Taking Net Promoter Scores too far

Pick somebody in your life and send them a message asking them how their day is going on a scale of one to 10.

That’s from author and game designer Jane McGonigal, quoted in Reader’s Digest.

Whatever the answer is, we’re encouraged to follow up:

Is there anything I can do to move you from a five to a six?

Now you can see why question is expected in a numerical scale, but the problem is that it all seems too much like a Net Promoter Score score which typically asks:

On a scale of zero to ten, how likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or colleague?

And of course, the expected follow up is to ask “How can we improve your experience?” or “what is the one thing we could do to make you happier?”

If this headline is anything to go by (I can’t read the story past the paywall), even the inventor of NPS scores is sick of them, but seeing the scoring and techniques used to distill emotional interpersonal relationships feels icky. But, McGonigal argues:

This [exercise] is designed to adapt the best features of social games to everyday life. It’s quick and easy, and like online games, you don’t have to be face to face to do it.