Using the NPS to Evaluate and Improve Employee Training Eóghan Quigley Published on November 20, 2018 The Net Promoter Score or NPS is a loyalty metric that’s usually associated with a customer’s satisfaction with a product or a service. Introduced by Fred Reichheld in “the one number you need to grow”, it’s used to evaluate the performance of all types of activities, even eLearning. It’s simple, making it easy to deploy, it promotes continuous improvement, and it’s easily understood by management. This post gives you an overview of how the NPS score is measured and how you can use it to assess your training performance. What is the Net Promoter Score? The NPS measures customer satisfaction and predicts business growth. It’s a one question survey that asks your customers: How likely is it that you would recommend [our company/product/service] to a friend or colleague? How to calculate your Net Promoter Score The NPS categorizes your customers based on their response to this question and uses a simple formula to generate a score for each response. This formula penalizes not only negative responses but passive ones also. A respondent chooses from a scale of 0-10 how likely they are to recommend, with 0 being not at all likely and 10 being extremely likely. Depending on their answer, respondents then fall into one of three categories. Those who choose a score of 9 or 10 are called promoters. These respondents are very satisfied, loyal customers, who actively recommend your brand 😍 Scores of 7 and 8 are passive. These are satisfied, but not necessarily loyal customers. This suggests that they may be open to switching to a competitor brand 😐 Detractors choose between 0 and 6. These respondents are unsatisfied customers. They may even damage your business’s growth with negative word of mouth ☹️ To calculate your score you need to use the following equation: % Promoters – % Detractors’ = ‘Your NPS’ Tools like Nicereply, Wootric, AskNicely, and Medallia can be used to collect customer feedback and calculate your NPS score. If you’re on the lookout for NPS software check out peer to peer reviews on G2crowd to get your search started. NPS benchmarking But how do you know if your NPS score is good or not? It depends on the product or service you provide as well as the industry you operate in. There are lots of research companies that collect NPS data. Take a look at Delighted or NPS Benchmarks to benchmark your score against businesses that offer a similar product or service to your own. Doing this will give you a ballpark figure you can use to assess your NPS. However, take these figures with a pinch of salt as results are provided by the companies themselves and may not be 100% accurate. How to measure training performance with NPS? A key question for training professionals is: Does training impact the bottom line? It’s a constant challenge to showcase the benefits and ROI of training. The NPS can be used to do just that. Take employee training for example. One way to examine the performance of customer-facing employees is to look at their individual NPS scores. This is generated from the responses of the customers that they interact with. If you take the NPS responses generated from their customer accounts you can calculate that individual’s NPS score. With an overall NPS score and one for each employee, you can easily see the impact of training programs. Take a look at the training habits and activity of your best NPS performers. You’ll probably see that their dedication to their customers is mirrored in their dedication to their training. Holding these employees up as examples can be a great way to motivate others to improve their performance. Onboarding speed Onboarding is the pillar of employee training that can really benefit from this approach. How long does it take your organization to get new hires up to speed? And how do you even measure the success of their onboarding? One way is to measure the time in which their individual NPS score gets to a certain standard - like the average NPS score. The type of training you carry out can change the speed of this process. We hear lots of positive stories from our customers on how experimenting with or investing more in onboarding training has accelerated this ‘get up to speed’ timeline. Moving from a rigid 10-12 week employee onboarding program to a more job specific, scenario-based one appears to be an effective approach. Every situation is different, and every employee is unique. We recommend you take a step back and review your training timelines and NPS improvement together. This gives you a very broad but effective view of the impact your training programs. A word of advice NPS results should be viewed carefully. The NPS is a great indicator of success but it’s important to view it as that, an indicator, rather than proof. The wider you cast your net, the less sure you can be of its accuracy. Be honest with yourself. Don’t eliminate negative scores from inclusion unless there is a strong reason to do so. This enables you to be as objective as possible without skewing your own data. Be kind to yourself. When comparing your organization's performances with other similar organizations use a skeptical eye. Some public NPS scores are not realistic. The NPS score is another addition to your reporting toolkit, to help you quantify the effect of your training. When combined with, and compared to, other data the NPS will help you to hone your efforts and continuously improve the performance of your employees when it comes to satisfying your customers.