In 2015, Japan introduced us to Henn Na. It was the first hotel in the world completely operated by computers and robots. In January 2019, a growing number of customer complaints led the company to fire 243 of their robotic workers and replace them by humans. While people were ready for a digital human experience, they weren’t ready to completely abandon humanity just yet.
I regularly meet people who want to use the Net Promoter Score as a target in their business. I invariable direct them to the wisdom of Charles Goodhart. In the 1970s, this British economist found that “any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes”.
This statement is pretty dry and hermetic. But it is something that every customer experience professional should be aware of. Because in regular-people-speak it translates as:
“when a measure becomes a target, it stops being a good measure”.
The reason for this is simple. When presented with an outside target, humans will always seek the path of lowest effort to achieve it. Especially if the target is linked to some sort of reward or punishment.
Alain Thys is an experience architect who helps organisations drive profit and transformation through experience.