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Customer satisfaction

For SAP, customer satisfaction is a very important part of the business model. After all, the very first SAP system was developed on the customer's hardware. Since then, many ideas from users have found their way into SAP's ERP.
Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine
May 26 2023
Internal Communication
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Net Promoter Score

In May, the following could be read in the business news about Lufthansa: Customer satisfaction has reached a low point throughout the Group, as indicated by the so-called Net Promoter Score (NPS): This key figure indicates the proportion of customers who recommend a product to others. The network companies in the Lufthansa Group recently achieved a score of just 35, and the low-cost subsidiary Eurowings 37.

Low point? Lufthansa and its subsidiaries can consider themselves lucky. Just a few years ago, SAP's Net Promoter Score was negative. Now Bloomberg reports that the Customer Net Promoter Score for 2022 has fallen by seven points to just plus three. This means that SAP is now only in single digits in the favor of existing customers. As Bloomberg sarcastically notes in the SAP analysis, SAP thus reached the lower end of the forecast range.

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

If an existing SAP customer had a software problem in the past, it was natural to look at the price and conditions list (SAP PKL). Where else could a solution to the ERP problem be found? Currently, users have many sources for a solution to the problem. Innovative open source advocates look to see if anything can be found on GitHub. Those who have already parked their system with a hyperscaler will probably ask them if there is a solution to their problem.

Many years ago, SAP already had to abandon the ambitious Leonardo program because its own existing customers tended toward the products of Microsoft, Google and Amazon when it came to IoT, AI, ML and blockchain. Things won't get much better in the future. SAP's existing customers have emancipated themselves in recent years. SAP PKL is no longer the bible of all business processes. As the saying goes: Other mothers have beautiful daughters, too!

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's not a question of personal taste whether existing customers like SAP CEO Christian Klein or not; rather, this popularity scale is about a great many millions in sales.

With the latest financial market news, SAP has already had to revise its ambitious cloud revenue targets downwards, because cloud computing is not very popular with existing customers. How about a Cloud Net Promoter Score? SAP will generate half a billion less with cloud, while the group will grow overall.

Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine

Peter M. Färbinger, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief E3 Magazine DE, US and ES (, AG, Freilassing (DE), E-Mail: and Tel. +49(0)8654/77130-21

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The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.