NPS Best Practices

Ask Abby Answers NPS Best Practices FAQs

Abby Castro

On our recent webinar, The New NPS Best Practices, the audience yielded some great NPS Best Practices FAQs. We've grouped the user-submitted questions into general topics here, and AskNicely's own Ask Abby provided the answers.

Questions About Survey Frequency

With smaller companies, would you recommend transactional surveys be sent at a faster rate than once/90 days? How do you collect feedback without hounding or bombarding customers?

For a smaller company, I would recommend that you think about your customer journey, especially when you're thinking about scaling. If you interact with your customers once a month, you may want to survey them that often. But if you interact daily or weekly, it might be too much.

As for 90 days feeling too long, understand that surveying a customer once every 90 days doesn’t necessarily mean that you are only sending one survey blast per quarter. A great tip here would be to create a trickle. Let’s say you have 500 customers. Instead of surveying all 500 the same day, try sending 20 a day, Monday through Friday. This is a good way to not bombard everyone while collecting manageable and actionable data in a way that’s also letting you and your team anticipate trends and themes that could be affecting a larger audience.

Questions About Response Rates

What is the average response rate you should expect for an NPS? Do you know the typical response rate for email NPS survey completion? What is a "good" NPS response rate? Does the "good" NPS response rate vary by industry?

This is one of our most popular questions and for good reason!  NPS response rates vary based on your industry as well as other factors.  You can read more about all the factors in our Benchmarking Report. On average, we can see “good” response rates anywhere from 15-40%.  

Questions About Growth

How do you grow with NPS? We started our third brand NPS, it's very good, it started at 89. How do you take super excellent scores and drive more growth?

That’s great!  Keep doing what you’re doing — your customers love you. Here’s a past Ask Abby article on how to leverage those advocates to promote growth.

Questions About Transactional And Relational NPS

Should you only use NPS as relational or should you think of it as transactional?

Why not both? Transactional and relational NPS questions are very powerful, but when you combine the two you can expect to have an even higher response rate and an NPS score that encompasses both experiences. To use both, you should think carefully about how you segment your data. We can help with that — we wrote a post on prepping for the perfect NPS program which you can read here.

Since NPS is more relationally focused, as opposed to transactionally focused, do you see challenges with a daily, front-line loaded focus to using NPS?

NPS can actually be focused on both transactional (you just finished a service, would you recommend us?) and relationship management (it's been 90 days, would you recommend us?). While each focus certainly can have its challenges, the most important thing is to understand how you are enabling your front line to succeed.  You need to consider if you have Workflows set up to follow up with blank comments, or to focus on third-party reviews. Or is there something else that would better serve your front line?  Enabling your front line to succeed and close the feedback loop is crucial to actioning your NPS.  

Is it possible to combine transactional and relational NPS scores together to get a final NPS score?

Yes!  We have seen a higher success rate with accounts that use both transactional as well as relational. In order to do this, simply ensure that you have a differentiator in your data set. A popular one we've seen is “NPS Type.” By having a data point that can distinguish between the two types, you can easily run both with AskNicely.

Questions About The Mechanics

How do you personalize the survey?

Always make the "From" name a customer-facing person, and try to only use a first and last name.  When looking at your own inbox, seeing something like “Abby Castro | AskNicely” is usually an indicator that the email is automated. Automated emails have lower response rates so you want to appear genuine. Also, setting the survey to come from your company domain is something that we highly suggest.

In a B2B SaaS setup when I have a few users who provide NPS score per customer how do I aggregate that NPS score meaningfully across my wide range of customers?

When it comes to deciding what data is meaningful, the rule of thumb to follow is, if you’re thinking about importing a data point, go ahead and do it.  AskNicely is only as powerful as you make it when it comes to data. Often times, we see Account Name, Region, State, Sales Rep, Plan, and Customer Success Manager be popular data fields.  This is completely unique to each account though, and just a starting point.

How do I arrive at my company's NPS when different users have given me different scores? Do I calculate the NPS per account? But then how do I aggregate this across all our customers so I know the ONE score for my company?

Your NPS score is actually a combination of all the feedback collected — so all of your accounts combined. Our dashboard and leaderboards are very intuitive. If you want to see your NPS score by a particular account, just select that name on your leaderboard, and your dashboard will adjust to show you their NPS and all corresponding data based on that account!

Do you explain the rating scale with respect to your goals? For instance, our goals are 9's and 10's but some customers consider us average, thereby scoring us a 5. Five is a detractor, so what we would like to see is a 7 or 8 (which is passive or average). So do you indicate in the survey which score is good, which score is average, and which score is poor?

No. We find that anything other than “on a scale of 0 through 10” creates bias.  While it can be frustrating to receive a 5, the customer is still indicating that they are indifferent, which leaves plenty of room for improvement.  

Questions About Averages

From retail (automotive if available) what is an average NPS score in the U.S.?

Here’s a link to our 2018 Benchmarking Report where we dive into all of our benchmarks!

General Questions

Do you still do a once annual survey with more detailed questions/longer length? Any best practices for collecting reviews from NPS?

We’re an NPS company who doesn’t believe in surveys.  Sending simple NPS surveys every 90 days yields a higher response rate, as well as actionable feedback compared to a long annual survey. Do you really want to ignore your customers for the other 364 days of the year?  We think daily surveys give you a better view of your day-to-day interactions with your customers and we follow that practice.When it comes to collecting reviews, our workflows have seen immense success. Schweiger Dermatology Group doubled their on-line reviews after implementing a reviews Workflow. You can read that case study here.

Is the NPS score for the company always based on the latest survey? If you quiz users once every quarter or more often...

"The NPS score for the company is actually based on every NPS score.  We believe in not over-surveying your customers. Our Send Rules work with your customers' emails (they serve as a unique identifier) to ensure that your customers are never surveyed more than the time frame you select.  If you want to see your NPS score for the quarter, or a specific time frame, just apply a filter!

Can you provide ideas for incorporating qualitative feedback your customer service team receives?

It’s all about how you ask for feedback.  Instead of asking everyone, “Why did you pick this score?” think about breaking apart what you’re asking your promoters, passives, and detractors.  Often times, this thoughtfulness leads to more qualitative feedback. I also recommend watching the on-demand webinar recording to hear the creative ways our panelists incorporate feedback into their front line, and business as a whole.

How do you view Client Satisfaction versus Net Promotor Score? We've found higher Satisfaction Scores than NPS when asking both questions in the same survey, both using a 1 to 10 scale.

CSAT and NPS are two very different things.  NPS is always on the 0-10 scale, and CSAT is on a 1-5 satisfaction scale.  Both scores provide very valuable insight. Think about it this way, you can often be satisfied by something, but would not recommend it.  We believe that NPS is the gold standard, but adding on CSAT can be a great way to get a robust feel of your customer journey.

Want to learn more? Get our NPS Best Practices White Paper.

Scale Customer Experiences through Front-Line Collaboration
Abby Castro
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.

Abby Castro
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.

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