Etone Blog 12/4/2020

Back in the days when we would go to stores (remember them?), it was not uncommon to find on the receipt for a purchase a request to fill out a brief survey.  I recall a few times when a clerk would suggest that when I get to the question, ‘On a scale of one to ten, how likely is it that you’d recommend our store?’, that I rate the store a ‘10’, so she could get a bonus.

I’m told that we will someday return to stores, and deal with clerks, as well.  But the ubiquitous survey question, ‘on a scale of one to ten…’ has been around for a while, and will likely be around for a good long while, as well – both in the physical as well as the virtual world.

That’s because that question – which is part of a protocol termed ‘Net Promoter Scores’ (or ‘NPS’) - gives organizations remarkable insight into how they are serving their clients with only a few very simple questions.

The authors of the survey, which was developed through the consulting firm, Bain and Company, sought to distill market research to a core axiom - we listen to the recommendations of others, and that we are more likely to follow their suggestions than we might think. 

In effect, the NPS questions and the resulting data are used as proxies for gauging clients’ overall satisfaction with a company's product or service and the customer's loyalty to the brand.  It’s no wonder that it has become so common because ‘smart’ organizations (like Netflix, Amazon and Starbucks to name a few) have learned that by building their capacity for customers’ recommendations, their businesses will grow.

I had the privilege a few years back to work with the authors of the Net Promoter system, Fred Reichheld and Rob Markey, in their efforts to build a nationwide network of not-for-profits using ‘NPS’ to improve their performance.  I learned a great deal from Fred and Rob, and from my colleagues (at places like Teach for America and Big Brother/Big Sister) on how to apply NPS to better meet the needs of all of our partners.

It is with that goal in mind – to better meet the needs of all our partners – that we share a very brief ‘Net Promoter’ survey in this issue of the Etone.  I hope you’ll find it one of the shortest surveys we’ve asked of you, and when I share back data – after the first of the year – I think you’ll agree that a lot can be learned from listening and asking good questions.


Many thanks for taking the time to fill out the survey, and if you ever want to spend a really boring hour, let me tell you about my presentations on NPS to Jewish organizations around the country.

Shabbat Shalom,


Arnold Zar-Kessler

Interim Head of School

The Adelson Educational Campus

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