If there's one thing every business in the world has in common, it's the need to provide the best possible customer experience. Happy customers mean success, while unhappy customers can easily drive a business into failure. That's why any means of gauging customer happiness is extremely valuable — and why feedback is priceless.
Unfortunately, getting feedback from customers isn't always the easiest thing. In eCommerce, customers are famous for their impatience; they expect websites to load quickly and give them what they need within moments. Any delay can send them running to a competitor.
And even with a successful shopping experience, that hurried nature still remains, making feedback collection a challenge. Many customers simply don't want to spend the time on a survey or review, regardless of how many follow-up emails the business owner sends them.
Enter Net Promoter Score, a simple means of measuring customer experience and predicting business growth.
How Does NPS Work?
NPS is based on customer responses to a single question: how likely are you to recommend our company? Customers respond with a numerical rating from 0 – 10 and a business's overall NPS is calculated from these ratings.
Businesses using NPS are likely to receive a lot of responses due to the speed and convenience of a single-question survey. After all, clicking an answer takes the same amount of time and effort as closing the survey itself.
NPS is powerful because it lets customers share their feelings without taking the time a longer survey would need. NPS is so effective at gaining feedback that over two thirds of Fortune 1000 companies, and over 75% of Fortune 500 companies, use it to improve their customer service.
Another advantage of NPS, and partially what makes it so effective, is that it measures customer loyalty rather than customer satisfaction. The difference between customer loyalty and customer satisfaction is subtle but important. On a basic level, satisfaction is temporary and tied to a single purchase or experience. Loyalty, on the other hand, is what creates repeat customers who promote you to their friends.
How to Use NPS
NPS can be used by members of all departments to improve their interactions with customers. To understand how NPS can help different departments in your business improve their service, we need to look at the meanings of the scores:
- Customers who rate you 9 – 10 are "Promoters," and they are your happiest customers. Properly nurtured, they'll be your strongest supporters.
- Customers who rate you 7 – 8 are "Passives," and they're pretty neutral about your company. They're happy for now, but not particularly loyal. They'll probably leave if they find a cheaper competitor.
- Customers who rate your business with a 6 or lower are "Detractors," and they're unhappy. Around half of them will probably leave within the next 90 days.
To calculate your overall NPS, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. This provides a number between -100 (all customers are Detractors) and 100 (all customers are Promoters). This number serves as a measure of how customers perceive your brand and how likely your business is to grow.
Each segment of customers must be treated appropriately so as to raise or maintain their NPS rating. So what's the best way for different departments to address these scores?
How to Treat Promoters (9 – 10)
Just because Promoters are happy doesn't mean they don't require some care. These customers are your strongest supporters, so you don't want to lose them. If they start scoring you lower, that's a powerful signal to pay attention to a potential new problem.
Show your appreciation for their loyalty to keep that NPS rating high. Respond promptly to their comments, and follow up with them if their score fluctuates. Promoters can be turned into long-term allies who will live up to their name and promote your company to others, and the best way to convert them like this is to treat them like VIPs.
Share the customer's NPS rating with all departments of your team, from sales to tech support. With this information available, your business will be able to create a complete strategy for dealing with Promoter customers. This can include any type of loyalty reward you deem appropriate. Most importantly, your Promoters are the likeliest of all to recommend your business, so you may want to recruit them into an affiliate program or offer other bonuses for recruiting more customers.
How to Treat Passives (7 – 8)
Your primary goal with Passives is to turn them into Promoters. These customers are more or less on the fence about your business, and could be easily lured away if you don't take action to keep them.
Passives may score you lower than Promoters because they're harder to please, or because they've encountered issues your higher-scoring customers haven't. This makes them a vital source for feedback regarding the different ways you could improve your business. Always follow up quickly with Passives, show an eagerness to address their problems, and use the information they provide to make lasting changes.
Incentives also work well to tip Passive customers more in your favor. Free upgrades, special discounts, and other types of bonuses have been shown to work in the past. Consider fast-tracking their issues in tech support, as well.
How to Treat Detractors (0 – 6)
Detractors are waiting for a reason to leave, and their reasons can fall anywhere on the spectrum. They might hate your website, they may have had a bad experience with your sales team, or they might object to your prices and policies. Detractors are your harshest critics, which often means they're the most valuable sources to learn from.
Reach out to Detractors and learn the specifics of their problems. If they haven't provided a comment along with their NPS rating, ask for more information and express a sincere interest in fixing their issues with your company. When you contact them, address them in an authentic manner; they'll appreciate it more than a form letter.
Even if you can't retain these customers, you can learn a lot from them. Detractors can teach you about recurring issues you can work to improve. Even if you're 100% sure you're going to lose a particular customer, hearing them out is never a waste.
Using NPS on Your Website
Armatic's NPS Feedback module provides an easy way to set up configurable campaigns which will email the single-question survey to customers under certain conditions. Customers need only click on their chosen rating, with the option to leave comments if they desire. Even customers who aren't interested in adding a comment are likely to click a rating.
The data provided by Armatic's NPS module, including scores, trends, and response status, is available within your Armatic dashboard. Unlike other systems, data in the Armatic NPS module is available to all teams in your business, not restricted to a customer survey collection team.
Results are displayed with scores tied to customer records so you can reply to them and handle their issues directly.
Building Your Strategy
You gain a strong advantage when customer NPS ratings are accessible across departments. With Armatic's NPS Feedback module, any employees you choose can have immediate access to this valuable data. This is a powerful tool for building a company-wide customer retention policy and improving your customer service across the board.
Customer-facing team members like the sales and support departments can adjust the tone of their interactions to fit the customer. Other departments can also benefit from this "straight from the source" information, including fulfillment and even design and development. Other options would be to improve your customer loyalty program so customers of all ranks feel more important to your business.
There's a reason feedback is so valuable in business: it's the backbone of improvement. By adopting the Net Promoter Score, you'll gain insight into your customers' feelings that will help you improve satisfaction from every angle.
See how to utilize Armatic's simple-to-use NPS Feedback feature by reviewing the Net Promoter Score Help Page.
About the Author
Jimmy Rodriguez, COO of 3Dcart
Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO and co-founder of 3dcart, an ecommerce software to build SEO-friendly online stores. He's dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance.