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NetPromoter is a good thing

If you haven’t read "The Ultimate Question" by Fred Reichheld … you need to. It’s an important book for any size company. 

It suggests a simple idea:  Take the percentage of happy customers that would recommend you. Subtract the unhappy customers that wouldn’t.  That gives you your "Net Promoter" score.  Higher score = more successful company.

The market research community HATES it.  They work hard to disprove it.  Partly because the conclusions and methodology can be disproved.  But mainly because they are annoyed that a simple measure that anyone can do may be more useful than a $100,000, 200-page, six-month analysis.  (There is merit to the discussion.)

Here’s what the research community misses:

It’s not about research, or whose research is better. It’s not about
a methodology debate. Frankly, it doesn’t even matter if the number
tracks anything at all.

This is all that matters: Net Promoter is simple and gets companies to focus on customers. It says:

You should fight to earn more customer recommendation. You should
fight to reduce unhappy customers. It’s the official measure of are you earning word of mouth — which is the secret to a great

Net Promoter does something that the research community never could.
It gives companies something to rally around. It gives companies a
vision and an action plan that works all the way from the executive
suite to the loading dock.

That is priceless.

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  1. Honey J. Brown November 5, 2007 at 2:57 pm #

    Absolutely agree with that. :)

  2. ian McKee November 7, 2007 at 2:29 am #

    Totally agree
    Its also
    – simple enough to be understood by EVERYONE – from senior management to field worker
    – simple enought to turn into an OPERATIONAl tool – rather than a research tool
    – reveals the impact of the cumulative sum of a companies actions/policies on their customers perception of them
    – gives WoM companies like Vocanic a valuable tool to measure the impact of word of mouth

  3. Deborah Eastman November 8, 2007 at 7:00 pm #

    Andy, nice to have a voice of reason in the debate. It’s a shame how much energy is being put into trying to defeat it when we could use that energy to move the concept forward and help companies apply it.
    It works, that is proven. Business leaders aren’t going to continue to use something that doesn’t deliver value to the business.
    For more on the discusson, come see us at WOMMA next week:
    Deb Eastman
    CMO, Satmetrix

  4. Scott Silverman November 10, 2007 at 4:56 pm #

    Amen, Andy. Now, if we can get the Long Tailers to stop trying to defeat The Paradox of Choice. Can we all get along?

  5. Scott Silverman November 10, 2007 at 4:59 pm #

    Amen, Andy. Now, if we can get the Long Tailers to stop trying to defeat The Paradox of Choice. Can we all get along?

  6. Amy Madsen November 13, 2007 at 11:15 am #

    Thanks for the blog, Andy. Always good to hear the gospel (or any gospel, for that matter) from you. For any of your readers interested in learning more about Net Promoter, we’d like to route them to the official site: for general info, blogs, discussion forum, conferences, job board, and more.

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