making a contactless payment mobile phone

Want to improve your CX? Start with your Net Promoter Score

Chart a path for CX success by benchmarking your score, your skills, and your technology.


Improve your CX with Net Promoter Score, soft skills, and innovative technology.

Read time: 5 minutes

Apple. Disney. Amazon. Microsoft. There’s a common denominator in the success of these titans of industry, and it’s more than the tech. The most visionary and influential organizations of the last few decades have all excelled at one thing creating exceptional customer experiences. These companies build their businesses around their customers, and they have the data to prove it works.

But prioritizing CX isn’t just for the titans anymore. The past few years have accelerated the pace of digital transformation to breakneck speeds, and everyone in every market has had to keep pace. With the massive shifts in the way we learn, work, and live, our world is more connected than ever before bringing unique challenges to businesses across industries. DNBs (Digital Native Brands) emerged, increasing the competitive landscape. Technology demands rose sharply and abruptly, straining budgets. And in this new world, customers came to expect secure, seamless, and satisfying experiences from the companies they do business with or they will find them elsewhere.

So, if CX is a major focus area for your organization (as it likely is), where do you start?

Your Net Promoter Score℠ is the best bet.

Forget trying to undercut competitors’ prices; providing a superior customer experience is swiftly becoming the priority for brands attempting to differentiate themselves from their competition.¹

Understanding the Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score is said by some to be the “holy grail” for understanding customer satisfaction, and in turn, customer loyalty. It’s a simple score between -100 to 100 that helps organizations rank themselves both independently and within their industry.

However, organizations are discovering that it can be used for more than just benchmarking themselves over time. It can shape cultural change, improve experiences, and build happier, longer-lasting customer relationships. These ultimately will impact the business on a financial level.

And it all starts with just one question.

How likely is it that you would recommend [Organization X] to a friend or colleague?

Respondents score from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely) and fall within three categories: Detractors (0-6); Passives (7-8); and Promoters (9-10). Promoters are your happy customers, your brand loyalists, your ambassadors. Passives are satisfied with your product or service but won’t advocate on your behalf. Detractors are, at best, unhappy customers but can turn into former customers or disparaging reviewers.

The formula is simple: subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters and you have your score. Scores that are closer to 100 represent higher customer loyalty but achieving 100% Promoter status is practically unheard of. As they say, you can’t please all the people all the time. A score above 80% is considered world-class.

There are two ways to interpret your Net Promoter Score:

  • Relative NPS: shows how you compare to other companies within your industry

  • Absolute NPS: shows how you rank against “good” scores from all industries

Once you have your benchmark NPS®, you can learn from your CX past by uncovering latent issues, exposing vulnerabilities, and identifying gaps in the journey, and forge your CX future by discovering what’s working, what customers love about your organization, and where to lean in. It’s also a great time to look at your CX soft skills.

The soft side of CX

So, what exactly is CX? That depends on who you ask. If you ask the internet, you’ll find a wide range of answers. CX is like “brand” in that it’s very important but can be challenging to define. There are phases of discovery, purchase journeys, satisfaction, and support with metrics collected at every stage to analyze and action. Other factors like employee engagement, marketing efficacy, and company culture play in.

There is an art to CX as well. Knowing how to talk to your customers, anticipating their needs, and keeping them in the conversation at every touchpoint are just as important to CX as the data itself maybe even more so. These soft skills inform your customers’ opinions and perceptions and are crucial, not only to your CX, but to the health and future of your brand.

How do your CX soft skills stack up?

  • Does your organization have a customer-centric mindset?

  • Does your messaging resonate across touchpoints?

  • Are you trustworthy?

  • Are you easy to do business with?

  • Do you stand behind your promises?

Then there’s the data. All. That. Data. But when it comes to customer feedback, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Data points can indicate pain points in retention, wait times, churn rates, etc. but cannot complete the holistic picture that good CX requires. That’s why it’s so important to have standardized methods of measurement (such as NPS®) and the right technology in place to keep your business up and running — and maintain a 360-degree view of the customer experience.

Your reputation relies on your technology

Improving customer experience — a concept that involves everything from the level of service to how well products fit into their lives — is a huge focus for growing businesses right now. Over the next year, brands will build on their successes (and learn from the failures), leveraging technology-driven solutions to the challenges of building deeper connections and relationships with their customers.¹

Outstanding CX simply cannot exist without robust technology solutions. Depending on your business, the core technology varies. It might be point-of-sale technology in retail, an electronic health records system in healthcare, an enterprise resource planning system used by your finance department or various other systems that keep your business running every day.

Core operations systems must be maintained, connected, and feed into one another while also integrating with your CRM platform. This connectivity is key to driving a service delivery culture in which your employees understand your customers at an individual level — and your customers feel known, seen, and valued through every interaction with your organization.

Technology impacts CX on several different levels. Here’s a quick example. Let’s say a company (like Ricoh) provides prescription label print solutions for a national grocery store pharmacy. What happens if the machines go down?

  1. The pharmacy can’t print labels. No labels, no scripts.

  2. Customers are frustrated and may suffer adverse health outcomes.

  3. The pharmacy is backlogged, and staff are overwhelmed.

  4. Clinicians feel the impact of phone calls asking to move prescriptions to a different pharmacy.

  5. Insurers are confused because multiple pharmacies are now calling to verify the same patient and drug.

As you can see, good (or bad) CX often has an unintended “trickle down” effect.

As Warren Buffett has famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

As CX becomes increasingly important in today’s competitive landscape, now is the time to invest in robust, holistic technology solutions that can support your business, your brand, and your customers in today’s world … and as you plan for the future.

Unlock better customer experiences

Ricoh provides information management and digital services to enable our customers to capture, manage, connect, and secure their information to drive powerful results. By unlocking information trapped in systems, tools, and manual workflows, organizations can realize the potential of their people and build more meaningful customer experiences.

Learn more about how to unlock better customer experiences by putting information to work for you.

  1. 1Forbes, The 5 Biggest Customer Experience (CX) Trends in 2022, November 2021

Recommended for you

Utilitec lights up the customer experience with inkjet technology
Utilitec lights up the customer experience with inkjet technology

Utilitec lights up the customer experience with inkjet technology

How inkjet technology is helping Utilitec pursue larger customers and more production print jobs by delivering high-speed printing services with next-level color quality.

What gets overlooked about the customer experience
What gets overlooked about the customer experience

What gets overlooked about the customer experience

Read this article and learn the specific steps you can take to enhance the customer experience.

How MGX Copy created a captivating customer experience
How MGX Copy created a captivating customer experience

How MGX Copy created a captivating customer experience

See how MGX Copy created a captivating customer experience with the RICOH Pro C9110 Color Production Printer for production printing.