How to put your net promoter score (NPS) into action

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In several of our recent blogs, we’ve written about how the new brand battleground centers on the customer experience. Companies that consistently measure and monitor customer experience key performance indicators (KPIs) have a significant advantage when it comes to winning more market share.

One such KPI for measuring the success of your customer experience strategy is Net Promoter Score, or NPS. By now, it’s likely that you know you should be measuring NPS consistently; what might be less obvious is how to use NPS to grow your business.

Before we get into a discussion of how to translate net promoter score numbers into action, let’s do a quick review of what NPS is and how to calculate it.

What’s A Net Promoter Score?

As defined by the website Medallia, a Net Promoter Score “...measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It is used as a proxy for gauging the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand.”

Ah, there is a way to peel that brand onion after all. Essentially, a Net Promoter Score is a survey that gauges brand perceptions and customer satisfaction levels, providing actionable insights into what your business does well, does okay and, well, where it struggles.

How Do You Calculate Your Brand’s Score?

Specifically, your NPS measures how likely a customer would recommend your brand to another. In essence, it tracks brand loyalty.

So, basically, you survey your customers by asking a variation on a fairly simple question: On a scale of 0-10, what is the likelihood that you would recommend our brand to other folks?

There are, of course, far more complex and involved customer surveys out there, but the beauty of the NPS is its simplicity both in data analysis requirements and the quick and easy nature of delivery to your customers and the minute amount of time they need to invest to respond.

So, you send out your NPS question and get your data back. Here’s how to slice and dice your data:

  • “Promoters” are those that provided a 9-10
  • “Passives” are those that gave a 7-8
  • “Detractors” rated your brand a 0-6

To calculate your NPS, it’s simple math:

  • Get a total respondent number
  • Determine the percentage break down of promoters, passives, and detractors
  • Subtract the percentage of detractors from that of promoters
  • As an example, if you received 20 responses and 5 were detractors and 15 were promoters your NPS would be 60 (75% promoters-15% detractors=60)

The best possible NPS is 100 if every respondent was a promoter. Worst is zero if every respondent was a detractor. Your NPS slides on a 0-100 scale.

What Is The Best Use For NPS Data?

Understanding how your customers feel about your brand over time empowers effective marketing and sales strategies while also providing operations and internal teams with easily understandable scoring for their performance.

Here are some ways you can use NPS numbers to grow your business, turn detractors into promoters, and reduce churn.

Use NPS To Focus Your Efforts

This is the 40,000-foot view of what NPS can do for your organization. Measuring NPS consistently over time allows you to segment your customers and tailor your communications to their needs, inspiring them to take the action you want along the way. Very simply, NPS data gives you a window into new business opportunities that exist within your customer base (as we know, generating repeat business or new business from our “captured” customers is the most efficient means to growth) and where you run the greatest risk of losing customers (detractors). In addition, NPS can give you insights into those customers that fall between promoters and detractors.

NPS opens the door to a better understanding of how your customers feel about your brand both in a given transaction and over time.

Say Thank You

Whether you employ a robust marketing platform like HubSpot or you use MailChimp, you have a means of automatically saying thank you to the customers that take the time to provide survey responses. This is a simple action item but a very important one. Set up an automated email thank you for any customer that completes a survey. This is low hanging fruit that is missed too often when it comes to improving the customer experience and maintain a high percentage of promoters.

Say We’ll Do Better

For passives and detractors, you can say thank you with a pledge to do better in the future. Once again, saying thank you is no small thing, as is telling those that are ambivalent or upset with your brand that you hear them and improvements are coming.

Note: If you run a smaller business and can truly personalize your responses to NPS survey participants, do it. Anytime you can create a highly personalized touch point it’s a good idea to do so. For large companies with hundreds or thousands of customers, automated thank you emails are really the only realistic option.

Create Programs Tailored To Each NPS Segment

Using NPS response data enables segmentation of your customer base, which, in turn, empowers you to streamline communications and promotions that drive stronger NPS.

Encouraging and providing the right incentives to existing promoters can do wonders for creating robust customer lifetime value (CLV). Developing communications and strategies to convert passives and detractors into promoters can be a boon to growth.

How you approach each segment of your customer base depends on your industry and audience. The fact remains, however, that deploying a cookie-cutter communication approach for all of your customers without segmentation is an enormous missed opportunity.

Learn From Your Haters

The reality is that some people can’t be moved from strong detractor even to passives, let alone promoters. While that is likely true for some segment of your customer base, all is not lost.

Learn from your haters.

You cannot convert them, but you can learn how they got to where they are. Examine how these customers became strong detractors and then use this data to improve the front end of the customer experience. These detractors can’t be saved, but preventative methods earlier in the relationship can often stop them from hating in the first place.

Share NPS With Everyone

NPS data cannot stay locked within a department or hoarded by a small group of individuals. It needs to be accessible to people from across your organization. Find ways to incorporate NPS into your reports, internal communications or company dashboards.

Resist hiding poor NPS data and only sharing strong NPS data. The beauty of NPS is its simplicity and accessibility; NPS is relatable to your entire team and can help educate, encourage and inspire your staff to do better. Providing easy and consistent access to NPS data creates significant opportunities not only for immediate improvement but also for continual improvement in the long term.

According to Qualtrics, “Perhaps the most scalable part of this simple metric, is the ability to communicate it across the entire organization. It’s a powerful concept that people get almost intuitively. We all understand 'Net Worth' and we understand ‘Net Profit’. Your Net Promoter Score gives your team a familiar concept that can help rally the troops and align your organization when other, more complicated measurements often fall short. It’s a bottom line number you can focus on that allows you to decide when you need to look deeper into the breakout of promoters, passives, and detractors.”

The beauty of NPS is its simplicity and scalability. You can start small and build from there. The important thing, however, is to get started as soon as possible.

We can help. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can survey your customers to glean actionable data like NPS that will help you grow.

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