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How can you drive more sales using NPS?

Mathew Maniyamkott

11 min read

It is a simple question that you ask your customers. But there is so much that you get from it. It is not only a metric to find out loyalty and customer satisfaction, but it can also play a significant role in your sales and lead generation. Net Promoter Score will help your business by helping you in customer retention and in converting your prospects to leads.

Customer’s expectations of service have changed drastically over the past few years. With the proliferation of social media, they feel much more empowered. It is a double-edged sword for businesses as you can thrive as a business or get razed to the ground-based on what your customers think about your business. With word of mouth marketing getting more mainstream, it is high time that you up your customer service game. Net Promoter Score or NPS will be your weapon in your quest to capture the love of your customers.

Net Promoter Score is the weapon in your quest to capture the love of your customers. 

How to Use NPS to drive more sales?

One would ask how are surveys and sales related in any way? Well, they aren’t, but that doesn’t mean it is not possible to use NPS to drive business growth. Here’s how you can use NPS to drive sales:

#1 Understand the expectations of prospects:

Tune your survey in such a way that your prospects will find it closer to what they expect about your product. Do not run the survey for both prospects and customers at the same time. Well, there is no harm in doing them at the same time, but we would advise you not to use the same set of questions.

Create a template for the prospects in such a way that you will have a better understanding of what they want from your product. This will help you anticipate the demands of your prospects with ease. Once you have a substantial amount of feedback from your customers, you can use this treasure trove of information to build products that are closest to the expectations of the customers.

By posing the right set of questions, you will also be able to gauge the reasons why a potential customer is not buying from you. It will give you enough leeway to offset the damages caused earlier which happened because you didn’t have insights available.

When potential customers know that the entire exercise of your survey was to make improvements on your product, they would be more than willing to overlook the fact that your product wasn’t satisfactory to their expectations. They would be willing to give you a chance now.

You can get the attention of your Detractors who left your business for a competitor’s. They will be looking at the progress that you make based on the survey and might be willing to come back to you unless they left you because of issues with customer service or delivery.

#2 Engage with low-raters:

Anyone who gives a rating that is less than a 9 or 10 are a flight risk for your business. They would leave you at the first sight for a better opportunity because you aren’t the best one yet. Also, not to forget the fact that your detractors will surely bad mouth to their friends and family, some of who might be your prospects. You can use NPS to do as much damage control as you can. If you pull the right strings, you can even make them stay put by creating a fantastic loyalty program that appeals to what they want.

You can help the passives by offering them an opportunity to see the improvements that you are making with the product. While they are not your most loyal customers, the only thing they want is a product that gets work done according to their expectations. If the NPS survey and the subsequent process of closing the feedback loop happens, then you can even expect your passives to change into staunch supporters of your brand.

Great businesses are made out of loyal customers who keep spreading the word about you.

#3 Tap into passive leads:

There are promising leads that loses steam after a point of time either because of poor communication or the lead dropped plans of purchasing a solution for their problem.

If you push the right buttons, you will always be able to stem them into taking action. One of the best ways to reconnect with such a crowd is to send an NPS survey so that you can get back on the burner.

Here’s what you need to do. Do not send the same NPS survey to these set of leads that you send to your customers. Create a list of leads that were active at one point and were showing interest. After you group them together, ask them the improvements they would like to see in your product so that they would be willing to take a look at your offer again.

Not only will you be able to understand why there was inaction from the lead’s side, but you will also open a new stream of communication which can be used to refine your pitch and more importantly, your product. Connect with each of the leads this way and create a communication strategy that is unique to each of their needs.

The passive leads that will respond to you are more likely to buy from you or you can at least use it as feedback for the future that will help your brand immensely. The onus should be on your sales team to craft a pitch that will appeal to the business of your prospects.

#4 Leverage promoters:

We know that we can convert our passives into promoters and our detractors into passives and even promoters using the right strategy. You can also use the help of your existing promoters to amplify your business’ growth. This is where you need to create an extremely lucrative customer loyalty program.

While your brand advocates would be more than happy to refer you to their friends and family, you should also give them an incentive to do so with full gusto.

If there is one clear thing that you will get to know from using NPS feedback survey, it is being able to identify who your Promoters are. Once you find out the ones who gave you a rating of 9 or 10, divide them into a different group. They are the ones who are more likely to be a part of your referral group.

Tip: Please do send your referral program to passives and detractors as well. They might become a part of it just to cash in on the incentives that you offer. But your promoters will be the ones who spread the word about you with more vigour.

Having a customer loyalty program in place exclusively for your promoters will even increase their loyalty towards your brand. If they happen to know that they have been selected exclusively, then they are bound to be more open towards your brand and its activities.

NPS is an excellent indicator of your growth and also useful as a method to drive more sales.

#5 Use it to build relationships:

Do you know that it is 5x costlier to get new customers when compared with getting business from an existing customer? 5X. That’s a lot of money and a lot of effort. Even after knowing the ramifications of this number, most businesses only concentrate on going after newer customers while completely ignoring the plight of existing customers.

If you want to have a steady income that keeps increasing, do you know what is the answer to that? It is the same thing- keep your existing customers close to you.

The onus should be on the after-sales team as well as the customer service team to ensure that the existing customers are looked after well. By sending them an NPS survey, you are ensuring that they are given an opportunity to vent out their feelings, no matter whether it is positive or negative.

The best option you can give yourself if you want to keep your existing customers happy is to have dedicated account managers for your clients. If the value of each account is high, then you can have individual account managers, otherwise, you can split it based on different characteristics.

NPS also gives you an opportunity to send personalized messages to your clients and a chance for them to interact with your clients. You can use this instance to build a great rapport with your customers, maybe even cross-sell or up-sell if you see the right moment. When you do this consistently, you will be able to put your business in a completely different league as not all businesses do this.

#6 Better your value proposition:

What is the value that you add which your competitor does not? If your client asks a question like this, you should be in a position to answer it objectively. Thankfully, the NPS question and the ensuing feedback gives you an opportunity to know this from your customer. Most businesses assume that the value they provide is unparalleled.

Most businesses fail because they are not exactly aware of the requirements of the customers, which in turn means that they will not be able to fulfil their expectations. Unless you know what is the problem, you will never be able to give the best solution.

With NPS, you will get feedback from your customers which will help you create solutions that are closest to the expectations of the customer. Surveys give you that kind of insight because you are hearing it directly from your customer. It will help you refine your offering in a way that nothing else can.

It is important that businesses don’t work on hunches or assumptions, but there should be a clear cut strategy for everything that is done. If there is a plan A, then there should also be a plan B if the former fails. Your plan should be based on solid data points that will emerge after the results from the survey.

#7 Use NPS as a growth metric:

If there is a smart move that businesses can make when using NPS, it is employing it as a growth metric. It is a clear indicator of where your business is going, how happy your customers are with you, a predictor of your churn rate and the percentage of loyal customers that you have.

Since it is also a measure of customer satisfaction, it will also tell you if your existing customers are going to purchase from you again. Remember this- recurring incomes, either through subscription or from up-selling or cross-selling is the best way to keep your income steady.

NPS is amazing because it tells about the feelings that customers have with your brand. If someone responds with a 9 or 10, then it means that they are extremely happy with your brand and are even willing to recommend your services to people closest to them. It is a validation of your efforts as a brand.

Now if you take the customers who have given you 1 or 2, you will find out the blatant flaws that are there in your company. If you make changes according to the feedback given by those who gave you a score between 2 and 8, then you can create a brand that will be phenomenal.

When you calculate NPS as a growth metric and use it to measure your growth, you will actually be able to see how much percentage of the detractors left and how much of the passives turned into promoters. Follow up with your promoters, keep them close to you and find out what they love about your brand, once you know what works with them, try implementing them in a more effective manner across different segments of customers.

#8 Create a customer-first culture:

If you keep conducting NPS surveys on a regular basis, you will be able to create a strategy where you keep improving your business prospects just by listening to your customers. For this purpose, you can even automate your surveys using NPS software.

When used correctly, you can uncover issues that plague your business as well as persistent problems that were not realized earlier. This will help you take bold business decisions that will benefit your company.

By tracking your NPS score regularly, you will be on top of the issues that your customers face and you will be able to make minute changes to decisions that will be a major pivot. It will help you streamline your marketing efforts as you will be able to figure out where the majority of your customers gather.

It will help you refine your customer persona which makes it much easier for you to target your potential leads. Thereby, your marketing messages will be more targeted, lethal and effective.

Tune NPS surveys in such a way that your prospects will find it closer to what they expect about your product.

Why NPS over other metrics?

Like the different customer satisfaction measurement tools that are available in the market, NPS also has its own pros and cons. While anyone would advise you to choose a tool based on one’s business objectives, there is a lot more to NPS than what just meets the eye.

It is measured by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters and it is measured on a scale of 0 to 10 which makes it extremely easy for the respondent to make a statement.

It is an easy indicator of loyalty and will tell you clearly if a customer is likely to buy from you again. So, it forecasts about your cash flow. It is easy for all stakeholders to understand the results.

Since NPS can be used at any point in the customer journey or during any interaction checkpoint, it is extremely useful to gauge the effectiveness at each of these places. It is an indicator of brand health.

When measuring NPS, let your employees know that you will be tracking it over time as you consider it a KPI. From your frontline staff to your marketing team, every department’s effectiveness can be gauged with the help of NPS.

If you see that there is an issue where the scores are usually less than 9 for a particular department, then there is a problem that needs to be solved there.

NPS can be used as a benchmark against your competitors as well as your position in your industry. When your NPS score keeps improving, it is an indicator of how well you are progressing. If your NPS score is more than the score that your industry has, it is a sign that you are one of the better-performing companies.

It helps you look at the bigger picture as you can measure it every week, month, quarter, half-yearly and yearly. You can also measure it across different teams, areas, customer segments, etc. It also binds together everyone because all the stakeholders speak in the same language.

NPS helps you unearth the strength and weakness of companies based on the score. You can even predict customers who are going to quit your business and go to a competitor.

Poor service? NPS will tell you.

Poor communication with customers? NPS is the answer.

Terrible delivery of the product? NPS.

Sloppy customer onboarding process? NPS is your answer.

There are no limits to how you can use NPS for your business’ benefit. It tells you the areas where you perform best as well as areas that need a lot of improvement. NPS asks a simple question but deep inside you will get a goldmine of insights that can shape the future of your company.

Winding Up

At the end of the day, NPS surveys tell you how your customers actually feel about your product. It is an excellent indicator of your growth and also useful as a method to drive more sales. It will also prod you to be more careful with your existing customers lest you only concentrate only on sales and not providing an excellent after-sales service for your existing customers.

It gives you the right kind of information that will make you a brand that is loved both by your existing customers as well as the new ones who are about to choose you as a vendor.

By sending NPS surveys at different stages of the customer channel, you will be in a position to be able to understand where you are good and where you can excel at. You will be able to make decisions that your customers were hoping you would and be in a position to offer them the exact service that they were looking for.

You will shape into a company that cares about its customers and takes active steps to ensure that customers are always the first priority of the business.

When businesses care about its customers, the latter is more likely to stick with you without any qualms. Great businesses are made out of loyal customers who keep spreading the word about you. The simple kickstart that you need to drive sales and change your business and push it into a growth-phase can be done by sending NPS surveys.

When you are about to embark on the all-important task of sending NPS surveys, ensure that you use online survey tools like SurveySparrow to power it.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.

Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

Regular contributor to various magazines. Passionate about entrepreneurship, startups, marketing, and productivity.

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