NPS for Beginners

How to Launch NPS Nicely

John Ballinger

Not all software launches are created equal.On one end of the scale are the simple launches. You know, the ones where you pay someone — in some cases a large sum of — cash to get your shiny, new software up and running.On the other end of this invisible scale you have the launches that require serious project and change management, ongoing communication and a commitment to company-wide culture change.Guess where your Net Promoter Score (NPS) launch falls?The actual roll out can be as simple as signing up and logging in to an account, but the rest of the business needs to be ready to support NPS if you’re hoping for more than the score.To successfully launch NPS, everyone in the company needs to start caring a whole lot about customer happiness, which may be a shock to the system for any NPS detractors in your organization.As with most complex software launches success or failure almost always boils down to your plan (or lack thereof).

Know what you’re getting yourself into before you launch NPS

Getting started is easy. You can actually get up in running in just five minutes. You just need a good idea of why you want to pursue NPS in the first place, as well as who to survey, how often, where to reach them and what features you need in an NPS platform.

Have a measurable outcome in mind

When it comes to justifying NPS in your business you need to know what you want out of it. Improving customer happiness is a noble goal, but can you quantify it? If you had to put together a board report, what would you use for your headline metrics?

  • A higher-than-industry-average NPS score
  • A targeted number of referred customers
  • A % reduction in churn
  • X plan upgrades / month
  • X reviews posted on Yelp or G2 Crowd a month

The core question you need to answer is, what’s most important to you?

Start at the very top (it’s a very good place to start)

Knowing your metrics is critical for the next part: getting executive buy-in. We’ve covered this in quite a bit of detail previously (and there’s more in The Book on NPS), but in a nutshell, having the exec on your side makes just about any project run a whole lot smoother.

Launch NPS nicely by tying NPS back to goal metrics

Upper management tends to be focused on the bottom line: how will doing this thing (ANY thing) result in revenue, profit, or market domination? Be prepared to demonstrate how NPS pays off by tying it back to your goal metrics.

Show (Don’t Tell) The Potential Payoff

Spell out exactly what you need from senior management to make NPS happen. Should they include NPS data in their monthly reports? Present essential customer feedback from detractors and at-risk customers at weekly meetings? Communicate NPS wins in the company newsletter?Creating NPS advocacy in your senior leadership team is essential for validating your NPS launch. If company leaders understand and support the initiative, it’s much more likely to find favor further down the food chain.

Get everyone else on board

This part is a little trickier. NPS has to be owned by everyone in the company for a truly drama-free rollout; it won’t work if it’s simply a vanity project. So show them why they should care.Start by showing off the power of NPS metrics. Give your entire team access to scores and feedback. From there you can train frontline staff to respond quickly and positively as feedback rolls in.Be committed to ongoing communication so your team stays on track. It’s so easy to start a project enthusiastically but get bogged down in the day to day and lose sight of the overall goal (happy customers, world domination).

Get your communication right and make sure everyone knows that NPS is making a difference

  • Give everyone access to the NPS tool itself so they can see first-hand how customers are responding
  • Share customer feedback with the team on Yammer or Slack; celebrate successes and discuss improvement opportunities
  • Display scores, leaderboards and referred customer wins on big screens in your office
  • Share the favorable reviews you get on external sites or social media

Keep in mind that communication goes both ways. Your sales and CS teams will probably be following up on the bulk of the feedback you receive from customers, so listen to what they have to say.Ask for feedback on how easy it is for your team to follow up on responses, track scores, and take action to improve customer experiences. If they’re not able to resolve customer issues due to internal company policies, your NPS launch success will be impacted.

Some other good ideas (in case you need some)

Get a little help from your friends

If you’re using one of the more feature-laden NPS platforms it makes sense to work with the vendor’s CS team to make sure you’ve optimized everything; that you can hit the ground running and start delivering value immediately. Most will have some form of user guide you can dig around in (we do!), and the more helpful will provide personalized support and advice while you’re getting everything set up – and even after.

Test the waters before jumping in

Consider a soft launch to make sure everything is working as advertised before sending out thousands of surveys and potentially getting inundated with data. You’ll be able to confirm that any connected systems are passing data correctly and that you understand (and can do something with!) the information that’s coming in. If anything doesn’t go quite to plan, you’ll be able to deal with it before launching to the rest of your customers.

Let customers know what’s coming

This is especially important if you’ve been around for a while but you’re just getting started with NPS. Tell customers why they’re going to start receiving surveys, and what it will mean for their experience (i.e., it will be more awesome). There’s a reason traditional customer surveys have such a terrible response rate, so it’s important to communicate why NPS is different, and why the survey is worth the literal seconds it takes to complete.

Celebrate successes

This sort of project can have a big impact on the company culture – it’s not a simple software purchase, and it shouldn’t fall under the radar. Celebrate your wins! Celebrate the launch, sure. But also celebrate the feedback you receive, the referred customers brought in, and cheer when the overall score is trending upwards (yes it’s cool to celebrate this, just don’t fixate on it).And if you hear good things from a previously disgruntled customer because you’ve made positive changes after processing their feedback, crack open a bottle of whatever you fancy. Because it’s WORKING.Tune in next time when we discuss the intricacies of survey scheduling, and find out whether or not you can send too much of a good thing.

John Ballinger
About the author

John Ballinger

He's cool.

John Ballinger
About the author

John Ballinger

He's cool.

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