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May 10, 2023
4 min

Improving on Perfection: How Tombigbee Is Taking Its NPS to New Heights

Tupelo, Mississippi-based Tombigbee Fiber finds itself in an enviable position. They recently ran the company’s first Net Promoter ScoreSM (NPS®)* survey, achieving a 91 out of 100. It’s a remarkable number considering that the average telco NPS score is an abysmal 31–lower than health care.

Tombigbee had lofty expectations when they sent an initial NPS email to gauge subscriber sentiment. The organization started offering fiber internet services in 2020, which means many of their subscribers are still in the honeymoon phase. Understanding their net promoter score early, when most customers are new, could help the team understand what’s working while identifying any early issues that could grow if not addressed.

Of course, the response blew even the highest expectations out of the water. More than 3,500 subscribers responded, and the email received a 25 percent clickthrough rate. These numbers make Tombigbee’s score of 91 even more unprecedented. With a mixture of reliable fiber, excellent support, and services that make subscribers’ connected lives easier and more secure, it’s clear that Tombigbee is giving its subscribers the experience they want and need.

Tombigbee didn’t reach this lofty position by chance or sheer luck. They earned it. The co-op's members absolutely love them and for good reason. In an area of the country that has long been ignored by the larger telco players, Tombigbee is finally giving communities the broadband services they deserve. But Tombigbee does more than just provide basic connectivity—they go above and beyond to provide an exceptional experience:

  1. Giving members services that enrich their lives. While having a super-fast network is important—and Tombigbee is doing that by building an advanced, all-fiber network—that will not be a differentiator for long. Soon, every broadband service provider (BSP) will have the same high speeds. Tombigbee stands apart by offering services that make their members’ lives better. As part of their managed Wi-Fi service, they give every member home network security (ProtectIQ) and advanced parental controls (ExperienceIQ) at no extra cost. And Tombigbee is building on this with new services—last month they introduced Bark parental monitoring app to keep young people safe, and they’re planning to offer Arlo Secure security cameras for home.

  2. Providing unbeatable customer service. Tombigbee treats their customers like friends, family, and neighbors because that’s what they are. If customers have a problem, they know they can call support and reach someone in their community, maybe someone they see at the grocery store after PTA. And even when issues do arise—such as power and internet outages due to recent tornadoes—Tombigbee works to resolve them as quickly as possible and communicates frequently with members via the channels they prefer. Tombigbee members love the outstanding customer support as much as the growing portfolio of services.

  3. Creating value for their communities. Tombigbee sees an important opportunity to extend the secure home experience into the community by bringing Calix SmartTown to the town of Mantachie in Itawamba County and the town of Nettleton in Lee County. The community-wide Wi-Fi will connect public gathering areas, event centers, and private locations. It will drive community engagement, enable new public services—and could even push up real estate values. This is just one more way that Tombigbee can differentiate and build loyalty.


How To Build On Perfection

In most of Calix’s Business Insights Services engagements, we’re working with BSPs to improve their satisfaction scores. It’s a slightly different situation when they have a near-perfect NPS—there’s not a lot of room for improvement. However, even practically perfect companies cannot afford rest on their laurels. They must work every single day to increase subscribers’ satisfaction and maintain their loyalty.

  1. Focus on converting “passives” to “promoters.” Companies with above-average NPS scores can move the needle by concentrating efforts on those subscribers that give a rating of 7 or 8. It requires less significant effort to convert a passive to a promoter, and the extra attention can help ensure that they do not slip into the “detractor” category.

  2. Ensure subscribers feel appreciated. Sample data shows that NPS decreases dramatically in the two years after a subscriber signs up. One way to avoid this is to maintain regular engagement throughout the year. Reach out to them via email, social media, direct mail—whatever channel they prefer. Thank them for their loyalty and reward them for staying with you and referring others.

  3. Address even the most minor issues. The best companies deal with problems before they cause serious damage. If there’s a subscriber hitting service limits or calling with repeat troubles, solve the issue quickly. Fast action will increase their satisfaction and reinforce your commitment to their loyalty.

By following the lead of companies like Tombigbee, every BSP can move one step closer to NSP perfection.


Learn more about Calix Business Insights Services and how you can get involved in our subscriber loyalty engagement—contact us today.


"Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld."


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