Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a powerful customer feedback method that can enable you to improve customer service results and enhance customer experiences.
It may seem trite in this world of complex metrics and customer data overload, but this simple test of loyalty has formed the basis of game-changing improvements for thousands of companies.
Most service surveys are a joke. We’ve all received the annoying popups and automated messages of “your feedback is important to us!” But how often do we ever see results? The problem is that the current approach to surveys generally doesn’t work. It’s not focused enough and often puts blame in the wrong place.
Most customer satisfaction surveys aren’t very useful. They tend to be long and complicated, yielding low response rates and ambiguous implications that are difficult for operating managers to act on … most senior executives, board members, and investors don’t take them very seriously. That’s because their results don’t correlate tightly with profits or growth.
-Frederick Reichheld, Harvard Business Review
Contrary to most customer service surveys, I love the simplicity of the NPS system and other systems based on positive, neutral, negative experience. NPS and simple experience ratings are often more actionable since they offer some unique advantages over traditional complex service surveys:
- Simplicity. Typically require just two or three questions, keeping the burden on the customer low. The score is a single number that can be tracked from week to week and month to month, just like net profit.
- Ease of use. Surveys can be done by phone, e-mail or Web. It can share up-to-the-minute results comments with employees and managers.
- Quick follow-up. Customer feedback can be acted upon very quickly after it is received.
- Adaptability. As an open-source method—no high-priced vendors or “black box” statisticians required.
The Most Important Survey Question: Would You Recommend This Product?
The score for NPS and other similar surveys is generally broken down like this:
- 9 to 10 = Promoters – Customers who like your brand and service and will likely choose it again.
- 7 to 8 = Passives – Consumers who are satisfied with what you provide but not overly enthusiastic.
- 0 to 6 = Detractors – Consumers who had a poor or substandard experience with your product and who are unlikely to use it again or recommend it to their friends.
The team at QuestBack recently outlined their approach to improving data collection for NPS surveys and similar simplified surveys. I think that their suggestions are very beneficial for organizations already using the system or looking to implement a similar service survey to their customer base.
QuestBack services enables companies to collect real-time feedback from all customer and employee touchpoints and implement it for long-term loyalty, growth and profitability. They concluded that:
Obviously, the way to increase your Net Promoter Score is to make your product or service more popular, and draw more promoters. Here’s 5 tips that can help transform your promoter/detractor ratio forever.
1. Conduct a deeper Voice of Customer survey
To find out how you can create greater customer satisfaction and provide continuously improving Customer Experience, don’t rely on the basic NPS survey alone.
Trigger more specific customer surveys at targeted customer touch-points and after key customer events, such as point of sale or just after the customer has engaged with your website or visited your store. The more focused and event-driven your surveys the better your market feedback will be.
Often a small change here or there – the result of some smart surveying practices, can lead to a significant increase in your NPS.
2. Everywhere customers interact with your brand, let there be consistency
Providing a high quality, consistent service leads to good customer experience and increases the likelihood that your product will be recommended to others.
Never, ever underestimate the power of consistency to generate loyalty and referral from your customers. Get this right and your satisfied promoters will be legion.
3. Help your promoters tell everyone they love you
It sounds simple but it is something that businesses too often neglect. For example, if your customer-promoter uses social media encourage them to tweet your product or post something on Facebook.
Make sure you reward them and, all but guaranteed, you’ll find in return, a valuable, long term asset who can’t stop spreading the good word about your brand.
4. Ask your promoters how you can be even better
Some people naturally like to help and chances are your promoters are probably amongst them. Creating panels and feedback communities for this group will help you discover specific improvements in the short-term and develop wide ranging changes and better products and service provision in the long term.
5. See your detractors as invaluable teachers
While promoters are useful for businesses, detractors also have great feedback value. Finding out why they are unwilling to pass on the good word about your product can be more valuable than evaluating the consumers who like you most.
Poor customer service can be rectified, as can glitches in your product that make it second best to your competitors.
Using the Net Promoter Score isn’t the be all and end all of customer satisfaction, let alone life-time loyalty. But it is a great place to start. It ensures you are on the right track – the trick is to keep optimising and stay responsive.
Even when you get ahead and your NPS is riding high. Never rest on your laurels. Always keep striving. Using Net Promoter Score to improve customer service and enhance customer experience takes work, but is extremely effective and the results are worth it.