Customer Survey Design and NPS Measures


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Having just reviewed a client’s Net Promoter® program design, I thought I would provide a perspective on survey design and NPS measures. If you think about it, survey design is the most critical part of your overall program. Without an effective design you can’t get the insight you need to improve your business. You need to also consider survey length because the longer the survey, the more likely that response rates will drop and you may see sample bias (only those customers who are really happy or unhappy). Here are some tips to consider:

1. Beware of Frankenstein! This happens when every stakeholder in the business wants their questions added to the questionnaire. The result is a 78-question survey that creates fatigue for the respondent and is not actionable by your organization. Challenge every stakeholder on what they will do with the results of that specific question. If you’ve run your survey several times already, go back and review the results you’re getting to identify what is actionable and what is not. Be considerate of your customer who is taking time to respond and ask as few questions as possible to identify and prioritize improvements. Transactional surveys are most often distributed daily as close to the interaction as possible.

2. Don’t confuse relationship and transactional questionnaires. Transactional surveys should be used to identify improvements and specific moments of truth along the customer journey. They will provide insight into the customer experience at that moment in time. This is not likely to be the best place to measure NPS unless the transaction defines the relationship. Keep your survey short to optimize customer willingness to participate.

Relationship surveys should be sent once or twice a year to understand the overall health of your customer experience and loyalty. These surveys typically cover multiple touch points at a high level so you can better understand the drivers of loyalty. This is typically where you will measure NPS as it’s a more comprehensive view of the overall customer experience and how that impacts loyalty. Surveys may be a bit longer, but keep it relevant to the respondent and maintain a balance between respondent time and your hunger for data. While you may only measure an individual customer or account once per year, you need to keep integrating feedback into the quarterly cycle of your business. Segment your customers into “waves” that run every quarter.

3. Continuously improve your sample quality. You need to invest time to ensure your sample represents your business. In B2B organizations this means understanding buying roles and account segmentation, in B2C organizations this means understanding customer segmentation and value. Look for high response rates and sample quality. Continuously improve your contact data to ensure invitations are getting to the right clients.

There is much more to say on this topic, but start here and make sure you are conscious of the balance of data and respondent experience. And be prepared to take action — if you don’t plan to take action on the feedback – don’t bother asking the questions.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Deborah Eastman
Deborah has spent her career with a passion for customer success. As the Chief Customer Officer at Satmetrix her responsibilities include thought leadership development, consulting, certification training, and continuous improvement of the Satmetrix experience. She is a frequent speaker and blogger on Net Promoter and Customer Experience.


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