Why Net Promoter Score is key to consistent improvement at OCS

Here at OCS, we’re on a mission to be the very best facilities services business in the world, making people and places the best they can be.

Critical to achieving that ambition is a commitment to continually improve everything we do – which is why Net Promoter Score (NPS) is fundamental to continually improving the services we provide.

What is Net Promoter Score?

NPS is considered the international benchmark for measuring customer satisfaction and, as such, is used by businesses across the world.

NPS is usually measured by answering a single question: How likely is it you would recommend this business or service to a friend or colleague?

Customers are asked to rate the business out of 10. If they give a rating of 0-6 they are considered to be a detractor, 7-8 considered passive, and if they score the business 9-10 they are considered to be a promoter.

The NPS score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of promoters from the percentage of detractors, and can range from -100 to 100.

Many businesses use third parties to conduct the survey on their behalf via a phone call – however, at OCS, we do things a little differently.

How does OCS approach NPS?

While using a third party to conduct the NPS survey brings some time-saving benefits, we see it as a missed opportunity to genuinely improve the way we work with our customers and the services we provide.

We use our executive and management team to conduct our NPS surveys for us.

“There are a lot of rules around it,” explains Gavin Wainer, Group Commercial Officer at OCS.

“Our teams always survey customers from other divisions or those they’re not directly involved with. This allows for objectivity and removes any subjectivity. We try to get repeat visits each year, too, so the same person conducts the survey and builds up a relationship with the customer.

“As well as being able to uncover potential issues, this gives the customer an independent person to speak with who can influence how the account operates.”

Surveyors are trained in how to conduct the survey to ensure we get the very best outcomes possible.

“It’s important the surveyor is the independent person in the room,” says Gavin.

In addition to the single question that is usually asked, OCS asks customers a further 12 questions to gain deeper insight that can translate into meaningful action and improvement across the account and the wider business. We also survey our frontline colleagues who work on the customer’s account, asking them, ‘Would you recommend OCS as a good place to work?’

If we have happy colleagues and happy customers, we’re moving in the right direction.

What action is taken after an NPS survey?

As well as helping us understand where we can improve, if a customer scores OCS as a passive or negative, it automatically triggers an action plan.

“We’ll always debrief with the contract manager, and put together an action plan to understand the feedback and the actions we need to take to improve,” explains Gavin.

“This may include also opportunities to work together differently, and then helps guide the day-to-day, as well as providing the basis of the NPS conversation the following year.

“This way, the customer has been listened to, and any concerns or areas of improvement have been addressed, which doesn’t always happen if you engage a third party to conduct the survey.”

What’s a good NPS score?

In facilities management, 40% is seen as the gold standard. We’ve been measuring our NPS since 2016, and have exceeded the industry standard since 2018. In 2020, we achieved 67.31%, while in 2021 we scored 80.39%.

Why is NPS an important metric for OCS?

Ultimately, as a business, OCS is completely reliant on customer satisfaction. If customers aren’t happy with the services we provide, we don’t have a business – which is why we place such importance on understanding how we can improve.

“It helps us iron out issues earlier and more quickly, and it’s also a good barometer for the business because if we have happy customers and good relationships, it shows we’re doing a good job,” says Gavin.

At OCS, we’re committed to being the best – and to do that, we have to continually encourage feedback and listen to our customers because by doing just that, we’ll achieve incredibly strong outcomes together.