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Customer Satisfaction

For SAP, customer satisfaction is an essential part of their business model. After all, the very first SAP system was developed on customers’ hardware. Since then, many users’ ideas have found their way into SAP's ERP.

In May, a news source reported the following on Lufthansa: customer satisfaction has reached a low point throughout the company, as indicated by the so-called Net Promoter Score (NPS). This key figure describes the proportion of customers who recommend a product to others. The network companies under the overarching Lufthansa company recently achieved a score of just 35, with the company’s budget subsidiary Eurowings achieving 37.

Lufthansa and its subsidiaries should consider themselves lucky. Just a few years ago, SAP’s Net Promoter Score was in the negative. Now Bloomberg reports that the Customer Net Promoter Score for 2022 has fallen by seven points, reaching a total of three points. This means that SAP is now only in single digits when it comes to customer satisfaction. As Bloomberg sarcastically notes in their SAP analysis, SAP has thus reached the lower end of the forecast range.

It’s all downhill from here, is something SAP CEO Christian Klein might say. A Net Promoter Score of three points is a disaster for SAP. The ERP provider lives to a great extent on the trust and affection of its customers. With open interfaces, open source, and cloud computing, SAP’s customers can operate much more agilely and independently under S/4 than in R/3 and ECC times.

In the past, to solve a software problem, SAP customers would go directly to the source: the SAP price and conditions list (SAP PKL). Where else could customers find a solution to their ERP conundrum? The list had all the available SAP products they could purchase to solve their pesky problem. Nowadays, however, users have several different sources that can provide solutions. Innovative open source advocates usually go to GitHub to see if they can find answers there. Those who have already linked their system with a hyperscaler will probably go to said hyperscaler for a solution.

Many years ago, SAP was forced to abandon its ambitious Leonardo program because its customers tended to prefer Microsoft, Google, and Amazon products when it came to IoT, AI, ML, and blockchain. Things will not get much better in the future. SAP’s customers have emancipated themselves in recent years, and SAP PKL is no longer the bible of all business processes. It seems there are plenty of fish in the sea to choose from!

A further loss of trust and another drop in the Customer Net Promoter Score below zero would have a direct impact on SAP’s sales figures. So, it is not a question of personal taste, of whether customers like SAP CEO Christian Klein or not; rather, it is a question of not losing millions in sales revenue.

With the latest financial reports, we can observe that SAP has already had to revise its overly ambitious cloud revenue targets. Cloud computing does not seem to be very popular with customers. What about a Cloud Net Promoter Score? SAP will generate half a billion less with cloud, while the company overall will continue to grow.

Any comments, questions, or concerns? Feel free to let us know in a comment below.

E-3 Magazine June 2023 (German)

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at

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