Why Net Promoter Score Isn’t Enough: Tips for Leveraging NPS+
Net Promoter Score, or NPS, has become the industry standard for gauging customer loyalty. Introduced in the Harvard Business Review in 2003, NPS is still appealing because it provides one consistent scale to measure customer sentiment over time.
To calculate NPS, companies ask customers how likely they would be to recommend a product to their colleague or friend on a scale from zero to ten. The product is then given a single score based upon ratio of “promoters” versus “detractors”. If the score goes up, it’s presumed that customers are happy and loyal. If the score goes down, it is presumed that marketing and product work needs to be done.
However, aside from acting as a badge of honor (and sometimes a point of shame), an NPS score alone doesn’t actually do anything, and is an outdated way of measuring customer loyalty and predicting retention.
At the end of the day, companies are left with no guidance or insight as to what needs to be done to improve an NPS score—and ultimately, what needs to be done to grow actual business and customer loyalty.
Enter NPS+, a better way to gauge loyalty
Here at Apptentive, we teach our customers to speak to people on their terms and to make sure every interaction provides value to the consumer, not just the company. This means that surveys that don’t provide any actionable insight to enhance the consumer experience, like typical NPS surveys, are not typically what we recommend our customers employ to gauge their true customer sentiment.
However, we understand the need to leverage an NPS-like tactic, which is why we came up with a better way to gauge customer loyalty: NPS+. NPS+ is the simple solution we devised to meet our customers’ needs, while still sticking to our beliefs about actionable customer feedback.
The goal of a Net Promoter Score-type survey should be to determine the path necessary to change detractors, neutral customers, and even promoters to strong brand advocates. NPS+ does just that. By simply asking customers, “why did you choose this score?” after the traditional rating question and allowing customers to provide unstructured feedback, we help companies contextualize the NPS score and understand where their customers think the company is doing well and where they need to improve. This makes the survey valuable and relevant for the end customer.
6 tips for using NPS+
To make the most of NPS+, you first have to understand how to leverage it correctly. Along with ensuring questions provide actionable insights and value to consumers, the Apptentive team follows a number of other guidelines that help to optimize survey effectiveness and response rate in the mobile space.
Here are six tips to make the most of mobile surveys, like NPS+:
1. Keep it short
Screen real estate is very limited on a mobile device. Limiting a survey to four-to-six relevant questions is the best way to prevent survey fatigue and ensure a high response rate. Trust us, no one wants to complete a thirty-question survey on a cell phone.
To shorten the length of your survey and survey questions, ask yourself, “Is this question absolutely necessary,” and, “Is this the only way to capture this information?” If the answer is no to either, remove the question. Try to gather as much information as you can through analytics or metadata attached to the survey.
2. Have a goal in mind
Since you’re committed to limiting the number of questions you present, make sure that each question is focused on a single feature or event. If your questions don’t align with the specific goal you’ve set, remove them from the survey and ask them at a different time.
3. Target the correct audience
Tools like Apptentive allow you to serve surveys to specific, targeted groups of customers based upon actions they’ve taken within the app or personal information—such as account type, location, or amount spent within the app. Utilize these targeting tools to ensure you’re asking relevant questions to people who have the right experience with your product or application to provide meaningful feedback.
4. Right place, right time
Ensure you’re asking customers for your customers’ feedback at a time and place that won’t prevent them from using the app for its intended purpose. For example, instead of asking them to complete a survey right when they launch the app, ask them about their purchase experience after they’ve completed the cycle and are closing their purchase confirmation.
Talk to your customers as though they are individuals. Beginning with phrases like, “What do you think…” and, “How do you feel…” lets customers know you’re interested in understanding them and their experience personally.
6. Allow for open-ended feedback
You may have an idea of what customers like or don’t like in your application. However, allowing customers to leave open-ended feedback to key you in on some positives or negatives that you may have missed is the only way to know for sure.
Now it’s your turn
By changing their focus from NPS to NPS+, along with a focus on personalized marketing, our customers have had tremendous success in accurately gauging and predicting their customers’ loyalty, and are able to act quickly to provide the best experience possible. This approach gives a voice to every customer and provides value to customers and community members alike.
The next time you survey your customers, consider whether or not the questions you asked will give you actionable feedback. Will the survey provide value to your customers? Are you fanatical about reaching your customers at the right place and time? Have you optimized your survey for the mobile experience?