According to SMB polling by Alignable, Amazon once again has the highest net promoter score (NPS) of any of the 100+ brands it measures, for the fifth quarter in a row.
Alignable groups Amazon into the “office supplies and services” category where it competes with FedEx, OfficeDepot, Staples, Vistaprint and others. However the e-commerce giant carried the highest NPS (62) of all categories. The scores range from negative 80 to 80.
The second-best rated brand was payment processor Stripe (55), followed by Google (50) and Apple (47). The following chart lists the top 20 in order.
There were plenty of companies on the negative side of the line, including most of the lead-generation and digital advertising companies. Facebook Ads scored a negative 14, Google AdWords was negative 27. Thumbtack was negative 44; YP was negative 57. Yelp was negative 65. Almost no one was spared.
Organic social and other marketing tools were much more highly rated. For example, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram all received generally favorable ratings. OpenTable was favorably rated.
The negative scores on the paid advertising and lead-gen side must reflect disappointment or skepticism on the part of SMBs. I say “skepticism” because Alignable doesn’t limit the scoring to verified customers. In justifying the practice, an Alignable spokesperson said:
The key thing to consider is that every business owner has the ability to make an impression on another business owner. There’s no criteria that they have to be a customer to leave these impressions. The same applies to Twitter. You don’t have to use Wells Fargo to react to to what they’re doing. We’ve applied this same approach to these trust ratings.
Alignable CEO Eric Groves has argued that companies with better NPS ratings have a lower customer acquisition cost than those with poor ratings. Alignable calls this a Trust Index; it might be more accurate to call it a brand perception or reputation index. Regardless, SMBs seem to like companies that deliver a service with transparent and easily understood benefits and generally dislike or even disdain companies that offer paid ads or marketing.
Do you agree with some or all of this? What are your thoughts and reactions? Would you criticize these findings in any way?
You can see the full NPS ratings list and discussion here.