Published by ClearlyRated - 10/10/23

2023 NPS® Benchmarks for the HR Services Industry

HR service providers, much like other B2B service firms, place significant reliance on client satisfaction and service quality to both retain their clientele and stand out in a competitive landscape. Particularly during economic downturns and industry challenges, the significance of service quality and client satisfaction becomes even more pronounced in determining business success. This partially explains the widespread prioritization of customer experience (CX) by business leaders across various sectors in 2023.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of your service’s performance year after year, it is imperative to employ a feedback tool that not only collects valuable insights but also simplifies tracking. Moreover, you need a metric that facilitates straightforward comparison with your competitors’ performance. This is where the Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) comes into play—a metric that gauges service quality and customer satisfaction. It stands as a leading indicator of revenue retention, growth prospects, and brand distinctiveness.

What is NPS?

Your NPS starts with a single survey question that asks clients how likely they are to recommend your firm to a friend or colleague. The most forward-thinking firms are also asking their employees, hoping to boost their employee experience (EX) too. Responses land on a scale of 0–10, ten being extremely likely and zero being not at all likely. From there, people have the option to offer more specific feedback.

To calculate NPS, we subtract the % of detractors (those who respond with a 6 or lower) from the % of promoters (those who respond with 9 or 10). 

NPS offers standardized measurement and reporting on client satisfaction and service quality that can be applied across the HR services industry as a whole, across different provider types and practice areas (PEO, ASO, HRO, RPO, etc.) at the company-level, and even by client category.

Why is NPS Uniquely Useful?

NPS offers a standardized measurement to track and report on client satisfaction and service quality—one that can be applied across every level, from the industry as a whole to the brand-level. Each company can also drill down within their organization, including by lines of business, department or account manager. This means that you can compare your firm to others while also pinpointing the shining stars and any areas to improve within your organization. 

Learn more about how NPS can help drive business growth.

HR Services NPS in 2023 

ClearlyRated’s Annual Survey Benchmark Study includes an industry focus on HR Services Client NPS—and it’s good news. In 2023, U.S. clients of the HR Services industry reported an NPS score of 46%, a year-over-year (YOY) increase of 9% and the highest NPS the industry has seen since we started benchmarking efforts in 2011. Many drivers of HR Services client satisfaction, such as thoroughly understanding client needs and taking a proactive approach to service, are also at record highs in the industry.

HR Services Client Satisfaction – measured as NPS
HR Services NPS Benchmarks Graph


Year-Over-Year HR Services Industry NPS

HR Services Line Graph Year Over Year

Insights on 2023 Ratings

We’re glad to see the HR Services industry increased their NPS in 2023, a 31 percentage point increase from 2020 and a 38 percentage point increase from 2018. This is a major improvement, especially within an industry that lags compared to global NPS standards. 

For reference those wider NPS standards only classify organizations as excellent once they’ve earned a 50% NPS. A 70% NPS would classify them as world-class. 

What does it look like to have a 70%+ NPS? Consider Starbucks and USAA, recognizable service leaders with an NPS of 77% and 75%, respectively. Then compare them to Comcast, a notorious service laggard, whose clients give them a -25% NPS. While the HR Services industry improved this year, it is still ripe for further progress. And as firms achieve better service levels, clients’ expectations will rightfully get higher, meaning any firms that don’t keep are likely to flounder. 

Click here to learn more about the NPS methodology.

On the other hand, this presents a huge opportunity for the HR services industry that capitalizes on their NPS momentum, continuing to improve their customer satisfaction and service. Firms that manage to deliver an outstanding CX and earn a high NPS as a result will more easily outshine their competition. 

Get tips on how to improve your CX based on customer feedback.

How does your service stack up?

The extent to which your firm feels the effects of a slowing economy may depend on the quality of your CX. An NPS survey program can help you measure, track and improve both.

If you’re not already leveraging NPS at your firm, we hope you consider this article a call-to-action. Not only do client satisfaction and service quality represent opportunities to differentiate in an increasingly commodified service industry, they are fuel for firm growth. Remember the adage: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” – and you certainly won’t be able to improve it either. 

Up against a reluctant firm culture? Get some tips on how to overcome common objections to survey programs to help build buy-in and get started. 

Next steps

  • Ready to get started with NPS? Contact the ClearlyRated team for insights, best practices, and a tour of our survey platform (designed specifically to support professional services firms).


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