Net Promoter Score: A Better Way to Connect with Customers & Drive Action

Posted in Business Practices, Digital, Marketing, Reputation Management | August 27,2020

amanda polk miller public relations team

Why Do You Need a Net Promoter Score?

Just because we’re in the digital age does not mean we’re done with word of mouth. In fact, with review platforms, social media and the comment sections of blogs speak more loudly than ever. The good news is there is a way to keep your finger on the pulse to determine how your customers are feeling and how to make shifts in your business to reflect, correct or hopefully sustain that sentiment. How? By getting your net promoter score (NPS) through customer feedback. Your NPS is a simple and effective way to connect with customers and make changes to your business, products or services based on real-time feedback.

Better Questions Get Better Answers

The biggest problem with most surveys is they’re too long and unfocused. By attempting to gain all of the information, you run the risk of gaining none due to the customer opting not to participate.

The NPS is calculated using a three-part survey:

  • How the Customer Feels
  • The Customer’s Reasoning
  • A Sincere Thank You

How the Customer Feels

The first question is the easiest and captured numerically on a scale from zero to 10. The default question is:

“On a scale of zero to ten, how likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or colleague?”

The zero to 10 is crucial because our end goal is to get both qualitative data AND quantitative data because numerical data is where the “score” portion of NPS comes in.

This question serves as your benchmark and can be applied to nearly every aspect of your business. Did you implement a new policy in your waiting room that you’d like to get a feel for? How does your new product compare to the one you replaced it with? Are you actually moving in the right direction or are you just moving in a new direction?

You can even compare data over time! For example, LASIK practices can determine how a patient is feeling three days and three months after a procedure and compare the scores.

The Customer’s Reasoning

After the customer has given their score, you need to know the reason behind that score in order to take action with it. While the first question will give you a quantitative benchmark; the second question will give you direction for the changes you might need to make.

The default for this question is open-ended reading:

“What is the primary reason for your score?”

If your customer gives a positive score, then this provides an opportunity to highlight that portion of the business or celebrate with the team. It’s reassuring to know you’re heading in the right direction and can build off of that positive.

If you receive a middle-of-the-road answer, then it’s good to know what you can improve upon. What’s not quite there, what needs to be added or taken away? Was this a specific experience or did you see the same answer over and over again telling you it’s time to make a change? That change can be initiated quickly so a crucial pivot can be made without any more damage done.

Similarly, if a negative score is given, then making sure it doesn’t happen again is key. It’s an opportunity to solve the problem.. Can the product be salvaged? Does the staff need a shift in policy? Is there something unpleasant about the business? These are all great questions to ask yourself.

Having the numbers themselves is great, but without this crucial information, it’s difficult to determine exactly what action needs to be taken.

A Sincere Thank You

A thank you is absolutely POWERFUL. Any time a customer is asked to do something, they should be thanked for it. Even though you may have already earned their business, they’re still offering their time, opinion, and voice to take your survey. You’ve asked them to do something and out of no obligation, they’ve volunteered helpful information. This thank you message lets the customer know you’re listening, willing to improve and appreciative of their time.

Because a big part of the net promoter score is the benchmark score and the change to that score over time, you want to be able to survey your customer again. A thank you will go a long way toward getting people to offer up their precious time a second or even third time.

For positive responses, something like this could work:

“Thanks for your feedback. It’s great to hear you’re a fan of (our company or product). Your feedback helps us discover new opportunities to improve (our company or product) and to make sure you have the best possible experience.”

For passive responses you may want to go with the following:

“Thanks for your feedback. Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.”

And for negative responses, you want to make sure you’re showing they’ve been heard and you’re open to improving. This may even turn them into a brand ambassador in the future:

“Thanks for your feedback. We highly value all feedback from our customers, whether it’spositive or critical. In the future, our team might reach out to you to learn more about how we can further improve (our product or service) so it exceeds your expectations.”

So How Do I Get My Net Promoter Score?

I’ve briefly touched on positive, passive and negative responses in the survey. This is because each range for question number one comes with a description.

Those who answer zero through six are demoters. These are customers who will leave negative reviews, guide their friends and family to another brand and are not likely to give your company a second chance.

Responses of seven and eight are known as passives. These people are not particularly thrilled about the company, but they can’t touch on anything terrible either. It was a humdrum experience for them and they may or may not come back. They’re middle of the roaders that will hopefully be turned into promoters with their next experience.

The coveted nine and ten responses are promoters! These are the brand ambassadors, the five-star reviewers on Google and the ones who sing your praises when someone needs advice. Obviously, the more nines and tens you receive the better.

The formula for the net promoter score is:

% of Promoter Scores – % of Demoter Scores = Net Promoter Score

In this score, we leave out the passives because they become neutral and don’t hurt or help your business. Based on this universal formula, if you have 80 percent promoter scores, 10 percent passive scores and 10 percent demoter scores, then you would have an NPS score of 70.

Once you have the score and feedback from the first two questions, you should be able to make the appropriate changes and turn some of those passives into promoters and even have some of those demoters give you a second chance to see if the changes were made.

Wrap it Up Already!

Tracking data is repeatedly cited as one of the more difficult areas of digital marketing, especially as channels become more complex. However, the net promoter score gives an easy, real-time approach to collecting feedback and the possibility for actionable changes.

Improving your net promoter score means you’re providing a better experience for customers, patients, web users and everyone else that interacts with your business, products or services. In doing so, you’ll not only create repeat customers but create ambassadors who will bring in more!

If you need assistance in creating the best results for your customers, we’re here and happy to help. At Miller Public Relations we’re dedicated to helping you go above and beyond to make sure you’re providing the best possible experience while maintaining the best possible results. Give us a call today!