Why is this interesting? - The Net Promoter Score Edition

On COVID, airlines, and generosity as a brand builder 

Colin here. I wrote recently about customer experience in the COVID-era and how the typical cool bells and whistles of brand experience have taken a backseat to things that give people confidence in the brand. Four Seasons, Emirates, and others have ported part of their considerable operational prowess and into tangible signals and actions of safety. 

Another interesting example in culture is Delta. The brand has evolved lots of elements over the past several years: better apps, better lounges, new planes, and improved business class products. But, most significant to their recent customer satisfaction, the airline has been the most progressive when it comes to communicating with customers, illustrating a clear middle seat social distancing policy (they don’t fill them),  and generally being miles ahead of the other domestic carriers.

In my earlier WITI, I wrote: “In my mind, this generosity will likely translate to brand choice in the near-to-medium term as travel continues to be more of a burden than a treat. But it will most definitely hurt the bottom line.”

Why is this interesting? 

It appears that Delta’s choices, putting passenger safety first, are having a big payoff in terms of brand perception and customer service scores of the airline. 

In a recent interview at the Skift Global Forum, cited by a Bloomberg article, CEO Ed Bastian shared some interesting metrics

Delta’s Bastian said that with 50% of domestic flights operational and running at around 30% of normal domestic passenger volume, the airline is seeing record-high customer service satisfaction scores. Before the pandemic, the average Net Promoter Score (NPS) for airlines was 44, on a scale of -100 to 100, measuring customer satisfaction via willingness to recommend a company’s product or services. In August, Delta’s score was 75, which Bastian credits to the airline’s commitment to mask compliance, electrostatic fogging, and blocking middle seats. … “All those steps are making a big difference in consumer confidence,” said Bastian. “Honestly, if you had asked me what the odds of Delta ever hitting a 75 in NPS, I’d say that’d be hard to imagine.”

Many consumer brands spend a lot on advertising and marketing to show how cool, unique, and differentiated their companies are. But taking the high ground, putting customers first, and, critically, communicating clearly, has put Delta into a measurable leadership position in the US. For someone that is generally a die-hard Oneworld alliance flier, the difference between American (still currently selling every seat) and Delta, for now, is like night and day. And it also goes to show that sometimes making decisions born out of purpose and morality can have a larger impact on your brand than a ton of advertising. (CJN)

Mix of the day:

We are fans of what My Analog Journal is doing on Youtube: a wide array of interesting DJ mixes, featuring sounds from around the world. This is a set of Arabic grooves played from vinyl. I also love the camera angle and just let this play in the background. There is something nice about the visuals: it’s a bird’s eye view of someone quietly playing records but they make a good point to show all of the tracks and cover art. (CJN)

Quick links:

Thanks for reading,

Noah (NRB) & Colin (CJN)

PS - Noah here. My company, Variance, is looking for a lead product designer (remote) to join the team. If that’s you or someone you know, please be in touch.

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