Baring all - publicly exposing our Net Promoter Score results

It was a curious feeling when my finger hovered over the mouse button to kick off the first Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey of our customers.

It wasn't just the irony that we were using our own service - AskNicely - to track NPS and get customer feedback from our customers that use AskNicely for the same purpose.

The feeling was more troubling than that. More like that pit-of-your-stomach fear that you get when you make yourself vulnerable to judgement by others. Like stepping in front of the judges and audience on The X Factor.

You see, AskNicely is a startup - our fledgling new baby, only recently introduced to this world. So I was a little apprehensive about what customers might say. I guess this anxiety is common to many startup founders, particularly when you know your future product roadmap has so much to offer. Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn presumably had some sympathy for this feeling when he said..

"If you're not embarrassed by your first version, you launched too late"

We needn't have worried. As our NPS results and feedback beamed in (in real time), all eyes were glued to the screen. The results were amazing and the emotion we felt was the exact opposite of what I felt when I hesitated clicking the mouse.

It was actually incredibly addictive.

So, how did we do?

NPS Results for January 2015
  • NPS 72
  • Response rate 42%
  • Comment rate 72%
  • Avg comment length 78 characters

That Net Promoter Score had us fizzing. Anything above 50 is considered good and 70+ is up there with the likes of Apple and Amazon.

Analysing the numbers

It was interesting to see our response and comment rates mirror what our customers typically get. They tell us these are 4-6 times higher than their experiences with conventional survey platforms or traditional market research.

Equally valuable was the feedback, especially for us as a startup. The results include paid customers and free trials, and what they told us is extremely helpful in refining our offering. It will help us improve and grow the business.

To prove this, we'll continue to share our results in future months.

The WHY behind the WHAT

Here are some of the comments (approved for display by customers using our testimonial publishing feature).

We've now created a daily schedule where each new AskNicely user is systematically surveyed 20 days after they start using the product. This enables us to jump on issues as soon as they pop up and prioritise improvements based on actual customer insight (rather than what we think customers need!).

Where it takes us

Now that we've 'exposed ourselves' publicly, not only must we show improvement in our own customer relationships but we have to achieve this by improving the service our customers use to improve their own customer relationships.

It's enough to make my head spin!

P.S. Are you ready to share your NPS results with the world? If yes, you should get in touch - I'm keen to showcase stories about other customer obsessed businesses.