Marks & Spencer is increasing its investment in net promoter score (NPS) programmes, suggesting the retailer will be focusing more on NPS as a measure of success during, and beyond, the Covid-19 pandemic.
The retailer notes in its annual report, published today (4 June), that an inability to evolve its brand appeal, customer experience and Sparks loyalty programme will impact its success in retaining and attracting customers and expanding the business.
M&S hopes to mitigate this risk amid an already incredibly challenging retail landscape with the introduction of an “end-to-end and multichannel” NPS programme.
M&S’s NPS scores are up across the business so it makes sense that it would want to make these capabilities more robust and more visible to shareholders. Its store NPS increased from 68 to 73 this year, while its online NPS increased from 54 to 57.
Following the move away from an annual colleague survey to better track colleague sentiment throughout the year, the first full quarter results of its new monthly digital colleague pulse puts colleague NPS at 12.
Its international business, meanwhile, recorded a net promoter score (of 85) for the first time. M&S will continue to measure against both these scores in future.
M&S says the Covid-19 crisis has illustrated how differently it can use technology, run stores and make faster decisions.
For example, it says a smaller top team has made decisions faster and more efficiently, delegating trading and operating management to business unit heads. Working groups, committees and elaborate management processes, meanwhile, have been disbanded.
“In a business with a history of slow cultural change we intend to use these lessons, to ensure that as lockdown eases, we are never the same again in culture, organisation and work habits,” the retailer says in the report.
“The focus on costs has driven clarity of purpose, decision-making and
commerciality, and teams have been empowered to act and deliver plans
regardless of hierarchy.”
On the subject of slow cultural change, M&S maintains it is “firmly committed” to its target of having 50% women and 15% BAME colleague
representation in its senior management team by 2022.
Only 8% of M&S’s current senior management team are from ethnic minorities, up from 5% last year.
It is doing slightly better on gender diversity with 41% of senior management positions held by women, although this drops to 37.5% on M&S’s board. Its gender pay gap also increased from 12.5% to 12.9% this year.