In most cases, we recommend using Customer Expectation as a measure of a customer’s opinion of their experience. Having a good satisfaction rating is fine, but if it is still below expectation, this is going to have a negative effect and will make customers vulnerable to defection to competitors, particularly in a price-sensitive market.
Many companies still use NPS (Net Promoter Score) to evaluate a customer experience. However, NPS is underpinned by a question asking whether a product or service would be ‘recommended’. Somewhat arbitrarily, 9 and 10 scores out of 10 are assigned to promoters and 0 to 6 scores are assigned to detractors. The arbitrariness of the bands, whether a respondent would want to bother to recommend a service, whether detractors matter much leave NPS open to being questionable when used as a business indicator.
Expectation is clearer. Did the service exceed expectations? Was the service just good enough? In many cases, ‘good enough’ is all that customers want. Customers realise that exceeding expectations might come at a cost for an unnecessarily high level of service. Expectation, though, gives a clear picture of what a customer thought of the experience. We, therefore, use that as a key measure.
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