How to create a Net Promoter Score (NPS) action plan
Gathering Net Promoter Score (NPS) data is just one part of what should be a larger process to use the NPS system to improve your business. Once you understand your score, the more important work begins. To set your business up for success, creating a solid action plan will help you turn this new information into an improved customer experience.
This action plan doesn’t need to be overly complicated but it needs to ensure the right people have the right information, are involved in the decision making and are empowered to enhance the service you’re providing to your customers.
What to do with your NPS survey results
If you’re gathering NPS survey results, you’ve taken a big step forward in looking after your customers. But what should you do with the results?
Most importantly, data should be shared back to the teams that are directly involved in your customers’ experience. This can include people in sales, customer service, marketing and more. Let them know what customers are saying, what they love and what is working. We know for a fact this boosts job satisfaction, and provides all important positive reinforcement and inspiration on what else they can improve. A purpose built customer feedback system that is linked to your frontlines can simplify this for you.
Customer engagement shouldn’t end once the survey results are in. Reaching back out to the customers to let them know they’ve been heard can improve retention and encourage them to provide more feedback in the future. It helps assure them that their feedback is heard and is being acted upon, not just been filed away.
You can also let your customers know what others are saying and what you’re working on. Including snippets from your feedback in regular communication channels such as email or social media can show others social proof of your service levels. You can also share what you’re working on, based on the feedback.
7 steps to create an NPS action plan
Below are the seven simple steps you can take to create your own, personalized NPS action plan to improve customer experience and help grow your business.
1. Define your business objectives and how the NPS survey can help achieve them
Before you can start moving forward, you need to work out where you’re going to go. Identifying your business objectives can help you make decisions about where to spend your time and energy. Are you wanting to sell to more customers, break into a new market, increase the spend or lifecycle of each customer or perhaps reach a certain revenue amount.
Once you have your business objectives, you can begin to map out your NPS surveys. The benefit is that although it can be simple, it allows you to drill down and better understand your customers. For example, if you’re looking to increase the lifecycle of customers, reviewing the previous feedback of the groups who have recently stopped purchasing from you will shine a light on what you can do to change their experience.
2. Determine which questions to ask
When developing your NPS survey, you need to think carefully about the phrasing of your questions. Are you interested in the likelihood they’ll recommend a specific product, a service, or your overall business? Tailoring which question you ask to certain groups allows you to make the survey as specific and relevant as possible.
Then you can offer a variety of follow-up questions to better understand their rating. The simplest version of this is to ask directly, “Why did you give us that rating?” but you can be more detailed. You can ask customers what you can do to improve their score, what they value the most or what they like the least about the product, service or your business overall. Work out what questions are going to help you move closer to your objectives.
3. Develop the NPS survey
When developing your survey you need to use the best available tools. You can track manually on a spreadsheet, but there is plenty of technology that makes it easier to record, follow up and see overall trends. Using software will make your life easier and the data more useful as you can easily track over time, share with the relevant teams and segment the data.
Using technology can also help you automate the process. You can set up surveys on either a trigger or relationship basis. Trigger or transactional surveys take place after a certain interaction, like a purchase, service request or phone call. Relationship surveys are conducted on a schedule, such as quarterly or monthly regardless of the interactions a customer has had with your business.
4. Implement the survey
To ensure you’re getting enough responses from your carefully crafted survey, you want to employ an efficient means of distribution. There are a few different ways to do this, depending on how you interact with your customers. It could be that at the start of a service chat, you ask if you can get some feedback from them at the end. Or you could use text messaging services if you have the contact phone numbers of your customers.
Usually, the most effective way to implement your survey is to utilize automation tools, or purpose-built customer feedback software. You can set these up to gather information from clients once a service request has been finalized, a set period of time after ordering to understand the product in use or on a relationship basis such as each quarter. It tends to be much less intrusive, and catches the customer at the right time when their feelings about your service are fresh in their mind.
5. Develop the NPS action plan
Once you have your results back from customers, you can create an action plan to implement the necessary changes to improve your NPS. Looking at your Promoters, you can see the elements of your business that are essential to maintain or roll out more broadly. There may be certain actions one team member takes that increases NPS which could be taught to more people. Or there may be certain processes in one part of the business that can be instigated across the board.
Then, with your Detractors you can look for actions you can take to improve customer experience. Taking a broad look, you can see what comes up repeatedly or what causes the very lowest scores. Don’t take anything personally, bring the data to your teams and begin creating an action plan to move people from Detractors up to Promoters.
The most important thing is, someone needs to be responsible for reviewing feedback, compiling and communicating the need for action, and following up on it. If you don’t have this, or you don’t automate it, your best intentions will fall through the cracks.
6. Execute the NPS action plan
Once you have a plan with a set of actions to improve your score, it’s time to get to work. Bringing your team members along for the whole journey helps to increase employee engagement and for them to better understand why changes are occurring. Sharing the NPS data frequently and clearly can help motivate them to make the necessary changes.
Depending on the changes, this stage can be quick or take months to develop and implement solutions. Customers may have brought up big, complicated issues or it could be small tweaks to products and services. Set yourself realistic timelines to execute your plan, related to the specifics of what it involves.
7. Repeat the whole process
Once you’ve made the changes, it’s time to begin the whole process again. You need to see if the changes you’ve made, or are in the process of making, have had the desired results of an increase in NPS.
This standard of constant improvement will help you continuously enhance the customer experience. This can help you stand out and move ahead of your competition. Customer experience is one of the key areas that can differentiate your business and a strong NPS action plan can help you improve yours.
An NPS action plan can improve your customer experience, retention and revenue.
The first step is to implement NPS surveys, before processing the data to understand what changes need to be made. Then creating and implementing a clear action plan ensures that these changes are carried out and measured. This leads back to more surveys to ensure that the changes are having the desired impacts on customer experience. This all leads to a better understanding of your customers, which is always good for business.