NBN should adopt live net promoter score: Macquarie Telecom

It would be 'incredibly transformational' for the telecommunications industry if NBN embraced and publicly reported its live NPS, Macquarie Telecom has said.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) company should report its live net promoter score (NPS) real-time customer experience measurement in order to make customer service more central to its provision of wholesale broadband services, Macquarie Telecom CEO David Tudehope has said.

Speaking at the CommsDay Wholesale and Datacentre Summit in Sydney on Tuesday, Tudehope said Macquarie Telecom's decision to embrace and report public data on the NPS has "transformed our business".

He added that the industry is at a "crossroads", especially for providers of both telecommunications and datacentre services, to ensure a higher customer service rating -- which is four times worse than the banking industry's -- above all other scores through adopting a more accountable measurement system.

"My call to the industry is: We don't want to be like the banking industry. We have a moment coming up, there's a fork in the road ... there's an opportunity for the industry to adopt the net promoter score, as the banking industry has, to really have visibility of our real-time customer experience across the industry," Tudehope said.

"I'd also encourage our friends at NBN to do exactly the same thing ... we need NBN to also have the same passion about customer experience that we will have, or, in some cases, we need to have."

Given that the retail broadband product offered to end users is wholesaled through NBN, Tudehope said it's important for NBN to have the same customer experience benchmarks.

"We need the NBN to move to net promoter score, move to measure customer experience in real time, so we can then as retail service providers provide that same input as part of our service experience to our customers," he argued.

"It would be incredibly transformational for the NBN; it would be incredibly transformational for us as an industry."

He said this is especially so given the scale of the recently launched hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) wholesale network, with NBN needing to focus more on measuring and improving customer experience at this "critical point" in the industry.

While NBN reports its NPS as part of its financial results presentations [PDF], Macquarie Telecom by contrast began providing live data on its NPS in December, making customer satisfaction feedback available for potential customers to view on its website.

The NPS, a score gauging the percentage of customers who would recommend a certain business to others, is updated daily on the telco's website on a 30-day rolling average.

Since December, Tudehope has been encouraging other telcos to do the same.

"This is something people might consider a gutsy move, but one I am urging all other telcos -- and, indeed, other industries as well -- to follow," the chief executive said last year.

"Australian telecommunications has been plagued by terrible consumer satisfaction for as long as anyone can remember; complaints from telecom customers run at about four times the complaints about banks."

Tudehope added that with the NPS publicly available, customers will be able to compare price, product, and customer satisfaction, helping them make a more informed purchasing decision.

Macquarie Telecom in February reported a net profit of AU$1.96 million, up 178 percent year on year, for the first half of FY16, on revenue of AU$100.55 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of AU$15.6 million.

The company's telecommunications business contributed AU$70 million in revenue and EBITDA of AU$9.3 million, while its datacentre business grew by 6.6 percent over the year to contribute revenue of AU$30.1 million and EBITDA of AU$6.3 million.

The telco boasted that its customer experience score is the highest in the Australian telco and IT services market, causing the higher retention rates.

"Our commitment to world-class customer service has translated into strong customer retention and revenue growth," Tudehope said.

Updated at 4.07pm AEST, July 19: NBN does publish its NPS, but not as a live, daily number like Macquarie Telecom.