In this article
  • The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric used by companies to gauge customer satisfaction.
  • Timothy Tiah, CEO and founder of Colony, shared his thoughts on Colony’s experience with NPS.

Everyone knows the brand McDonald’s; chances are that you might even live near one now.

With the high volume of customers they get everyday, you’d think they have a pretty decent relationship with them, right?

From an outsider’s perspective, people may be saying “I’m lovin’ it” all the time but on a professional scale, things are quite different.

There’s a global index that’s very crucial for companies known as a Net Promoter Score (NPS), and it measures the loyalty and happiness of a company’s customer relationships.

The index system was developed by a management consulting firm, Bain & Co. in 2003, and it enables companies to better understand their relationship with customers outside the conventional customer satisfaction surveys.

It’s a vital management tool, having been adopted by more than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies.

So How Does The NPS Work?

SurveyMonkey.com explains that the NPS is measured along a scale of 1–10, with scores divided into “Detractors”, “Passives”, and “Promoters”.

These numbers are then used in a formula to calculate your NPS which ranges from anything as low as -100 to +100.

According to this site,

Anything above 0 is considered as “Good”,
Anything above 50 is considered as “Excellent”.
Anything above 70 is considered as “World Class”.

As mentioned earlier, you’d think McDonald’s would have a high NPS score because they’re such a big brand, but they were recorded to have a -8 score back in 2013.

So having a well-known brand doesn’t necessarily mean your customer service is tip-top.

We spoke to Timothy Tiah, CEO of Colony, a premium co-working space with locations at KL Sentral, KLCC and Eco City and their own relationship with NPS. How did they even get started on using it?

“We knew since we started that we wanted to be known for service and hospitality. The next questions of course were how could we measure it? How do we know we’re doing a good job?” said Tim.

Colony settled on using NPS as a measurement of customer satisfaction after finding out that many Fortune 500 companies were using it as a gauge. They then decided to run the necessary surveys and polls in order to calculate their score.

After a round of surveys during the Q1 of this year, the results were in. Confident of a decent score, Tim admitted to feeling a tad surprised when he found out that Colony’s NPS rating came in at -7.

He mentioned, “To be really honest, the first time I saw the score I went through a brief period of defensiveness and denial. Are things really that bad? I thought I was doing a good job.”

Getting Those Asian-Worthy A+ Scores

Unlike what you learnt in school, test scores aren’t the be-all and end-all of your entire existence. Quite the opposite, really. They’re supposed to give you an indication of where you’re standing, and drive you onwards and upwards toward doing better.

The same thing applied here; Tim took a long, hard look at Colony’s relationship with its customers and asked himself and his team some difficult questions.

At -7, Colony’s score was on par with many banks and telecommunication companies—something Tim did not find acceptable.

“Banks and telcos tend to serve a utilitarian purpose. But for Colony, we’re trying to create an environment where people want to be in Colony.

With the number of factors that count towards customer satisfaction, I asked Tim how they prioritised and implemented changes in their business.

Tim explained, “We use the Maslow hierarchy here to decide what is the most important thing to our guests. We first went to eliminate the basic problems that we consider the most important, such as air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, lights.”

Image Credit: SimplyPsychology.org

The changes had its desired effect. From their original score of -7 in Q1, Colony’s Net Promoter Score jumped to +40 for Q2, before peaking at +74 at the end of Q3 2018.

World class? Apparently, but Tim wants more.

“The higher the score is, the more challenging it gets to beat it or maintain it. We’re already beginning to see that the feedback now becomes harder and harder to address,” said Tim. The challenge now is to anticipate what customers might need or want and prepare for it, preemptively.

Good NPS = Good Company. Yay Or Nay?

Does a good Net Promoter Score mean your company is now thriving? Does it mean that you can expect your revenue to triple overnight?

In short, no. When I asked Tim for his opinion on the correlation between NPS and a successful company, he explained that NPS is essentially a measure of how much customers love your product.

Further, research mostly points towards a strong correlation between a high Net Promoter Score and customer retention, revenues and profits of a company. According to research done by Bain & Co., the likelihood of recommending a company to a friend was tied to referrals, repurchase, and other factors tied to growth.

Protip: Rather than purely focusing on the numerical value of your company’s NPS rating, do a little research into the NPS of other competitor companies or even companies that you are striving to emulate.

Take Apple, for example. The California-based tech company is famous for its (sometimes) overzealous band of loyal customers, and with good reason. With a score of 72, its customer relationship would be considered to be world class.

What about Disney, the company that holds a special place in all of our hearts? According to NPS Benchmarks, they have an NPS rating of 50.


The importance of the Net Promoter Score to companies like Colony cannot be understated.

Tim explained, “Our customers want our service, hospitality, and the overall experience of working in Colony. We’re hospitality driven, so we need to be able to beat the NPS scores of others. Our very survivability depends on that.”

Since NPS is a metric for customers’ loyalty towards the company and its product(s), there’s a simple way to put all this in a nutshell:

If people love your product, you’ll do well.

  • You can find out about Colony and its services here.
  • You can also find out the Net Promoter Scores of other companies here.

Feature Image Credit: Colony

Categories: Entrepreneur, Malaysian

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)