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Abstract

This paper has identified some theoretical reasons and empirical evidence for negative scores that occur in Japan and Korea or unstable NPS scores that can be experienced. A psychological analysis of NPS results sheds light on the validity of the negative NPS scores that are often found in Japan and Korea. Usually customer experience surveys utilize a “single stimulus” such as the “company” or the “company’s products / services.” However, in the case of the “recommendation to friend” question of the NPS system there are two stimuli namely the “company product/service” and the influence of “friends.” Hence, the survey outcomes from this question can be very different when compared with other single stimulus questions such as “overall satisfaction” or “repurchase.” Japanese and Korean people may have a positive attitude towards the company but they will provide low NPS scores because they are reflecting that they would not run the risk of ruining their relationships with their friends by making a recommendation. As a result, in the NPS system these people will be labeled as “detractors” when in fact they are “ambivalent customers.” Using several Japanese and Korean based marketing research industry examples and case studies, different strategies are proposed to address the issue of negative scores in the NPS system in Japan and Korea. The Customers Psyche appears to be the key determinant factors for both types of behavioural items (items with a single stimulus as well as items with two stimuli).

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