IT service providers – like MSPs and VARs – rely heavily on client satisfaction and service quality to retain accounts and differentiate from the competition. As such, NPS can be a leading indicator of revenue retention, growth, and brand differentiation in a crowded (and often unruly) marketplace.

What is NPS?

Net Promoter® Score (NPS) is a client satisfaction and service quality metric based on a single survey question that asks your clients how likely they are to recommend your firm to a friend or colleague. Clients respond using a numeric scale of 0-10, ten being extremely likely and zero being not likely at all.

NPS is calculated by subtracting the % of detractors (those who respond with 6 or lower) from the % of promoters (those who respond with a 9 or 10). Click here for a more detailed look at the NPS methodology.

NPS is unique because it offers standardized measurement and reporting on client satisfaction and service quality that can be applied across the IT services industry as a whole, at the company-level, within specific disciplines, and even by account owner. IT service leaders utilize account-level NPS to supplement ticket-level reporting, allowing them to can get ahead of retention risks and manage relationships at the account and team level.

NPS for IT Service Providers in 2018

NPS for IT service providers is a target topic for Inavero’s annual industry benchmark study, and in 2018 IT services clients (those working with MSPs and VARs) reported an NPS of 17% based on overall satisfaction with their provider (our sample focused on clients of IT service providers in the U.S. and Canada).

YOY NPS data shows that clients’ experience and satisfaction with their IT service providers is varied. While the % of detractors have remained relatively consistent since 2014, the remaining % of promoters versus % passives have ebbed and flowed. These fluctuations may be related to the rapidly changing nature of the technologies and ecosystems IT services firms are required to support, the evolution of client expectations based on those rapidly changing environments, and even the commoditized nature (and therefore high-turnover nature) of the industry (4 out of 5 clients say they have switched IT service providers).

For reference, global NPS standards classify 50% NPS as excellent and 70% NPS as world-class. And recognizable service leaders like Nordstrom have an NPS of 75% compared to Comcast, a notorious service laggard, whose clients give them a -1% NPS. Click here to learn more about the NPS methodology. 

At 17% NPS, the IT services industry benchmark for client satisfaction and service quality is average (at best). Which means that MSPs and VARs have a unique opportunity to stand apart from the industry by investing in client satisfaction and service quality.

How does your service stack up?

If you’re not already leveraging NPS at your company, we hope you consider this article a call-to-action. Not only do client satisfaction and service quality represent opportunities to differentiate in an increasingly commodified service industry, they are fuel for firm growth.

And if “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” – then you certainly won’t be able to improve it either.

Next steps

  • Ready to get started with NPS? Contact the Inavero team for insights, best practices, and a tour of our survey platform (designed specifically to support professional services firms).