Actionable insights from the net promoter score

The Day After you discover your Net Promoter ScoreSM

CloudCherry | Featured | June 13, 2016

Merely measuring and keeping tabs on your Net Promoter ScoreSM is as wasteful as it is insufficient. The whole idea behind the Net Promoter Score system is to project customer loyalty as a single metric, agreed. However, staring at plain numbers on a board or a laptop screen won’t add value to your business or your customers in any way.

While measuring NPS is without doubt a step in the right direction, it doesn’t magically fetch you loyal customers or boost revenue figures overnight. By staying as a mere indicator of customer loyalty, companies ought to create a well-structured plan that makes the Net Promoter Score actionable and purposeful, contributing immensely to the overall growth of the organization.

Hence, we decided to bridge the gap between the process of measuring NPS and making it an actionable metric to drive process changes by listing out a few things your business needs to start doing to reap the true benefits of the Net Promoter System.

1. Compare your NPS with the Industry Benchmark

There is nothing as a good score or a bad score on the NPS scale unless and until you have a clear idea of what the NPS benchmark is for your industry/sector.

What we mean here is that the benchmark score is likely to be different for different sectors, given that target customers and their expectations also vary across different segments. Take a look at the image below where the benchmark scores of some sectors have been plotted on an appropriate scale.

Net Promoter Score benchmark
©2015 Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Average Net Promoter Scores for US consumer sectors.

For instance, the benchmark NPS® for internet service providers is the lowest in comparison to that of Department/Specialty Stores.

A quite surprising takeaway here is that your NPS can be very high and still not meet industry standards or on the other hand, it can be dishearteningly low and yet be on par with the benchmark!

And any business that wants to make NPS actionable needs to first know where it stands – how good/bad its Net Promoter Score is – before reviewing internal processes/policies and investing in their betterment.

2. Analyse the Feedback given by Detractors

Looking at your Net Promoter Score, you’ll be able to find out the percentage of promoters (happy customers), passives (neutral customers) and detractors (unhappy customers) that has made up the final score.

Now, suppose your Net Promoter Score is on par with industry standards or higher, then your business is on safe ground. But, if your score is alarmingly low, then you clearly need to find out the reason behind it. Why do you have so many unhappy customers? Although there are people who love doing business with you, the ones who aren’t frustrated are clearly more in number; this is the trend you need to address urgently!

And in order to get to the bottom of ‘why most of your customers are unhappy ’, companies need to analyse the entire stack of responses of detractors separately.

NOTE:We’re assuming here that you ask your customers a lot more questions on a whole range of aspects like ambience, staff service, etc, apart from the NPS question.

If this is the case, segregate your detractors so that it’s easier to scan through the feedback they’ve provided. It’s quite obvious that they’ve rated you low on the NPS scale owing to some other strong reason – maybe your staff behaved rudely with them or they felt that the customer service department was taking too long to respond.

Instead of resorting to guess work, use a Customer Experience Management (CEM) platform to drill down into the feedback given by your detractors. The final report that contains the full-on analysis paints a clear picture of what is wrong with the customer experience and what are the issues that need immediate resolving.

For instance, let’s say that you come across an insight that indicates that more than 50% of detractors found the ambience at your restaurant annoying, then this is an action-point for your company. Similarly, identify other trends within your detractor base – it tells you why they’ve rated you low and how you couldn’t meet their expectations – and resolve these issues related to the customer experience before you start losing more customers!

3. Follow up on your Detractors

Unhappy customers need to be handled with utmost tact. While it’s important that you carefully think through and action changes based on their feedback, it’s equally important that you make them cognizant about it. Why so? Well, detractors are most vulnerable to be poached by your competition – if you leave them hanging, they won’t care less.

Following up with your unhappy customers is what truly makes the Net Promoter Score model actionable and an indispensable armor for your organization.

Usually, detractor follow-ups can be done by various means. But before you do any of these, it is basic ethics that you apologize to them and take up responsibility for any mistake or drawback that frustrated these customers in the first place.

I’ve listed some of the follow-up methods below.

• Constantly send them E-mail/SMS promotions regarding discounts, gift vouchers, etc that can be availed at their next purchase. This is you enticing them to come back to your store and compensate for the previous visit.

• This idea might seem a bit too far-fetched but call your unhappy customers once in a while and enquire how things are at their end. (Doesn’t necessarily have to be business all the time!)

• Know on which day their birthday or wedding anniversary falls. Plan a surprise for them and show them that you sincerely do care about well-being.

Integrating the Net Promoter Score system into your business model is surely the most sure-shot way to decode customer loyalty. That said, it does more harm than good if all you do at board meetings is simply look at the score and remain hopeful that it improves over time.

What are you waiting for? Actionable NPS is what you need to grow your business!