Fred Reichheld

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You make excellent points. I'm going to bookmark this post so that I can refer to it in the future.




Alessandra Frota

We are a B2B company that has implemented exactly this model. Since last July we are doing Operational Surveys monthly and segmented by product line. They are bottom-up and the interviewed are the managers who deal with our delivery team in the day-by-day. Our top-down survey is called “Annual Strategic Survey” and was done in November with the major execs from our clients. Considering all answers, the NPS is the same for both groups (bottom-up and top-down) but if we analyze it according to customer segments we can see significant differences. We are dealing with this result creating different actions plans per segment. The results appoint we are in the right direction.


I also carried out a small scale experiment survey at operational level. First I prepared 10 questions, but when doing it, I found my questions were cut short in the smoothly carried on conversation with end users, and the questions were focused on only 3-4 questions. I was a bit upset about it, but now, after reading your article, came to realize the differences before NPS and NPE.

Carrie Sue Weston

Top-down and bottom-up NPS was instituted at Fireman's Fund in mid 2005. The same confusion exists between the two. In 2007 we will reinforce the top-down NPS as the Benchmark as we ask our customers and prospects to rate Fireman's Fund and up to 2 competitors on the same series of value driver attributes. We will refer to the bottom-up NPS as the Operational NPS as we ask our only our current customers their likelihood to recommend us. Given the attention NPS has received at Fireman's Fund, our internal departments are looking to create an internal 'promoter' process ie a proven practice for measuring the satisfaction of our internal service providers. Any ideas?

JP Layton

Re: your request for a better label than top down and bottom up, we tend to think in terms of "tactical" for the operational or bottoms up approach...can be performed as an automated email based on contact center transactions; versus "strategic" for the top down approach...typically will be via phone or personal contact.

Mark Malysa

On the subject of "bottom up" NPS surveys, do you recommend that the survey is related or triggered by a customer transaction - so the results are more actionable in terms of changing processes? Conversely, would you recommend that the "top down" survey is a sample of all customers whether or not a transaction has occurred recently?



My experience is to be careful with sampling at the bottom up level. I have often seen casual conversations with customers not done in using a proper sampling process could lead to wrong priorities. The other problem that I have noticed with frontline staff are their inability to come up with innovative solutions to customer problems. Example: If customers rated a call centre agent low on empathy, the typical response is to identify employees with low empathy. In practice we have noticed that more than 40% of executives cannot make any change immediately after the training and out of the rest 30% are back to normal after a month. A thorough analysis revealed that the profile of these executives was different from the better performing executives and that the problem was not so much in having or acquiring the skill but the fact that they were not suited for the job. This was more of a recruitment issue than anything else. This took us a whole year to figure because the 'empowered' frontline staff along with 'out of touch' managers were beating around with traditional solutions. In a way I think we are expecting too much from frontline staff many of who donot have the capability to carry out a well rounded analysis and come up with practical solutions.

Shalini Malhotra

Ours is a B2B company. We have been doing the "bottom-up" or Transaction survey for the last year and a half with an aim to get feedback from the process owner levels. We are now working on the "top-down" or Relationship survey with an aim to get feedback from the decision makers of the company. The difference in the two questionnaires is that our NPS-T is more detailed and has scores attached to each question. In NPs-R we have 3-4 questions - mainly qualitative in nature.

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