In a past post, we helped define the net promoter score (NPS), including calculating NPS and its differences against the customer satisfaction score (CSAT). Now, we expand on the topic in this article by focusing specifically on how to improve NPS.
However, the NPS is no better than the CSAT or other customer experience (CX) metrics. It also does not always work, depending on how your company uses it and an organization’s business model, preferences, and objectives.
Needless to say, the focus of many businesses on increasing NPS has been proven to be relatively important. For instance, a few years after creating the metric, the London School of Economics found a correlation between NPS increase and sales growth. Accordingly, an overall NPS increase by 7 points correlates with a 1% growth in sales.
Over a third of all companies don’t regularly seek any customer feedback regarding interactions with their brand. 77% of businesses report not regularly measuring the quality of their customer experience. Thus, many brands do not deeply understand their target audiences.
With the Net Promoter Score, you can do both. The metric is very quick and simple to use through a single survey question and very understandable for customers. If applied correctly, companies can gain high ROI and leverage an influx of promoters.
What Makes a “Good” Net Promoter Score?
First, it’s important to note that there’s no single ‘almighty’ number to aim for when it comes to improving your net promoter score. A “good” NPS heavily depends on a company’s industry and the country where it operates. According to Customer Monitor and in general:
Any NPS score above 0 is “good”. It means that your audience is more loyal than not. Anything above 20 is considered “favourable”. Bain & Co, the source of the NPS system, suggests that above 50 is excellent, and above 80 is world class.
Additionally, one of the most effective ways to measure NPS is to analyze your industry’s competitors and compare their scores against your own. Suppose your NPS implies that your brand is more successful in customer relationship management than similar companies. In that case, it’s reasonable to assume that your customers will more likely remain with you.
How to Improve NPS
#1 Communicate that there is no ‘perfect’ score to all levels
Your customer’s success starts with your employees and how they’re trained to understand NPS and its improvement plans. In particular, call center agents need to be clearly told that there’s no single ‘perfect’ net promoter score. It’s not achievable, but your team can always work on preventing the score from declining.
As a manager, all you can do is focus on ways to provide the best customer service possible, and believe your tactics will naturally pan out for the good of the team. You can also keep your staff well informed on common problems regarding NPS. It would require you to perform a deep NPS analysis to pinpoint specific issues that turned customers into detractors. And with that said, the next tip is as follows.
Moreover, all levels of an organization should be aware of NPS scores. Customer loyalty and brand perception are indicators for the C-suite. Agent feedback should also include NPS. In turn, they can either be trained to improve their performance or provide helpful tips to the team leaders to spread their knowledge.
#2 Don’t undervalue your detractors and close the loop with them fast
AKA don’t ignore the negatives. Measuring NPS is not just about analyzing the quality of your customer’s experience. It’s also a way for your team to uncover deeper insights about what went wrong. That is, why did they score your products and services so low?
In particular, your detractors can help the most because negative feedback only makes you grow stronger as a business. With any ratings between 0 and 6, follow up with the detractor and do it fast. Ask them what were the reasons for their low rating and address how you can resolve them. Your relationship with the dissatisfied customer can improve while your team knows better for the future how to avoid similar challenges.
#3 Care for also your passives
Indeed, while passives do not always need to have a drastic change on your score, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them. Always find out why they’re the ‘middle’ content guys. More likely than not, they’re often price-sensitive and not loyal to any brand. It’s possible and even wise to try and convince them that your company is more than money hoggers. Sell the passives on the customer experience you can offer.
#4 Be kind to even your promoters
You can gain a great deal of business intelligence from your most loyal fans or the promoters, customers who rate between 9 and 10 on the NPS survey.
You should also contact them. Learn what makes them happy with your brand. Discover your strengths. Once you understand why you excel in those areas, you can use that insight to improve your business in other areas.
#5 Seek NPS feedback at the right time, right place
It’s also all about timing. Consider this advice even if it seems obvious.
For example, it’s possible that as a customer, you have only signed up for a product but never actually used it. Still, the company has asked for feedback. You may not have used the product for a while. Then, suddenly, an NPS survey surfaces in your inbox. How likely are you to provide valuable feedback as a user who abandoned the product?
When NPS is measured at the wrong time, the data is often insufficient. Your request might annoy your customers, resulting in lower ratings. Therefore, ensure you seek NPS-related feedback at the right time and in the right moments of the customer journey. You gain the most valuable insight into a customer’s satisfaction and loyalty as a result.
#6 Chop up the NPS analysis into smaller segments
In some cases, specific answers to problems might be found in customer feedback. However, they can also leave you further perplexed. A small, segmented NPS survey can allow you to dig deeper to identify specific areas that contribute to a low score.
As with any other NPS survey, these also work. The main difference is that you can either survey a specific customer group, ask about a particular business area for improvement, or both.
You could, for example, survey only customers who have contacted your call center in the last month. Alternatively, you could ask your promoters how they feel about your support. There are dozens of ways to segment NPS surveys.
#7 Always seek feedback and leverage the voice of the customer
Customers are still people; they want to feel they matter. So, ask more than just “From one out of 10, how likely are you to recommend the agent to a friend or colleague?” For instance, follow up with considerate questions like “how do you think your experience could be improved?” In a way, the customer might feel they can share as much as they want in response, and they might appreciate your interest in knowing about their experience with your brand.
Furthermore, leverage your customer feedback data by deeply analyzing sources like call transcripts. For example, find out the number of times a call directed at agents in group 1 is being next forwarded to those in group 2 or 3. How many calls escalate? Additionally, some listening in on the calls might be needed to determine what is causing these transfers and complaints beyond text mining through the conversations.
#8 Use the best “how are you” and “have a nice day”
As already noted, this is another seemingly simple yet overlooked initiative. Have you ensured your customer service representatives’ greetings and closings are consistent and of high quality? Does the call or first chat response start in the right tone (personal yet professional)? Does the agent ask about the customer’s day, for instance, and with complete sincerity? Additionally, the last things should also end positively as that can leave a lasting impression on customers.
#9 Distribute the NPS Champions across the entire company for balanced training
There are some cases where contact centers are tracking NPS on a per agent level. For instance, when you have the top 25 agents with the highest scores and nearly half of them collaborate within the same team, you should consider placing them in other departments. Top agents should work more closely with agents producing low scores because this can help promote quality expertise across the entire organization and influence the inner motivation of other agents to work just as hard to improve NPS.
#10 Reconsider or eliminate certain NPS-related tasks
Frequently, NPS scores are affected by specific points in the conversation with customers. A typical example is when an agent needs to review a personal document, verify ID, and regulate compliance. For instance, whether an agent has to read the terms and conditions or ask them to email in their documents alone can really frustrate the customer. They’re not concerned about the company’s compliance issues. They called in or reached out to have their problems fixed by your teams.
Call centers can boost NPS by several points and reduce average call handling time (AHT) by identifying these and finding ways and technologies to handle such heavy transactions better.