Alternatives to NPS in B2B

Customer case studies and reference customers.

Is Net Promoter Score (NPS) a relevant measure in a B2B environment? Or are case studies, customer references and testimonials of greater value to the business than a single response to a questionnaire concerning recommendation?

Putting aside the issue of the accuracy of NPS and how well it may or may not be connected to Key Performance Indicators, is it relevant when in a B2B environment where often a relatively small number of customers represent a very high percentage of turnover?

Power of a B2B customer case study

With a relatively small number of high value customers the statistical reliability of any NPS score has to be questionable, but having a customer agree to providing a detailed case study or, even better, acting as a reference customer, has to be of greater value to a business. A customer can cursorily indicate an NPS “likelihood to recommend” score and then, for a number of good reasons, may not actually go onto recommend. Whereas if they have been actively involved in producing a case study, or acting as a reference customer and talking to other customers / prospects, or even committing in words their view of a supplier, this is a much stronger sign of loyalty to a supplier and of future intent.

From the perspective of other customers or prospects much more credence can be placed on a relevant case study detailing not only a comparable need to their own, but how the supplier has responded and what benefits were realised. If the customer is willing to act as a reference and therefore provide even greater commitment through this interactive level of recommendation, this is clearly going to be of greater value than a single NPS score.

Identifying potential customer case studies

So how should companies go about gathering them, and what do they need to contain?

Let’s start with how to identify potential customers willing to provide this valuable source. As good a place as any is a customer survey as this will highlight those that have had a positive experience with the company so that the request for support can be targeted to those potential advocates. Routes such as conducting senior decision maker face–to-face interviews are also a good source. In addition, if an account management role exists and is effective within an organisation, they can be incentivised to identify probable case studies. Why not start a relationship with a new customer by asking ‘what do we need to do so that you will become a reference customer for us?’

When considering the Customer Champions Cycle and looking to communicate to customers how you have listened to their feedback and acted positively to it, what better way than to communicate this through case studies and customer testimonial?

Take the next step

If you would like to discuss what case studies should contain, and how to make the most of them, Customer Champions can provide some practical steps, so please get in touch.


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