Customer Experience News & Trends

Boost your Net Promoter Score: 5 steps

The idea of finding out the number of people who like you is higher than the number of people who don’t sounds a bit like running for high school homecoming queen. Yet in today’s customer-experience driven business world, it’s a powerful way to do business.

It’s not a contest for a studded crown and red sash, but improving your Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a bit of popularity contest for companies wanting to boost customer satisfaction.

If it’s a metric you’re already gathering, great. If you aren’t on the NPS bandwagon yet, here’s a brief tutorial.

Know the Net Promoter Score

NPS was developed about 10 years ago as an engagement metric to quantify customer satisfaction and determine how likely customers are to buy again. After customers have an interaction with a company, they’re asked to rate how likely they are to recommend the company, product or service on a scale of 1 to 10.

Scores are segmented by:

  • 9 to 10 = Promoters. Customers who are loyal and will keep buying and referring
  • 7 to 8 = Passives. These people are satisfied, but unenthusiastic and won’t do anything to help or hurt your business
  • 0 to 6 = Detractors. They’re unhappy and can actually hurt your image and negatively affect growth.

To come up with an actual Net Promoter Score, survey takers subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. The higher the score, the more likely customers are to stick with you.

Increase one, decrease the other

So the objective is to create more promoters than detractors. Take these steps offered by AT&T Consulting’s Robert Lamb to turn more customers into Promoters:

  1. Create more positive experiences. The best way to make every experience positive is to understand what customers expect and be ready to meet or exceed those expectations. Front-line customer service pros should ask customers — after they explain their situation, ask their questions or make complaints — “What is the outcome you’re looking for?” Then service pros will know immediately how they can at least meet expectations. And if it’s something outside of their power, they can switch gears and let customers know what they can do that is comparable.
  2. Provide consistency. When customers know they’ll constantly have a positive experience, they will want to come back again and again. Consistent positive experiences allow them to overlook occasional missteps, too.
  3. Avoid resting on your laurels. Continued loyalty is highly profitable for companies. And many companies get lazy, taking long-time loyalty (and its resulting profits) for granted. To let loyal customers’ expectations go unmet. Now is the time to go above and beyond. Eliminate hassle for them. Extend to them some perks and discounts.
  4. Get them to promote. When customers become promoters they are often happy to advertise your company and brand (think of all the cyclists who sport Harley-Davidson tattoos). Give them an outlet to share their enthusiasm — especially in social media — where they can tell others about their experiences and swap stories and best uses with fellow customers.
  5. Honor their choices. Promoters are often that way because they like doing business with you a certain way. Yes, times change and processes do, too. Promoters need to lead the way on change. But let them have say in your processes, and give them time to adjust to any changes.

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