priority for all employees. They should not lose focus on the customer. No matter whether in the management or in the processing department. Everyone should pull together in one direction. If you have established NPS goals (for simplicity's sake, I'll stick with this score now), then you've already achieved a lot. The path to this goal is mostly rocky and took many months if not years. This is not wrong per se BUT you are exposed to some dangers in this case which you have to manage together with the management as Chief Customer Officer.

  1. The biggest danger is the cultural impact in your organization. I like to call it the 


    Back office staff expect front-office employees to do their jobs properly so that they can receive their bonus at the end of the year. The pressure on the front, which is usually already high anyway, is increased even more. ALL expect to achieve the NPS target for all. Instead of employees better understanding what influence they have on this goal, the opposite often happens: they see it even less.

  2. Getting the NPS as a goal is about as motivating as a sales or profit goal: not at all. 

    "I'm only one person, I have no influence on that anyway"

    This is how most of the thoughts that all normal employees have can be summarized. For the management it is of course different because the goal corresponds to their competence and sphere of action. But for the rest of the staff there is a big discrepancy. One has got used to get such goals but it is actually known: Goals should fit the level, the competencies and the tasks.

  3. Employees AND customers start to influence the surveys! There are many examples on the net of employees trying to influence customers to give a 9 or 10 in the survey.

    Score is open to being “gamed”

    But also customers can change their behavior if they know that the NPS is in the goals of employees or a closed-loop system is behind it. For example, they give an extra 0 to encourage the company to take action because they know they will get extra attention or a goodie.

These are three scenarios that you as CCO have to manage with the management. How?


Minimize your ability to influence the survey

Let's start from the beginning: to avoid that clients or employees falsify the survey, contact a professional in the field. Let them check your survey concept. A first simple measure is to supplement the survey with a question: "How would you explain the experience to a friend? The customer then tells his experience which hardly leads to falsification. In the analysis, e.g. with emotional language analysis, the results can be checked, validated and also gain very valuable insights for improvement measures.


Minimize frustration and pressure within the organization

You need to measure and target what everyone in the organization can influence at NPS: the value chain.


  1. To do this, you must first understand what the real value chains look like. What is triggered where when a customer contacts you? I am not talking about a meta-level of organizational and operational structure or a target concept according to Porter. I'm talking about raising the chain as it is, understanding it in detail.

    The goal is to describe how the relevant services for customers are created: from the very back to the very front. Understanding how the company really (!) works.

    From 20 years of experience I can tell you: it is not what is defined in the processes. Imagine the company as a living being. You find ways, you know people, there are workarounds. Does everything sound familiar? Exactly. It is exciting and enlightening to understand how your company really (!) works. You will gain a high level of transparency.

  2. In the next step you have to understand and analyze the most important value chains. How complex are they? How much do they deviate from the defined processes? Why? What are the most important delivery results? This often leads to insights for improvement measures.

  3. But these insights are only a by-product. The goal is to build a feedback system along the most important value chains. Through regular measurements a monitor is created which continuously provides feedback from (internal) customers to the upstream suppliers. Teams act quickly and goal-oriented because they can these factors. With the right tools, they are able to independently understand the needs of their customers and implement measures.

  4. In the last step connect your feedback system in the value chain with the NPS and with the employee satisfaction survey. In this way you will achieve a holistic view of the entire dynamics in the company. In this way you achieve a holistic view of the entire dynamics in the company. You bring together all the elements of customer centricity: the employee experience, the service delivery and the customer experience.

What benefits does this bring you?

  • The most important thing is the cultural impact: individual responsibility, dynamism and goal orientation increases teams. The entire company becomes more agile and automatically reacts faster to changes, e.g. in customer requirements.
  • You can give the teams goals along the value chain. These results can influence them and strengthen their motivation.
  • The concept of "treat internal customers as well as external customers" immediately comes to the forefront and brings the entire company a big step forward in customer orientation. The whole dynamic is changing. You push the proactive cooperation, the solution-oriented approach, you break silo thinking.
  • It is possible that this feedback system will predict the NPS over time. As an example: I was able to predict the NPS 6 months in advance to 0.5 points on the NPS scale with my system. In these cases you can see exactly where the problems are and address them in time BEFORE they reach the customer.

Do you want to learn more about it? Next Tuesday I will be doing a Live Q&A webinar:

  • I will delve deeper into the topic
  • Showing what exactly is meant by the analysis of the value chain
  • show examples
  • To answer all your questions

It has exactly 20 seats in the webinar so that we can discuss with each other and the you  can really benefit from it. The webinar will be streamed live on Instagram at the same time.


Tuesday 16. June 2020 - 16:00 UK time

Sign-up here.

Live on Instagram @cxheroes.

In german 16:00 Zurich time: Hier geht es zur Anmeldung.


Live Q&A Webinar

Episode 2 | Meaningful CX goals for employees

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