Understanding the System

The System

Sustained Leadership Commitment

Sustained Leadership Commitment

The senior leadership team must embrace NPS® and customer loyalty as mission-critical priorities.

Companies using the Net Promoter System can vastly improve the customer experience and boost loyalty, growth and profitability. But there's one essential condition: The senior leadership team—especially the CEO—must embrace the goal of creating more promoters and fewer detractors as a mission-critical priority.

Leadership and NPS

Leadership and NPS

Net Promoter® CEOs have three key concerns.

Strategic priority and vision

Employees naturally want to delight customers, and they feel great when they can do so. But they must do it in economically rational ways. (it's easy to delight customers by giving things away.) The CEO and CFO must understand loyalty economics and ensure that the organization has the tools for making appropriate trade-offs when necessary.

The Net Promoter System also requires confronting "bad profits." If a company is making money by exploiting its customers—for example, by tacking on hidden service fees—employees will see the double standard. Without the full commitment of senior leaders, the business is unlikely to make a high-impact near-term revenue or profit trade-offs that benefit long-term growth and profits.

Leadership behaviors and communications

Net Promoter System leaders need the right skills, experience, personal qualities, and energy. At the highest levels, someone who is broadly respected and trusted across the organization can set and reset priorities as needed. That person should report directly to the CEO or an important business unit's general manager. And he or she must have earned the respect of other senior leaders in the company.

Employees at most companies have seen initiatives come and go. But the Net Promoter System isn't a tool or a program; it's a way of running a company. Without visible signs of serious commitment at the top, many employees will conclude that NPS is just another flavor of the month. Visible, symbolic action often jolts the skeptics into realizing that the leadership team is serious. Timed appropriately, these dramatic actions can help sustain focus and instill confidence in the mission of earning enthusiastic loyalty from customers.

Customer-oriented decisions

The Net Promoter System affects virtually every aspect of a company. Finance, operations, marketing, and other departments traditionally have differing goals and incentives, but now they must work closely together. Senior leaders may need to change organizational and incentive structures to facilitate this kind of cooperation. For example, many Net Promoter System companies have found it necessary to remove or change incentives based on process metrics such as average handle time in call centers, because they conflict with the mission of doing what is right for customers.

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