The Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is based on the fundamental perspective that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.
By asking one simple question — How likely is it that you would recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague? — you can track these groups and get a clear measure of your company’s performance through its customers’ eyes.
Where I work, we have been utilizing Net Promoter Scores for some time now. We initially planned on using it to determine how effective our Technical Support team was when interacting with customers, and from there – creating a target Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for team members to strive towards.
Customers respond on a 0-to-10 point rating scale and are categorized as follows:
- Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
- Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
- Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.
To calculate your company’s Net Promoter Score, take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors.
There are several tools you can use to harvest the information from the customer. In our case, we used Netsuite to send a template email to the customer whenever a ticket was closed within the CRM, the customer responds and then we extract the information via reporting. What works well for us is we can extrapolate additional information – such as the Ticket Associated with the results, a comments field from the customer (giving us further feedback as to what caused the NPS Score) and even the associated Account Manager in case we need to bring them in to resolve long standing issues.
What we learned is that many customers do not differentiate between the initial reason for the survey and what they perceive is a problem. In many cases, customers are happy with the Support Level and Knowledge of the Tech, but are frustrated with other aspects of the product or a separate interaction. These types of response were unexpected, and caused to involve more teams than initially expected – plus we had to switch to a more “Big Picture Approach”. In the end though, it was a great learning experience….and as the team continues forward, they know the feedback received is really to be used to increase customer satisfaction.
Of course, you do not need a large CRM or Helpdesk solution to conduct your own NPS Surveys. SurveyMonkey is a low cost solution that provided their own NPS Template Survey and allows those results to be downloaded into an Excel Spreadsheet for data manipulation or dissemination. While I cannot attest to their product, as it varies from our solution, I can provide you a link to their site so you can learn about more about NPS and how SurveyMonkey might fit in your organization – HERE.
Overall, NPS has worked well for me – but I do caution against using it as the sole metric to gauge satisfaction. As with anything, you want to have as much information as possible to make an educated decision. In this instant, full customer case history, an annual Customer Satisfaction Survey and frequent interactions, will go a long way to ensure that your customer is happy and that you continue to grow your business. That said, NPS is a great way to keep you finger on the pulse – and possibly detect problems before they go nuclear.