In today’s highly competitive business environment, the best way for companies to stand out in a crowded field is to consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience. That’s why businesses invest heavily in programs to generate loyalty and ensure customer satisfaction, including employee training initiatives and Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs.
However, it can be a challenge to ensure your company’s strategy is successful. You need a way to measure performance on an ongoing basis so you can identify troublesome areas and make the necessary adjustments. There are many ways to accomplish this, yet, Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology is one of the most popular due to its proven effectiveness.
The NPS concept was built for the modern age and first rolled out in a Harvard Business Review article. It measures where companies are on a continuum ranging from -100 (all customers are Detractors) to +100 (all customers are Promoters). Many of the world’s top brands use NPS to gauge their success in delivering a great customer experience.
In a world where customer reviews and social media can make the difference between success and failure, it’s crucial to have an accurate way to measure both customer loyalty, and your ability to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Here are four tips to help you successfully deploy an NPS program at your company:
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1. Secure executive buy-in for your NPS strategy. An NPS strategy can pay off in continuous increases in customer loyalty and repeat sales, but it requires an investment of effort and money, so it’s important to get C-suite support. Once you’ve convinced your CEO and other top executives that NPS data will point the way toward better business decision-making, you’ll need to get approval to assemble an NPS team, create the processes and acquire the infrastructure elements you need to roll out a robust program.
2. Choose a survey approach that works for your company. After you commit to listening to the Voice of the Customer through an NPS program, you’ll have to come up with a strategy to ask the right questions and follow up on responses. This starts with choosing a survey style. Relationship-based surveys evaluate an end-to-end experience with a brand, whereas transactional surveys are tied to a specific customer interaction, and must be delivered within a tight timeframe. Choose the survey type that best fits your business needs, and create a follow-up plan to further interview customers who participate.
3. Use preferred channels to communicate with customers. “Omnichannel” is a major buzzword for a reason — it reflects a fundamental expansion of communication possibilities and the need for cross-channel consistency. It’s important to remember that customers tend to have strong preferences about how they receive messages and to honour their choices. Doing so ensures stronger response rates while communicating that your company hears and respects customer preferences, which can contribute to a higher NPS score.
4. Pay attention to survey design. After you’ve selected a strategy (e.g., relationship or transaction-based), it’s important to get the survey design right. There are many elements to consider, including overall survey length (keeping it brief is generally advisable) as well as question design. Make sure you ask questions that are simple, clear and actionable. That way, once you begin receiving data, you’ll have a clear path to make improvements. Don’t forget to follow up — post-survey customer interviews can deliver amazing insights.
For companies that are looking for an edge in an increasingly customer-centric business environment, an NPS strategy can be an excellent way to gauge where the enterprise currently stands on the customer loyalty scale and identify methods to continuously improve. A well-designed and executed NPS program can build brand equity.
Overall, it all hinges on creating a program that is right for your company. By following these four tips, you can develop an NPS program that resonates with your customer base and provides a steady stream of data helping your company improve the customer experience. And that’s a great way to gain a competitive advantage.