Retail and Automotive Industries Record Best Word-of-Mouth Scores in Recent Research from ForeSee

Research also finds Net Promoter Score overstates detractors by an average of 780 percent

Oct 15, 2013, 10:55 ET from ForeSee

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ForeSee, the global leader in multichannel customer experience analytics, today released "The Word of Mouth Index: Top 100 Brand Edition," the second report of its kind that provides benchmark scores for satisfaction, the Word of Mouth Index (WoMI) and the Net Promoter Score (NPS) for 100 of the top brands in the world.

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In May, ForeSee introduced the WoMI as an evolution of NPS. While NPS has become the de facto measure of customer loyalty for many organizations, it fails to distinguish between positive and negative word of mouth. ForeSee, therefore, created WoMI to more accurately measure customers' likelihood to recommend and/or detract from a brand, in order to provide a more precise and actionable measure. WoMI builds on NPS but is designed to address today's more complex word-of-mouth measurement challenges.

Conducted in August 2013 from more than 21,000 panel-collected consumer surveys, this new research shows that NPS continues to lack the accuracy that company leaders depend on, overstating detractors for the biggest brands by 780% on average. Industries represented within the Top 100 Brands include automotive, B2B, computer/electronics manufacturers, consumer products, financial services, retail and a miscellaneous category, including companies such as Facebook, Google, McDonald's, Shell and Starbucks.

The Best and Worst of Word of Mouth
Of the industries measured, the retail and automotive industries on average fared the best in terms of WoMI scores, with scores of 52 and 49, respectively. Additionally, the study found alarming instances of the tendency of NPS to overstate detractors:

  • The retail category on average registers an overstatement of detractors of 810%, ranging from a high of 2100% for Gap to a low of 57% for Burberry.
  • The average overstatement of detractors for the top automotive brands is 309% with individual company overstatements ranging from a high of 750% for Hyundai to a low of 78% for Audi.

The financial services industry scored the lowest average scores in the report with an average WoMI score of 32. As anticipated, the study found that NPS continues to overstate detractors.

  • NPS overstates brand detractors by an average of 561% for the biggest financial services brands.
  • NPS reports that 43% of HSBC customers are detractors while in reality 7% are True Detractors. Citi and J.P. Morgan recorded the largest overstatement of detractors with 950% and 900%, respectively.

The list of companies with the highest word-of-mouth scores include  Amazon, leading the way with a score of 67, followed by Apple (65), Harley-Davidson (64), Walt Disney (62), eBay (61) and Avon (61).

The full report takes an in-depth look at how the top 100 brands fared with customer satisfaction and word of mouth and a look at the scientific evidence driving WoMI's rapidly growing popularity as the next-generation NPS as well as the role WoMI and NPS play in the broader customer experience ecosystem of metrics. The report can be accessed here.

Why WoMI?
"To succeed in today's ultra-competitive environment, where consumers are in control and switching costs are low, measuring the customer experience is more important than it has ever been," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. "Businesses cannot stand still in the field of customer experience analytics; they must continue to push the envelope and evolve -- not only products, services and marketing but also analytics. That's why WoMI is a great next step for companies across all industries; however, it is essential to include it in a broader set of analytics that can provide a true measurement of the customer experience."

Recently published by Wiley, Larry Freed's latest book, "Innovating Analytics: Word of Mouth Index – How the Next Generation of Net Promoter Can Increase Sales and Drive Business Results," provides an in-depth look at WoMI and discusses the massive impact that today's super-consumers have on the business world.

About ForeSee
As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, ForeSee continuously measures satisfaction across customer touchpoints and delivers critical insights on where to prioritize improvements for maximum impact. Because ForeSee's superior technology and proven methodology connect the customer experience to the bottom line, executives and managers are able to drive future success by confidently optimizing the efforts that will achieve business and brand objectives. The result is better business for companies and a better experience for consumers. Visit for customer experience solutions and original research.

Sarah Allen-Short, 734-327-3852