Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) and why it matters

Jonathan Dunn writes: At Initium, we’ve long believed that our clients are our best advocates. Who better to explain what it really feels like to build and sell a business than someone who has one just that? It’s part of the reason our Fellows community of former clients has been such a success, bringing together a wide range of entrepreneurs across multiple sectors, with one amazing thing in common. They’ve all successfully moved on from their businesses, and started a new chapter in their lives and careers.

According to the creator of NPS, Bain & Company, any NPS score above 0 is good, above 20 is favourable, above 50 is excellent, and above 80 is world class…

Until 2023, we’d never really asked our clients anonymously what they feel about us, from a vantage point of months, or even years, after the ink on the transaction has dried. So we did just that, surveying over 200 Fellows on a range of topics. The survey included the standard Net Promoter Score (NPS) question: “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?

Created by Bain & Company, NPS has become a globally recognised indicator of customer satisfaction, and it simply measures your active promoters (those customers who would definitely recommend you) against your detractors (those who wouldn’t).

We scored 78. Is that any good? Well, Bain & Company suggest that anything above 0 is good, above 20 is favourable, above 50 is excellent, and above 80 is world class. Some sectors fare better than others. According to Customergauge 2023 data, the average score for a financial services business is 44. So we are miles above average, and almost world class? We can live with that!

We’re all about delivering impact beyond a deal. And hopefully, our NPS is some data-driven evidence that we do just that!

We were pretty relieved to read anonymous written feedback on the survey very much backed up the customer testimonials we feature here on the website. A handful stood out:

  • “To this day the decision to hire you – from a shortlist of three – is probably one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life.”
  • “I’ve recommended you to friends and when time is right (for them) I’m sure they’ll break cover.”
  • “Having been through the sales process with a large Global M&A Deal advisory business and you, I would recommend you first every time.”

Many anonymous responses made reference to our culture, our people, and unique blend of personnel. One former client said, quite simply: “You put up with us”. That comment made us laugh, of course, but it makes a serious point in its honesty and simplicity. The sale of a business can be challenging at times, and the personal relationships we build with clients are absolutely fundamental to securing the best outcomes.

We’re all about putting people first. We stay close to our clients pre-sale, during-sale, and post-sale, aiming to deliver impact way beyond the deal itself. Hopefully, our NPS score is data-driven evidence that we do just that.

*PS We’ve run the same NPS survey question for our co-owner colleagues, too, to get a Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), and a sense of what it’s really like working for us. Eerily, we got the very same answer: 78, again ‘almost’ world class.

As an employee-owned business, we pride ourselves on being a great place to build a career. And of course, if you employ great people, you get great clients!