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10 NPS Best Practices to Follow in 2020

Mathew Maniyamkott

Mathew Maniyamkott

10 min read

Here’s what Bill Macaitis, Slack’s then CMO said about NPS-

“I’m a huge believer in NPS. It provides a north star for everyone in the company to understand how well we’re doing and how many people are actively recommending us. It’s a great gold bar. We’re not satisfied if someone signs up and starts using Slack. We’re not satisfied if they become a customer. We’re not even satisfied if they renew. Our bar is “Are they going to recommend us?”

Since its launch in 2014, Slack has been accumulating users in the millions and is considered as the fastest growing business app in all of history.

What is NPS?

Net Promoter Score is an indicator of customer experience and a predictor of business growth. All it does is ask a simple question to the customer.

“How likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend or a colleague?”

It has transformed the business world like no other as it tells us more than it tries to convey.

The respondent can choose any number between 0 and 10 with 10 being extremely likely to recommend the brand. The respondents are grouped into three sections based on their scores.

Promoters: They would have given a score of 9 or 10. These are loyal customers who will not only buy from you but will go out of their way to recommend your products.

Passives: Score between 7 and 8. While they are satisfied, they are not really excited at the prospect of doing business with you. There are high chances that they may leave you for a competitor.

Detractors: Score between 0 and 6. These are customers who are completely unhappy with your brand and won’t mind damaging it through spreading the word about their experience.

In short, your NPS score gives the perception of your brand among your customers. It is also a magnificent indicator of growth which can be simply understood by the increase or decrease of NPS score. The NPS question is direct, simple and doesn’t take any time at all for someone to answer.

10 NPS Best Practices

Now that we know the importance of NPS and the kind of impact it can have on businesses, here are 10 NPS best practices:

#1 Frequency:

Don’t send a survey as soon as someone becomes a customer. Remember, NPS gives you the overall emotion of a customer towards your brand. It is too soon for them to have strong emotions (which can either be good or bad) for your product unless they have experienced it for a few days. The frequency and timing of your NPS survey depend on your goals, the type of industry you are in and the kind of customers you have.

Have specific actions which when performed by your customer, they will automatically get an NPS survey question. Timing is always the key when it comes to sending NPS surveys. But here is another thing about NPS, it is not something that you send once in a year for a customer, but something that you should do regularly. Your aim is to increase the NPS score, which is why you need to send NPS surveys at regular intervals.

Why regular intervals?

Because the emotions of your customer change based on the experience they are having about your brand. A customer who gave you a paltry score of 1 on the NPS survey might give you an 8 next time if you happen to take care of their issues. Ensuring that the number keeps increasing will be the aim of most successful companies. When you regularly send NPS surveys at appropriate times and keep improving the experience for your user, your customers will fall in love with your brand and before you know, they might even become advocates for your business.

Planning to send NPS surveys to all of your customers in the form of an email blast?

Please DO NOT.

Sending emails in bulk will only make you seem impersonal. The problem with such bulk emails is that you will be sending NPS emails to customers who will be at different stages in their customer journey.

Instead, send NPS surveys to your customers who are at similar stages so that there is uniformity. This will give you insights on who is a promoter and what made them one. If a customer is a detractor, then the business can research as to what could have possibly gone wrong for them at that particular stage which made them give a poor NPS score.

#2 Are you closing the loop?

Even if you get terrific information from your customers during the NPS survey where most of them even took the time to fill in their own comments, if you do not close the feedback loop then there is no use in the entire exercise at all. You would have just ended up wasting everyone’s time. Closing the feedback loop is everything when it comes to surveys. It is important even more so when it comes to NPS surveys. Ask any NPS professional and they would tell you about its importance too.

One of the biggest advantages of closing the feedback loop is that you can mend fences with your customer who is not happy about their experience with you. When you close the feedback loop, you are essentially solving the problem that they had with you which means that now they will end up having a better experience and might even recommend you to their friends and family.

Believe it or not, customers are not used to a lot of companies solving the problems that they would have complained in the survey. So you would end up delighting your customer if you ever happen to close the feedback loop. It shows that you care about the customer and are ready to change things if you mess up.

When you close the feedback loop, you can use it as an opportunity to improve your relationship with your complaining customers. When you quickly act on the feedback and provide an amicable solution for your customers, you are more than likely to convert them from a detractor to a promoter.

#3 NPS surveys in-app and with transactional emails:

Send NPS surveys to your customers when they have completed a transaction. Your brand would be fresh on their minds and it is the perfect opportunity for the business to gauge your customer’s experience for a particular action. You can also send NPS surveys in-app when there is a transaction happening, it doesn’t have to be only through emails. In fact, it is much easier to make a user respond to NPS surveys on the app itself after they take action. In-app surveys get higher engagement because users have the right context and it is fresh in their minds.

If the customer doesn’t respond on that day, fret not, you can send the NPS survey email the next day itself. Email surveys have a lower response rate but customers don’t mind them usually as emails are not that intrusive. With in-app surveys, you are hampering the flow of the customer while email requests for NPS surveys, doesn’t have the same effect.

Best practice: Send the in-app survey as soon as the user makes the transaction if they don’t reply, then send the email survey the next day.

#4 Share the NPS survey with the whole team & the respondents:

A well-oiled machinery works best. The same should work for your business as well where everyone from each department knows what’s happening across the business so that there is a sense of teamwork and unity for everyone.

Before you share your NPS score with the whole team, you should explain to them about the importance of NPS to your business. Your team members should know how and why NPS matters, understand the benchmarking that is important, not only against the competitors but also against your own score.

Have regular NPS reviews with your team. Use the NPS score to motivate them. Compare your NPS score against your industry’s as well as your competitor.

Once you work on the issues that your customers raised in the NPS survey, the next step is to assure them that you have solved their problem. This can be a huge boost for your customer when they know that the problem they had with your business isn’t something that should bother them anymore.

When customers realize that you make it a point to solve any queries they have, they would not hesitate to open up next time you would like a review or complete another survey. Why? Because they know that you mean business and are more than happy to give their time to you.

#5 Regular communication with your customers:

Even your staunchest critics know that any company, no matter how big it is, can make mistakes. No business wants to be in that position, but it happens. It is all right. But how do you handle such a situation? That’s the question. Do you not tell your customers about it or assume that they will not figure it out? Or do you apologize to them and assure them that you would not repeat it again? The answer to the above question will determine your longevity in the business world.

Communication is everything, no matter what kind of relationship you are in. Most companies do not have a communication strategy in place and that’s a big mistake. Are you a business that communicates with the customer at regular intervals or only when you want them to complete an NPS survey or when you want something from them?

Most companies do not have a communication strategy in place and that’s a big mistake.

Customers would like to be in the know when it comes to matters that pertain to them. Not only should you communicate to your customers about how you are solving their issues based on the survey feedback, especially NPS, but also have a strategy for internal communications so that you let your employees know that you are listening to customers. This helps with boosting the morale of your employees as well as develop a sense of purpose in them.

#6 NPS benchmarks:

You should know that NPS scores across industries are different. A telecom company would have a terrible score when compared with a company in the online entertainment industry.

For example, Satmetrix’s calculations for the average NPS score across various sectors in the US shows numbers that deviate a lot. The NPS score for the Health Insurance industry is 14 while it is 52 for tablet computers.

The NPS scores obviously differ between companies. Just to give you an idea, here are some numbers that will interest you. JetBlue has an NPS score of 71 while Allstate has 40. You might think that Allstate has a poor score when compared with JetBlue because their service is bad.

Wrong.

JetBlue’s NPS score is highest in the airline’s industry while Allstate’s score is highest in the life insurance category.

Here’s what you should do: Find what is a good NPS score for you? Measure your NPS score against companies that are in the same industry. Measure your NPS score against yourself- this will help you see how you are progressing. Your goal should be to keep improving your NPS score so that your customers can be happy. In fact, if your NPS score improves, it means that your customers are getting happier with you.

#7 Customize your NPS surveys:

If you are not customizing your surveys based on your customers, are you even doing anything? Understand your customers to such an extent that you would be able to personalize the surveys after segmenting them based on their characteristics. Remember that there is no single type of NPS survey templates that you have to send. You can employ an NPS software for this purpose.

The NPS survey that you send should be in alignment with your company’s branding. After the end of the NPS question, you can add “Why are you willing to share?” based on their answers.

Customize your NPS surveys with different subject lines and use the ones that perform the best. Ensure that the subject you use is intriguing enough for the customer to open the email and respond to the questions. We have already talked about this, it is called segmentation. Divide your customers based on it and run A/B tests for the same segment of customers by using different subject lines and follow-up questions.

#8 Ask open-ended questions:

Have you noticed that open-ended questions allow the recipient to pour their hearts out? Ask open-ended follow-up questions based on the customer’s score. This will make them send honest answers you would not have expected.

If the score is anything between 0 and 6, you can ask:

“What made you gave us such a low score?”

“How can we help in improving the score?”

If the score is 7 or 8, you can ask:

“How can we improve your experience with us?”

“Is there any way we could improve our services?”

If the score is 9 or 19, you can ask:

“We are happy that you are enjoying your experience with us. What do you think is the best thing with us?”

“If we could improve one thing about our customer service or the product, what would it be? If there is more than one, please don’t hesitate to tell us about it?”

#9 Send NPS survey to your employees:

Customers should be your priority and your employees should feel like that too. Keeping your customers satisfied can have a dramatic effect on your company. If you take your employees lightly, it will have an equally dramatic effect on your business, but for the wrong reasons. Only your employees can make sure that your customers feel satisfied and happy all along.

Sending eNPS (employee NPS) will allow you to understand the employees who are most satisfied with your company. While it is good to feel validated, you should make it a point to find the Detractors and Passives. The Detractors are the ones who are a flight risk because you can expect them to leave the company soon as they are dissatisfied.

Your promoters are the ones who will recommend your company to others, will be proactive, act as team players, fill out surveys, participate in your events, etc. Sending employee NPS will give you ideas on how to improve employee satisfaction and increase employee happiness.

#10 Leverage your promoters:

While deeply worrying about detractors, many companies forget the fact that you have promoters who are happy to do so much for you. But the burning question is are you doing things to leverage their presence? Your promoters are happy to recommend your business to their friends and family, Utilize them for your campaigns, get testimonial videos done, use them for your LinkedIn posts, etc.

Promoters are happy to recommend your business to their friends and family, utilize them for your campaigns.

Conclusion:

If you got a kick out of reading this and are on the verge of sending out NPS surveys, first, engage them at every place possible, from social media to usage of customer loyalty programs.

Ask them the all-important-” How likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend, on a scale of 0 to 10?” Ensure that there is space for your customers to add comments so that you can get more information which you can use to close the feedback loop for them.

If you implement NPS surveys well, it has the power to completely change the way you run your business. It will change the way you communicate, train your employees, the way you operate and how you create experiences for your customers. It has the necessary horsepower to change your company upside down in a good way.

Mathew Maniyamkott
Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

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

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