Ask Abby Nicely: Are You Getting The Most From Your NPS Passives?

By Abby Castro
on 18 March 2019

Hi Everyone,

Instead of answering a question this month, I’m going to switch it up this time and ask you a question!

Are You Passive About Your NPS Passives?

When it comes to closing the feedback loop, we often find ourselves worrying more about the NPS Detractors or negative feedback. Some companies don’t even start NPS because they are afraid that negative feedback will ruin morale. But you have to remember that not all feedback is negative and there is a lot to learn.

Think about the last time you had a stand out customer experience. For me, it was a few weeks ago when I attempted to go to the gym. It was a Monday morning, and I slept through my 6 a.m. workout class (it happens to the best of us). My gym has a no-show fee on all of their classes.  Later on that day, I got an email from them. I assumed it was to tell me that they’d gone ahead and charged me the fee, but to my surprise, it was an email from the manager saying they waived the fee since Mondays tend to happen for everyone.  

Return On Experience

Wow! That was a talkable moment for me. It’s what I would call a “return on experience” moment. In his blog, “Strategy+ Business” PWC’s John Maxwell says: “Organizations need to map consumers’ purchase journey, isolate the touch points and factors that drive experience, and then invest more in the parts of the company that will move the needle on those interactions and yield measurable results — or return on experience (ROX). ROX also needs to address whether the company is driving the behaviors in the organization that are key to designing and delivering better online and physical experiences.”

Think about what the manager did here in terms of my experience. By waiving that fee he gave me something more to talk about and organically drive others to his gym. I’m always recommending my gym to anyone who’s interested, but the thoughtfulness of that one manager is what really upped their game. Why? Because he gave me an even better story to share.

If they were to survey me and ask “Why did you give us that score?” I would probably reply with a 10 and “great management.”  Which brings me back to Passives. What if they had charged me the fee? It was what I expected — no more, no less. Then if they surveyed me, I might give them a 7. And when asked why? I might not have given a reason at all.

Who Are Passives And Why Are They Important?

Passives are people who think of you as average or expected. They have no emotional attachment which means they could become a Detractor or a Promoter at any point in their journey. Or even worse, they could just go away and never tell you why.

Passives do not have brand loyalty, which means they are open to other brands.  When it comes to closing the feedback loop for your Passives, you need to be intentional with how you connect with them.

One of our customers discovered that Promoters use their products 1.5 times more than Detractors. They also determined that Passives were easier to please than Detractors — small changes like waiving a fee one time could easily turn a Passive into a Promoter. So they set out to turn their Passives into Promoters. By concentrating on how they react to Passives (who like them but might not love them), they are able to grow their Promoter numbers which increased their business ROI.

They did this by purposely digging into the “Why did you give us that score?” question and when necessary, reaching out and asking for more details. By concentrating on the small changes Passives need to make them Promoters, they got a larger business impact.

So that being said, are you passive about your NPS Passives?

Want to learn more or simply have a question about NPS? Email me at the address below:

Ask Abby

Hi Everyone,

Instead of answering a question this month, I’m going to switch it up this time and ask you a question!

Are You Passive About Your NPS Passives?

When it comes to closing the feedback loop, we often find ourselves worrying more about the NPS Detractors or negative feedback. Some companies don’t even start NPS because they are afraid that negative feedback will ruin morale. But you have to remember that not all feedback is negative and there is a lot to learn.

Think about the last time you had a stand out customer experience. For me, it was a few weeks ago when I attempted to go to the gym. It was a Monday morning, and I slept through my 6 a.m. workout class (it happens to the best of us). My gym has a no-show fee on all of their classes.  Later on that day, I got an email from them. I assumed it was to tell me that they’d gone ahead and charged me the fee, but to my surprise, it was an email from the manager saying they waived the fee since Mondays tend to happen for everyone.  

Return On Experience

Wow! That was a talkable moment for me. It’s what I would call a “return on experience” moment. In his blog, “Strategy+ Business” PWC’s John Maxwell says: “Organizations need to map consumers’ purchase journey, isolate the touch points and factors that drive experience, and then invest more in the parts of the company that will move the needle on those interactions and yield measurable results — or return on experience (ROX). ROX also needs to address whether the company is driving the behaviors in the organization that are key to designing and delivering better online and physical experiences.”

Think about what the manager did here in terms of my experience. By waiving that fee he gave me something more to talk about and organically drive others to his gym. I’m always recommending my gym to anyone who’s interested, but the thoughtfulness of that one manager is what really upped their game. Why? Because he gave me an even better story to share.

If they were to survey me and ask “Why did you give us that score?” I would probably reply with a 10 and “great management.”  Which brings me back to Passives. What if they had charged me the fee? It was what I expected — no more, no less. Then if they surveyed me, I might give them a 7. And when asked why? I might not have given a reason at all.

Who Are Passives And Why Are They Important?

Passives are people who think of you as average or expected. They have no emotional attachment which means they could become a Detractor or a Promoter at any point in their journey. Or even worse, they could just go away and never tell you why.

Passives do not have brand loyalty, which means they are open to other brands.  When it comes to closing the feedback loop for your Passives, you need to be intentional with how you connect with them.

One of our customers discovered that Promoters use their products 1.5 times more than Detractors. They also determined that Passives were easier to please than Detractors — small changes like waiving a fee one time could easily turn a Passive into a Promoter. So they set out to turn their Passives into Promoters. By concentrating on how they react to Passives (who like them but might not love them), they are able to grow their Promoter numbers which increased their business ROI.

They did this by purposely digging into the “Why did you give us that score?” question and when necessary, reaching out and asking for more details. By concentrating on the small changes Passives need to make them Promoters, they got a larger business impact.

So that being said, are you passive about your NPS Passives?

Want to learn more or simply have a question about NPS? Email me at the address below:

Ask Abby


About the author

Abby Castro

Hailing from Oklahoma, Abby Castro is no stranger to hospitality — which makes perfects sense that she is AskNicely’s Customer Success Guru in residence. She braves the world one day at a time as single mom to our office dog, Aucklynn. Oh, and she was in a telenovela. No big deal.

Other posts by Abby Castro

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