Customer dissatisfaction runs rampant. In its 2019 Integrated Report, SAP puts it a little more diplomatically: Customer loyalty/Net Promoter Score is negative six (-6). Even Qualtrics can’t help them now.
Simply put, a negative Net Promoter Score means more existing customers would not recommend SAP than would recommend it. The score can be anywhere between negative 100 (-100) and positive 100 (+100).
In 2018 and for the first time in SAP history, its Net Promoter Score was negative. In the years prior, SAP’s NPS was always in high (positive) double-digits.
Decision-makers at SAP seemed to have a hunch for what would happen next, as they predicted a Net Promoter Score of +1 for 2019. Despite being incredibly modest in their forecast, they were still off – and the NPS was still negative.
SAP also expects a negative Net Promoter Score for 2020. In its Integrated Report, it states that SAP’s management is expecting an NPS of -3 to -1. Meaning that it expects positive customer loyalty figures in 2021 at the earliest.
Qualtrics isn’t to blame for SAP’s Net Promoter Score
Who’s to blame for SAP customer dissatisfaction, for decreasing loyalty, for ever-fewer positive recommendations? The SAP community doesn’t trust the decision-makers anymore, meaning SAP’s management and chairman of the supervisory board Hasso Plattner.
And is that really so surprising? SAP’s HR decisions of the last 20 years have been… turbulent, to say the least. Especially Chief Technology Officers seem susceptible to get the boot basically overnight: Peter Zencke, Shai Agassi, Vishal Sikka, and Bernd Leukert. Juergen Mueller can only hope that he will be luckier than his predecessors.
The latest change in management, from Bill McDermott to Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein as co-CEOs, wasn’t a smooth transition, either. Sure, it might have been known for over a year at SAP – but the community was left in the dark until the very moment Bill McDermott resigned. His departure seemed hasty, like a rash decision from the puppet master Plattner – of course customers might start to distrust SAP.
Because of the uncertainess of the COVID-19 crisis, Christian Klein took over as sole CEO of SAP, and he really has his work cut out for him. SAP needs to finally understand and implement customers’ wishes. It doesn’t need Qualtrics to tell that something is wrong; customer loyalty figures and a negative Net Promoter Score get the job done just as well.