The Net Promoter Score, developed by Fred Reichheld (and trademarked with Satmetrix and Bain & Company), is designed to encapsulate return on marketing investment with one simple question: "How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?" But as with most professional instruments, performance depends on the skill of the performer.
In my experience, the biggest hurdle is to insist to clients that the tool be used consistently and in the proper conditions. Which means saying NO often.
CustomerGauge: Just One Last Question: Four ways Columbo and the Net Promoter Score are alike, 2011-Sep-15, by Adam Dorrell
Easily imitated, but hard to do well. In the 70’s, Columbo was about the most imitated cop on TV. Everyone from Mike Yarwood to the class clown could do an impression of him: you hunched over, slurred some words, said “Sir, my wife, she’s your biggest fan” and you were away. Of course, it took Falk’s commitment to perfection to keep the character interesting and engaging for nearly 30 years.
The Net Promoter® Score is a simple concept: It’s just the single question and a common scale. Deceptively simple – you can use any survey tool and work out the numbers in the spreadsheet. But like Colombo, the art is in the detail. You need to get the right question, and consistent approach to surveying.