All businesses thrive on feedback, but the tried-and-true methods of information gathering have become ineffective and don’t create a proper showcase of a brand’s overall satisfaction level. Gone are the days of cold calling customers for feedback, or sending them a comment card by mail or email.
That’s why most businesses have started using Net Promoter Score Surveys (or NPS) to gain a concise understanding of their customers’ level of brand loyalty, and how likely they are to become brand ambassadors in the future.
NPS is a mathematical measurement of customer satisfaction, based on a survey question that has a numerical value.
We here at Freshmarketer have compiled this step-by-step guide to help you understand NPS and how to implement it on your website. Throughout this piece, we will show you how NPS works and what kind of questions you should be asking, we will determine the frequency and timing of your survey questions, and help you figure out how to use the information you’ve gathered.
But before we jump into the deep end, let’s take a look at why NPS is so effective.
What is NPS & Why Should You Use It?
Consumer word of mouth is more valuable than advertisements or even celebrity endorsements. Advertising is still the backbone of a business, but consumers are badgered by thousands of ads on a daily basis across all forms of media.
It’s important to be able to utilize your existing customer base and essentially turn them into walking talking advertisements for your business. That’s where NPS comes into play. This customer feedback system allows you to gauge whether or not your audience is sharing your content based on their satisfaction level.
NPS surveys are typically only one question with numerical answers arranged horizontally from 0-10 followed by an open-ended response question.
Respondents fall into one of three categories. They are promoters, passives, and detractors.
All scores are calculated using Net Promoter Score’s custom formula. To get your final score, you take the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors, and that equals the Company NPS.
But before you do that, you have to first figure out what these percentages are.
- Promoters are determined by subtracting the total responses from the passives and detractors and multiplying that number by 100.
- Detractors are determined by subtracting the total responses from the promoters and passives and multiplying that number by 100.
- Passive respondents are determined by subtracting the total responses from promoters and detractors and multiplying that number by 100.
Bill Macaitis, the CMO of the workplace chat app Slack said that his company uses NPS as a way to promote customer referrals.
“It’s a great gold bar,” Macaitis said. “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?’ And that’s a much higher bar.”
Asking the Right NPS Question
Asking the right NPS Question gives you the best understanding of your audience’s level of satisfaction. The wording, tone, and phrasing of that question are all incredibly important. You want to convey the importance of the customer’s feedback while being very clear in how you ask the question.
NPS surveys are a two-part question. The first step is a numerical rating system, which is followed by an open-ended text box where customers can give you more direct feedback if necessary.
When creating your NPS question, it is best to keep it short, simple, and easy to understand. You don’t want to confuse your audience as that will throw off the validity of your results.
Some of the most common NPS questions are:
- “How would you rate your experience?”
- “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?”
- “How easy was our system to use?”
These are easy ice breaker questions for new customers which will allow you to “read the room” and gauge the effectiveness of all departments.
In the future, you could try replacing the name of the company with the name of a product or service. This is particularly effective when you’re trying to gauge feedback per product as opposed to company-wide.
The open-ended questions can be fairly standard.
Something like, “What is the primary reason for your score?” allows the customer to share their happiness or displeasure in the service they’ve received.
Some services allow you to personalize your open-ended questions given the numerical score that a customer has rated you. Dissatisfied customers can be asked specifically about what was missing from their experience, while promoters can be asked how likely they are to recommend the service.
The main issue with implementing NPS is that most businesses don’t understand when and where to engage the audience. Engagement at the wrong time can lead to irritation, poor scores, or being ignored altogether.
Before you launch your first NPS survey, it’s important to ask, “when is the best time to reach out to your customers?”
You can time NPS surveys to coincide with promotional offerings in order to gauge the overall effectiveness of that specific promotion.
You should avoid sending out an NPS survey too early in the customer lifecycle. It’s important to allow your newer customers to experience the brand and form a strong opinion.
Also, remember that NPS surveys are not a “one and done” process. It’s important to check in regularly as customer satisfaction ebbs and flows.
Chad Keck, CEO of Promoter.io touched on the importance of repeated NPS engagement, saying, “Customer sentiment changes rapidly, typically in correlation to how often the product itself matures. This is why NPS is a routine measurement and is often measured quarterly. If you don’t measure NPS regularly, you will miss opportunities to proactively engage customers based on those changes in sentiment.”
You should always avoid sending batch NPS surveys. Remember to personalize the feedback experience for each customer based on where they are in the customer lifecycle. For example, a customer who is brand new and making their first purchase with you will have a wildly different take than a customer who has been loyal to you for over a decade.
Ask NPS Questions on Your Website, Not Email
It’s always best to avoid email surveys in favor of on-site or in-app engagement. That’s because emails are often overlooked due to the overwhelming number we receive on a daily basis.
According to recent studies, there will be 2.9 billion email users by the end of 2019. By 2021, 320 billion emails will be sent daily. In 2018 there are already 124.5 billion business emails sent every day and 111.1 billion consumer emails. That’s a deep well and you don’t want your NPS survey to drown in it.
On top of that, filters in popular services like Gmail could flag an NPS survey as a promotional email and banish it to the seldom seen “promotions” folder.
Instead, reach out to your customers while they are engaged in your service. Making the NPS survey a regular part of the on-site experience will help you get a better response rate overall and improve the quality of your feedback.
What Should You Do With Your NPS Survey Results?
Make sure that you’re following up with respondents and address any huge issues personally. They will appreciate the time and energy you’ve put into their feedback.
This is also a great time to segment your response process. Customers who gave negative scores could receive personal touch calls from the customer service department, while customers that scored positively could be asked for a case study, quote, or referral. This is also a great time to upsell or cross-sell to happy customers.
It’s important to share this feedback internally. Hold meetings where you go through the information as a team to determine how to implement it. By slogging through your feedback scores as a unit, you give your employees a taste of the actual user experience.
In an interview on the SaaS Revolution Show, Macaitis said, “That’s when we started to get around this theme of all your communications in one place. We consistently saw that’s why people were recommending us. A lot of that came off of the NPS survey and understanding why people like Slack — and conversely what were the areas we can improve and routing that to the product team in making sure it’s a good holistic feedback loop.”
Set Up NPS Surveys on Freshmarketer
We’ve spoken at length about the benefits of including NPS surveys for your brand, but did you know that it’s incredibly easy to install these valuable feedback tools on your website using Freshmarketer?
Simply click the icon on the left panel, or click on the Create Form Reports button to get started.
Once you do, a Build page opens up, which allows you to name your survey. Then, it’s time to choose what kind of poll you’re creating. We have five different choices, including short answer, long answer, radio button, checkbox, and Net Promoter Score.
Click on Net Promoter Score to create your NPS survey.
You can also create customized thank you messages that go out to your customers once they’ve completed the poll. Freshmarketer allows you to set a destination URL, which redirects users to a page of your choice once they’ve submitted their response.
You can customize the poll by setting themes, positioning the survey, setting its behaviors, targeting specific devices, and setting traffic.
For more information, check out our Knowledge Base.
NPS is the present and future of quality customer feedback. By engaging the audience in the right manner at the right time, businesses can get a strong sense of what they are doing right and where they could stand to improve. By choosing the right questions, understanding when to reach out, and following through with the collected data, you can maximize your customer retention efforts and turn your existing audience into brand ambassadors that will spread your message to their friends, families, and professional colleagues.