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The Tactics and Results of NPS Leaders

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Technology Industry NPS® Benchmarks

by Cvetilena Gocheva

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The technology industry has always been a pioneer when it comes to innovations and customer experience. Brands like Cisco, Dropbox, Apple and Veeam Software have repeatedly disrupted markets with their view on customer experience and innovation driven by customer needs. The sector has recently changed the business landscape with such evolving technologies like AI, the internet of things, big data and the sharing economy. And while there are a hundred of technology innovations clamouring for customer attention, only a few are dominating when it comes to customer loyalty. 

Today, we will explore some the most prominent technology brands and their Net Promoter® Score achievements. Sit tight and enjoy the ride!

A Closer Look at the State of NPS for the Technology Sector

We have looked at our NPSBenchmarks industry overview data and discovered the top 10 NPS scores by industries. As we can see from the graph below, the technology sector is leading the list with one of the highest NPS scores across industries. Research on the Net Promoter Score Methodology has also shown that companies with a high NPS grow faster, retain more customers and are more successful than their peers. The technology industry's NPS score currently sits at 60 - a score above 50 is normally considered excellent. With that in mind, we will now walk through some of the most successful brands in the tech industry based on their NPS scores. Along with that, we will provide an overview of their revenue, customer experience tactics and NPS best practices. 

NPS Industry Benchmarks
                                                                                          NPS Industry Benchmarks

Cisco NPS = 38

Cisco is one of the American technology companies that probably needs no introduction when it comes to innovations, customer centricity and business growth. As a company that sold its products mostly to other businesses, Cisco did not become a household name, but in the second decade of the 21st century it was one of the largest corporations in the United States. 

Here's what we have learnt about Cisco's customer feedback and NPS strategies. 

Cisco takes customer feedback very seriously. The company has deployed a variety of technologies and strategies to enable prompt and accurate customer feedback analysis and response. These include customer and employee listening posts, text and sentiment analytics, social media monitoring, and targeted on-demand surveys. Cisco’s NPS score currently sits at 38. What’s even more interesting is that Cisco pays very close attention to negative customer feedback. Curtis Hill, SVP Customer Assurance at Cisco shares:

“We know that if you, as our customer, take the time to communicate with Cisco about a bad experience, you’re probably angry, frustrated, and definitely have something to say. So, please give it to us straight.” – Curt Hill, SVP Customer Assurance at Cisco, Source

Listening to negative customer feedback helps Cisco easily identify customer pain points and put forth improvements.

Cisco shares how, several years ago, customers were frustrated about packaging and shipping standards for some of the company’s spare parts, cables, and adapters. As a result, Cisco’s team gathered further insights from customers, partners and distributors via surveys to act on the negative feedback. Cisco customers can now order set quantities of parts, shipped with minimal packaging and clear labeling on the carton that includes product name, serial numbers, and quantity. By listening and acting on negative feedback, Cisco was able to minimize customer effort and increase satisfaction.

Veeam Software NPS = 73  

Veeam Software is an innovative provider of solutions that deliver Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™. The tech company develops backup, disaster recovery and virtualization management software for VMware and Hyper-V virtual environments. Veeam Software has recently been included in Forbes 2017 Top100 Cloud Companies, as well as Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup & Recovery. We were extremely happy when we learned Veeam Software joined NPSBenchmarks.com this month and shared their NPS success with the community.

Veeam Software has been investing in NPS for years, and results show the company’s score is increasing on an yearly basis. Here’s what they shared with us:

  • Veeam’s 2014 NPS score = 30. – Source
  • Veeam’s 2015 NPS score = 62. Surveyed around 145k customers – Source
  • Veeam’s 2016 NPS score = 61. Surveyed around 1,800 customers – Source
  • Veeam’s 2017 NPS score = 73. Increase by 11 points – Source

Veeam Software’s NPS improvements have also been accompanied by phenomenal financial gains. Not only did Veeam see NPS improve by 11 points in 2017, but it also achieved a 27% year-over-year increase in revenue growth.

Based on our research, we found that Veeam Software is also very proactive in drilling down to the reasons why customers are satisfied and willing to recommend the company. Veeam customers highlight the quality of products and the professional work of the customer support department, SEs and sales specialists, who, in a survey, got the highest ratings for their work.

Veeam Software 2017 NPS Score

                                                                                       Veeam Software 2017 NPS Score

Veeam Software Customer KPIs

                                                             Veeam Software Customer Satisfaction KPIs


In 2015, Veeam Software introduced gamification to their customer support team in order to increase customer satisfaction. The gamification system showed a weekly leaderboard, individual achievements, and a closed-case progress bar. The system then tracked each team member’s activities and assigns reward points for completed tasks. For Veeam, the use of gamification has meant that managers are able to improve performance by pinpointing problematic issues or bottlenecks in the work process, in turn creating an experience that creates loyal happy customers. The result? Their NPS improved by 32 points to 62 for 2015.

Apple NPS = 89

One of the biggest advocates of the NPS system is the tech giant Apple. The multinational technology giant introduced the NPS system back in 2007 and since then has been systematically listening to customers and managing its business in response to their needs.

Apple's proactive approach on listening to customers and empowering employees to go above and beyond on personalised CX has helped the brand achieve an NPS score above the industry standard. Apple's NPS of 89 is also the result of quickly closing the loop on customer feedback. Our research has found that closing the loop within 48 hours can lead to an 12% or more increase in customer retention. 

Here are some of Apple's most successful CX & NPS techniques: 

1) The A-P-P-L-E approach to customer service:

A: Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome

P: Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs

P: Present a solution for the customer to take home today

L: Listen for and resolve issues or concerns

E: End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return

Apple employees use the same steps with every new product the brand releases. As a result, customers will leave the store delighted and tell their friends and colleagues about their wonderful experience at the store and thus become brand evangelists.

2) Listen to customer feedback

Did you know that Apple is so invested in NPS that the company's team does a daily standup, where employees review the NPS feedback from customers? Then everyone discusses what can be improved and drills down to the reasons behind customer dissatisfaction. In doing so, Apple makes sure employees understand the power and importance of customer feedback. 

Here’s an example of what one of Apple’s NPS surveys looks like:

Apple NPS email

Dropbox NPS = 32

Dropbox is another technology giant famous for its NPS score tactics. The company currently has an NPS score of 32, and is known for the way it activates its promoters to spread the word their brand. Dropbox also gives you additional storage space with each referral, which resulted in an insane growth of their user base by 3900% over a 15 month period. As such, Dropbox not only measured the likelihood of customer recommendations, but also equipped customers to do so. The company made it easy and appealing for early fans to promote to friends and family in exchange for earning more data storage.

SAP NPS = 19

SAP is a German multinational software corporation, serving more than 296,000 customers in 190 countries. The technology giant relies on customer feedback to make their products and service better and meet customer expectations. SAP is also a big promoter of the NPS system and sets NPS targets on an annual basis. Here's what we have found about SAP's NPS strategy and achievements. 

The company started the year 2016 with an NPS target of 25. After conducting a customer survey towards the end of 2016, SAP announced it ended the year with an NPS score of 19, which was below the set target. SAP's NPS survey however also helped the brand uncover the reasons behind the achieved NPS score.

SAP Net Promoter Score
                                                                                             

Thanks to customer responses the company learned that it needs to invest more in improving the quality of SAP’s follow-up process to ensure timely resolution of customer issues.  

How did SAP tackle customer dissatisfaction? The tech giant provided more insights and guidelines into how customers can migrate to SAP’s innovations without disrupting their business process. In doing so, the company equipped customers to do self-support and reduced the number of customer issues. SAP also shared that the company’s objectives for 2017 will be centred around customer loyalty, employee engagement, growth and profitability. SAP’s NPS target for 2017 is between 21 to 23, and for 2020 the company aims to achieve an NPS score between 35 to 40. We’d love to hear if the company is on the right 2017 track!

Final Thoughts

We fully understand the drive and ambition of many tech companies who strive to achieve Apple's NPS score of 89 or Veeam Software's above industry average NPS of 73. Benchmarking yourself to the leaders in your industry is a great, but should not be the only way you think about your NPS state and improvement. Instead, you should benchmark internally. Set an NPS target for the year or quarter, learn best practices from other companies in your industry, have a good understanding of their NPS programs and track your improvement. If you have not hit your NPS target, make sure you have an NPS provider that can help you understand the reasons why.

Ready to beat your own NPS score?

Advanced practitioners not only benchmark internally and externally, but also know how to monetize their Net Promoter Score program. Make sure you follow them by arming yourself with the Definitive Guide to Monetized Net Promoter Score!

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Monetized Net Promoter Score


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