8 Ways to Improve Your NPS Score
So you’ve started collecting customer feedback through NPS? Touché! You’re officially on the road to customer experience success. But now that you’re measuring, are you struggling to maintain a consistently strong NPS score across your various branches and locations? You’re not alone. It’s a challenge almost every service brand serious about winning on CX faces. While you may have an awesome average in your one branch, another may be seriously underperforming. Or perhaps you have a handful of frontline workers who are reeling in 100s all around, while others are only creating detractors. The challenge is not only around improving your score, but keeping it high and consistent. Thankfully, there are proven strategies to help you overcome this challenge. Let’s take a look at eight of them.
1. Check Your Timing
If you’re struggling with a low NPS score, one of the first things you can do is look at when you’re sending out your NPS surveys. Sometimes, low NPS isn’t a case of bad customer experience, but a case of bad timing.
Even if you’ve delivered an awesome experience and crafted the perfect survey for all the right customers, if it’s delivered at the wrong time, many customers will give up providing feedback altogether.
A general rule of thumb is “fresh is best”. Like hot cookies out of the oven, feedback hits best when served up immediately (or as soon as they’re cool enough to gobble up). For most industries, this ‘fresh point’ is anywhere between 1 and 7 days. In that period, customers are still riding the highs from their recent experiences, and you’ll be able to extract feedback that’s authentic, meaningful and relevant. Leave it too long, and you may find yourself with irrelevant, inaccurate, or worse, no feedback at all, which brings your average down.
Instead of getting too caught up on the number of days, ask yourself this key question: At what point in the journey can the customer ultimately decide what they think of your service? Collecting feedback as soon as customers make up their minds (the fresh point) is vital.
2. Make Surveys Short, User-Friendly, and Fun!
A poor NPS average could also be the result of poor surveys. Like the case if timing, you could be delivering awesome experiences, but if your surveys are long, tedious and inaccessible, it’s unlikely you’ll get many raving reviews.
Make sure your surveys are:
Short: 1-3 key questions is all you need. NPS + 1-2 follow ups aiming to uncover the reasoning behind your customers' answers.
Accessible: Meet your customers where they are. Most of the time, this is on mobile.
User-Friendly: Tap, tap, tap, done! Make sure your surveys are optimized for a seamless, easy and enjoyable experience.
But, don’t stop there, you can also make surveys fun! Add emojis, gifs, or other visual elements to make the experience more engaging. You could even gamify the process by offering rewards or incentives for completing the survey.
3. Learn From Your Promoters
Your promoters are your biggest fans - the customers who would sing your praises from the rooftops. It's important to understand what they like about your business so you can do more of it.
To improve your NPS score, look at the trends in your promoters. Are there certain products or services that are consistently mentioned? Do your promoters love your friendly customer service or your fast delivery times? Use this information to double down on what's working and make it a key part of your brand identity.
In addition, don't forget to keep nurturing your relationship with your promoters, because although they might love you today, anything could change. You can reward their loyalty by offering them discounts or rewards to keep making them happy.
When you pay attention to the trends of your promoters, you can do more of what your customers already love and eventually improve your NPS score!
4. Learn From Your Detractors
On the other side of the spectrum, you have the people who need a bit more TLC – your detractors. Your detractors are the customers who had a negative experience and are unlikely to recommend your business. Detractors are highly engaged customers! It's important to extract key information from them, understand what went wrong and most importantly how to fix it.
Look at the trends in your detractor feedback - are there recurring issues that customers are unhappy about? Is there a particular process or interaction that's causing frustration?. Use this information to make targeted improvements that will win back your detractors and prevent future negative experiences. Although they may not love you right now, your detractors have all the potential to become your biggest fans, it’s just up to you to make this change!
5. Don’t Forget About Your Passives
Your passives are the customers who are on the fence – they neither love nor hate the experience that they had. It's easy to ignore them in favor of your promoters and detractors, but that's a critical mistake.
Identifying the reasons why passives are not promoters can help you pinpoint areas for improvement and increase customer loyalty, making significant impacts to your NPS score. Oftentimes, it can be a small tweak or improvement that takes an unphased customer into a raving fan.
By analyzing trends in your NPS passives, you can identify recurring issues, patterns, and themes that need attention. This can help you address specific concerns and make targeted improvements that can turn passives into promoters, ultimately improving your NPS score.
6. Uncover More with Follow Up Qs
An NPS score number can be useless if you don't understand the meaning behind it. NPS scores only tell you part of the story, you need to uncover the why behind each score. To do this, after asking the NPS question “How likely are you to refer a friend or colleague” follow up with a question asking “Why?’.
By asking follow-up questions (also known as cascading questions) you can gain deeper insights into why customers feel the way they do. This can help you understand the underlying reasons behind your scores and identify areas for improvement. Cascading questions also help keep your survey brief, offer a more personalized experience, and allow you to get higher response rates.
7. Follow Up Fast with Detractors
Negative feedback is a dangerous ticking bomb.
If not treated ASAP, negative feedback can lead to unsatisfied customers, negative word of mouth, and a damaged reputation for your brand.
When a customer gives you negative feedback, it's important to act quickly to address their concerns. There is a slim but very important window there in which frontline teams can act on negative feedback and make things right before having a very unsatisfied customer.
Remember, negative word-of-mouth marketing exists, and about 13% of unhappy customers share their experiences with 20 people. Overall, negative word-of-mouth reviews have a higher impact and can spread like a bad weed, which is why it's crucial to stop it.
By following up with detractors right away, you can show them that their feedback is valued, demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and in turn improve your NPS average.
8. Bake Feedback into Culture
Improving your NPS score is not a one-time event – it's an ongoing process. To keep your team engaged and focused on improving customer satisfaction, make feedback and NPS a part of every day.
To do this, it is crucial to integrate NPS into every aspect of your organization. Put up posters or whiteboards with your latest scores, talk about it in meetings, and get everyone on board with the mission to improve NPS.
Making feedback visible and a part of every day can also motivate teams. Imagine starting your day with a cup of coffee and a quick glance at your NPS score for the previous day. It's like checking your weight or step count – it gives you an idea of where you stand and what you need to work on to keep improving. Everyday NPS can also create a friendly sense of competition to further motivate teams! You can use team NPS leaderboards to keep everyone engaged, and recognize the hard work of high-performing teams.
When you focus on what you’re sending out, when you are sending it out, and the key trends of your promoters, passives and detractors, that’s when you can really make NPS count and ultimately improve your score.
Remember, improving your NPS score is not just about the numbers – it's about building stronger relationships with both your employees and your customers.
Want to learn more about the magic of effective NPS feedback? Read how Schweiger Dermatology Group focused on NPS and improved their patient experience here!