That finding actually bolstered internal marketing at Jiffy Lube, whose mission statement is "Ease the unease," with the goal of easing consumers' anxiety about keeping their vehicles in shape. It enabled Jiffy Lube to prove to independent franchises that "Ease the unease" is a good direction not only for the overall brand, but for an individual store's bottom line.
The results have given Jiffy Lube a point at which to start building its business.
"We're taking this information to quarterly business reviews with our franchisees," Ms. Raihill said. Net Promoter Scores can be crossed with themes derived from the text analytics, enbabling franchisess to understand the relationship between their actions and customers' experience. "It gives us pause to stop and look at the customer-satisfaction program overall and think about how to manage it going forward."
Jiffy Lube is starting with regional meetings in areas like Chicago, where it has a diverse group of franchisees. "We are able to get those participants in a room together and talk about the challenges as a system and to very succinctly and very graphically illustrate for them the power of the satisfaction data in a way that was not used before," she said.
No. 1 indicator
Net Promoter Scores were born in a 2003 Harvard Business Review article headlined: "The One Number You Need to Grow." But many brands, including some that use the number, forgot to read the whole article, said Forrester Research Inc. analyst Harley Manning. "No metric has more awareness than net promoter scores. But among people who use it, not many use it particularly well," he said.
Too many companies use NPS as a one-number indicator of how well the brand is doing—even tying manager bonuses to it—without knowing why the number is rising or falling, He said. "You have to do the work to find out what the drivers (of the score) are. Then when you figure that out, you have to tie them to specific practices."
Brands that consistently get high NPS scores, like JetBlue and Fidelity, use the number as an overall indicator of brand health, Mr. Manning said, and then attach it not only to issues driving the NPS score up or down, but to specific actions and accountability.
Make it work
While Jiffy Lube is using text analytics as a starting point to make companywide improvements, there are many ways to tie NPS to real brand loyalty and sales.
High-scorers such as USAA and Zappos focus on customers who give them average ratings of 7 or 8, working to convert them to 9s and 10s.
And Mr. Manning noted that some companies will identify detractors and then require managers to call those customers and ask what the company could have done better. That action alone can raise NPS because people who are contacted tend to give high marks for customer service, he said.
This report is from Advertising Age magazine, a New York City-based sister publication of Tire Business.