The Newbie Guide to Net Promoter Score

If you’ve ever been a customer (and you know you have) you’ve probably had an idea or two about how a business or service you use could do better. That barista at your local café could take her lip ring out for starters. The corner store could get cherry blossom Kit Kats back on the shelves. Your bank could send you paperless receipts, that sort of thing.

Along with how we work, think, and communicate, the digital age has changed the nature of business. We move fast, we want things now, and we want them our way. It makes sense then that we need to change the way we measure and respond to customer satisfaction. That’s where Net Promoter Score (NPS) comes in. NPS is a simple way to measure and understand how happy your customers are.

First, you ask one simple question – the one that customer loyalty really boils down to, for pretty much every kind of business:

“How likely are you to recommend [brand/product name] to a friend or colleague?” 

Have them rate this on a scale of one to ten. The second step is to ask them why they chose that score, without leading them in any direction - because this is the only way to get honest feedback that you can respond to immediately. The third step is to divide customer responses into three groups based on their 0-10 answer to the first question.

These three groups are:

Promoters: 9-10 (will tell people to use your Thing)
Passives:  7-8 (will not tell people to use your Thing)
Detractors: 6 or under (will tell people not to use your Thing)

Subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters, and that’s your NPS. (Boom!)

It’s pretty simple, really. Which is why businesses like it, and why it works. Think about it. When was the last time you answered, “Yes!” to one of those annoying, “Will you please take a moment to tell us how we’re doing?” survey windows that pop up in your browser? Probably never. NPS is different. From a customer standpoint, it’s a quick and easy way to voice your opinion. No big time commitment, no leading questions, just answer one question and if you have anything else to say, say it. Done. Back to work. (Or Twitter.)

From a business owner’s standpoint, NPS is gold. It strips customer satisfaction down to the bare bones, and gives you real-time performance indicators and meaty insight that you can actually use. NPS is about listening to your customers, and responding directly to what they have to say. Sounds like business 101, yet surprisingly few companies do this in a systematic, measurable way. After all, the customer is always right, right?

If you are a smart business owner (clearly you are, since you're reading our blog), you can use NPS to have your customers spreading the word about your business for you. And word of mouth is now the Holy Grail of marketing. That’s why NPS is used by some of the biggest and best brands around the world. Think Apple, Amazon, Virgin, Netflix, Zappos. The big boys. The cool kids. You get a simple, easy to understand score to track customer loyalty over time. You get a glimpse into the future – what your customers are going to do, not what they already did. And it's a leading indicator of of future business performance, rather than backward looking. If your NPS goes up, retention will go up, revenues go up, cost to serve and acquire customers go down.

The best part is, you can act on it. You can change what they don't like. Like right away. If Joe customer scores a two, shoot him an email or better yet, give him a call and put things right. Prioritize service improvements for frequently cited issues. Today.

Taking action today means better returns tomorrow. So don't wait – take control of your business. (And maybe your destiny.)

Get started today at www.asknice.ly

We at AskNicely want to help you engage with your customers on a deeper level through NPS surveys. Start by signing up to AskNicely today. You can begin with a 30-day free trial, be set up and automatically sending emails within 10 minutes and be well on your way to becoming a customer-centric business today!

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