NPS can be a useful metric for measuring the performance of your contact centre agents, and the delivery team behind the scenes. For the most part, though, I see people leveraging NPS in vain. It gets applied incorrectly, out of context, and to make blanket and over-encapsulating statements that are usually far removed from the facts.
If you are to get a real, effective view of customer satisfaction, what should you look out for when implementing NPS?
Framing the question
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a useful and straightforward tool, but it is not without fault. NPS is not a specific data point that can predict revenue growth; customer interactions are nuanced, and there are numerous misconceptions about NPS. To gain value from NPS, you should use it as a fluid and continuous operational management process, which starts with how you frame and structure your questions.
When devising the questions, ensure they are neutral and not biased. You do not want to influence how your customer responds. A good NPS score might boost the morale of your customer service team or make your company look good on paper, but it will not help you target potential problems. Keep your questions brief, simple, and short. NPS is useful because customers only have to answer one question, but they may not feel encouraged to answer complicated ones. Start with, ‘How likely are you to recommend our company?” and then make it specific, such as, ‘How likely are you to recommend CCNA’s project management capabilities?’ Questions like these provide the opportunity for you to receive specific feedback about your services.
Make sure you use a simple scale. To make it easy and straightforward for customers, as well as for your analysis team, use a scale of 1-5 or 1-10. Include a comments section under your scale so can gain qualitative data into why a customer gave a particular score.
Lastly, be sure to include a ‘Thank you’ message at the end of your survey — customers who take the time to answer your questions want you to acknowledge their effort.
Misuse of NPS
NPS questions are often misinterpreted. Hence, NPS can be an imperfect measurement of customer satisfaction or experience.
Some common misuses of NPS include:
1. Quoting NPS without context
When examining statistics and data, it is vital to have context. NPS is no exception. NPS varies depending on the industry, so you have to take into account the background of your particular industry when evaluating your NPS. You need a thorough understanding of your industry’s typical NPS, and those of your competitors, to gain significant insight into how your score compares to others in your industry.
2. Using NPS for a Product rather than a Service
The way you phrase your question can assist in predicting customer loyalty and advocacy, giving you an indication of future company growth. However, if your NPS is based on a question like, ‘How satisfied are you?’ you can expect positive skew results. Individuals often give higher ratings when you ask about their specific satisfaction in comparison to recommending a brand. If you are asking your customers to answer ten or more questions, those that have a positive experience may be willing to answer all of these without hesitation. Yet, those that have a negative experience may not spend much time on feedback, thus skewing results in your favour again.
3. Assuming that high NPS leads to revenue growth
To study NPS effectively, you need to look at how teams calculate responses. Percentages do not come into play with NPS, and it can effectively range from -100, where everyone is a detractor, to +100, where everyone is a promoter. So, a score of 30 may seem inadequate, but it is actually above the middle score of 0.
4. Tying NPS to remuneration
Many companies link NPS to employee payment as an incentive. If customers recommend your product to their family or friends, it is considered a reliable indicator of growth for sales. This can often be misguided.
5. Equating high NPS with a satisfied customer base
Some companies misinterpret NPS questions. As a result, NPS can be an imperfect measurement of customer satisfaction or experience.
Tracking NPS trends
You may already be using numerous metrics to assess your business performance, but NPS is one of the most useful key metrics that you must start tracking daily. NPS should be used to highlight trends in your customer experience as it provides in-depth business insights.
Tracking NPS daily is vital as it:
By providing your team with a clear goal to work towards, you give them a focus, aligning them on a joint mission and strategy. Increasing your NPS can be your customer-facing team’s primary goal, where you ask them daily if every customer wants to recommend your business.
2. Measures word-of-mouth traffic
NPS measures word-of-mouth which is a critical factor in determining your business vitality, seeing as the majority of customers trust family and friends more than other forms of advertising.
3. Measures customer loyalty
Loyal customers are often returning customers. However, customer loyalty is unstable and hard to measure. However, if you measure NPS daily, you can gain insight into loyalty performance by seeing the likelihood of current customers being advocates and referring your brand to others.
4. Provides a benchmark of customer quality
You must include NPS in daily reports as a measure for your customer quality alongside quantity as it clarifies if the customers are in favour of your product. If you have the right customers, your promoter numbers increase significantly.
5. Identifies areas for product improvement
Day-to-day tracking and monitoring NPS gives your team insight into the effects of a product update, allowing you to troubleshoot changes with your product in real-time.
6. It is simple
NPS is a convenient and efficient medium to collect data because customers are more willing to fill out a quick and straightforward survey as opposed to traditional surveys that may be longer. It is also cost-effective as you do not need to engage focus groups.
How different regions interpret scores
If you serve international customers and operate globally, it can be challenging to track NPS as different cultures score good NPS differently. Therefore, you need to have an in-depth understanding of how cultural factors influence your customer’s responses when analysing their feedback.
For example, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese users have higher survey participation rates along with higher scores. Americans are also known to give extreme responses when compared to their European counterparts due to cultural differences. In Europe, a score of 8 is excellent, whereas American customers give a 10 if they are delighted with your service. So, you would require a European Net Promoter Score variant where you consider an 8 as a promoter and 6 as passive.
International customers that are unfamiliar with your product or service are more likely to be enthusiastic about using your service than mainstream users. Low NPS scores are notorious among customers from Japan due to their higher level of customer service expectations.
The way you phrase your question influences the way specific markets answer. For example, a literal interpretation can give you a 0 rating in some markets, and customers in countries like Germany may view your scale the other way round, where 1 is the best possible score, not 10. German customers are also known to rate conservatively.
It is imperative only to compare scores within one particular country; however, you have to make sure you have an adequate number of respondents in each state to provide worthwhile insights.
There are evident variances between regions and languages, and examining data on a global basis may be skewed due to cultural explanations or logistical ones like one country having a higher credit card decline rate.
What next after NPS?
Through NPS, your team can leverage seven steps to enhance their customer experience and improve your call centre.
- Conduct an NPS survey.
- Compute NPS.
- Make a comparison of past scores and competitor’s NPS.
- Analyse responses to the question ‘Why did you choose that number?
- Respond to customer replies.
- Recognise important points.
- Improve and iterate accordingly.
Quantitative and qualitative responses are essential factors to scrutinise when using NPS to progress and improve your call centre. It is necessary to look at the hard numbers; however, it is crucial to understand the reasoning behind those numbers and how you can improve those clarifications.
In addition to assisting teams identify problematic areas, it also supports goal setting and tracking. When you pair NPS with comprehensive call centre reporting, it allows for real-time reporting.
CCNA can help to improve your customer experience. To find out more, get in contact with us.