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I saw these flyers on each table in a local French Subways. They ask customers to use the app-based customer loyalty card and rate Subways:

The rating is obviously based on the NPS but notice how the levels are grouped and represented. The smiley with the heart eyes (raving fan) represents a value of 9 or 10; the weeping smiley represents a 7 or 8 while the angry smiley represents anything below 7.

Essentially the 11-scale NPS rating has been reduced to a 3-scale rating (ecstatic, unhappy and angry) of which two options are obviously negative. I am a fan of an odd number of options with a neutral element and a balanced number of negative and positive options because I believe that caters best to everyone’s opinions. In the Subways example, which option would you choose if you thought the experience was good but not mind-blowing? There is no option for that or what about if you thought: “hmph, I don’t a strong opinion because it was neither really good nor really bad”?

This type of legend for the rating invalidates the NPS. Users are no longer able to make a very nuanced choice on an 11-point scale; instead they are being forced to select a 9 or a 10 if they did not find the experience negative. An NPS score based on “coerced” data like this is not valid. The data can really only be used for a rudimentary determination of the ratio of positive versus negative customer experiences…

Try buying a laptop on the French Dell website with a QWERTZ keyboard (the French keyboard is AZERTY) and with an English language operating system. It’s not possible. Dell assumes that if you buy a laptop in France, it is because you are French and want all things French.

But .. you can call their customer service and they can configure the laptop exactly as you want it (why not offer this to your customers too, then?). I will skip the part where the customer service representative first entered my order with a French keyboard and French operating system even though I had specifically stated what I wanted and that that was why I was calling instead of using the website and skip directly to where my order got flagged as fraud because I was using a German credit card.

So, the following scenario creates red flags at Dell: a European citizen living in France using a German credit card and purchasing an English language operating system.