I recently read an article in the Health Service Journal which discussed the rising use of the 'Net Promoter Score'. This has recently hit the limelight since David Cameron proposed a 'friends and family' test, asking patients whether they would recommend a hospital - sounds simple. But actually it got me thinking about how effective this tool could be within and outside the NHS!
It's based on an 11 point patient rating from which organisations can create an overall score - NHS West Midlands and NHS Midlands & East are promoting the use of NPS. The answers translate into a score that would measure customer loyalty rather than simply satisfaction. Boosting this number would lead to increased profit through lower cost per acquisition of new customers and easier repeat selling opportunities. Asking customers for the main reason they gave the score can turn detractors into promoters who have a long term relationship with the company and to drive growth and profit.
In commercial settings there is almost always a competitor ready to take your customers - hence the emphasis on NPS - loyalty rather than satisfaction alone.
Correctly configured and implemented, NPS can deliver a simple and effective means to embed patient experience at the very heart of the way NHS organisations behave. It can be an extremely powerful tool. The NHS just needs to ask the right questions based around the right common value, i.e. "How likely would you be to recommend/suggest our service to a friend, family member or someone with a similar need?" may provide an answer closer to what you want to know.
Feeding back this information to the staff who influence patient/customer experience, would allow staff to get closer to the data to encourage an open relationship between staff, patients and their experience. NPS is not only a valid metric but a powerful behaviour driver and as good operators know - staff behaviour drives customer experience.
At Sellick Partnership we regularly provide candidates and clients with a feedback form which allows them to relay their thoughts and experiences after dealing with us - this is frequently fed back to consultants, which allows us to ensure we are providing complete customer satisfaction. I think the NPS is an excellent initiative which truely emphasises the importance of the 'patient/customer experience' in driving a business forward.
Do you think NPS or wider feedback tools in general are beneficial? I would like to hear your thoughts - please leave your comments below!
Article: Knightley-Day, T. (02.08.2012): "Patient experience: The magic number for service satisfaction?". Health Service Journal