In 2003, business strategist Frederick Reichheld published an article in Harvard Business Review in which he states that “the only path to profitable growth may lie in a company’s ability to get its loyal customers to become, in effect, its marketing department.”

To identify these loyal customers, Reichheld advises implementing a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey, which is a simple way of gauging a customer’s loyalty to your brand and a good predictor of how well your business will perform.

Unlike traditional surveys that take a long time to answer, are complex, and often yield inaccurate results, NPS surveys can be answered in seconds and are easy to set up.

It works by asking your existing customers one simple question:

“How likely are you to recommend us to your friends and family?”

Then you give customers a chance to answer on a scale of 0 (highly unlikely) to 10 (highly likely).

net promoter score measurement (nps)

Based on a customer’s response, they will be segmented into one of three groups:

Promoters (9-10): These are your loyal customers, they love your product or service and are usually repeat buyers. They even bring in more customers because they recommend your business to potential buyers.

Passives (7-8): These customers are okay with their experience, but it wasn’t excellent. They’re not loyal to your brand and can easily switch to a competitor.

Detractors (0-6): These customers have had a terrible experience with your product or service. Not only do they churn quickly but they can also stop other people from becoming customers through bad word of mouth.

If you want to learn more about these groups and other NPS basics, check out our article on how to measure your NPS score.

While an NPS survey is an effective method to track customer satisfaction, it can also be used to build customer loyalty and drive brand advocacy. In this post, I’ll show you how to create and distribute your NPS survey, as well as how to turn your results into strategic actions that’ll drive brand loyalty and advocacy.

1. Create your NPS survey

The NPS survey is designed to be as easy as possible, but you shouldn’t stop at just the rating score. Try to gain more context around customers’ answers with a follow-up question focused on why they gave you the score they did. Because they’re already engaging with your survey, the response rate will be higher and more accurate than if you were to follow up later.

Since the follow-up question is designed to gain more insight, its best to use a free-form qualitative feedback format. And if you’re worried about having to read all the responses, a great rule of thumb is to only read as much as you need to find common themes in the responses.

Sample of net promoter score survey (nps)

2. Distribute your NPS survey

You can distribute your NPS survey through various channels, including:

Email: This is one of the most effective channels for distributing your surveys. You can either embed your survey in the email itself, or you can include in the email copy a call to action (CTA) that directs recipients to the survey on your website. However, since the fewer steps people have to go through, the more likely they are to participate, I highly recommend embedding the survey in your email.

Social media: You can also distribute your survey through your social media accounts, but you must be careful—be sure only customers answer your survey, as anything else will corrupt your survey data. One way of doing this is by including an NPS survey in the discussion thread at the end of a customer interaction.

On your website or application: Another option is to send your NPS surveys directly through your application or on your website. Just make sure your survey is mobile friendly so it doesn’t hurt user experience.

Text messages: If you have your customers’ phone numbers, sending your surveys through text messages can be a smart move, especially once you consider that response rates from SMS are 209% higher than from phone calls, Facebook, or email.

Whatever medium you choose to send your survey through, try to make sure that they’re transactional. That is, they’re triggered by the actions of your customers, such as after they sign up, upgraded their service, etc.

With GetFeedback, you can send your surveys through whatever medium you choose, and since it integrates with Salesforce, you can synchronize your customer data in one place and easily take action on critical feedback.

3. Analyze your NPS results and take action

After you’ve launched and collected the results of your NPS survey it’s time to analyze your results to gain actionable insights.

To properly calculate your overall Net Promoter Score, you’ll need to subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters (% Promoters – % Detractors = NPS). See here for a step-by-step guide to calculate your NPS.

Is your NPS rating high or low?

Since the average NPS score differs from one industry to another, you’ll have to compare your company’s score with that of the average in your field. You can find your NPS industry average here.

Generally, an NPS rating score above 0 is considered good, an NPS score above 50 is considered excellent, and any score that is 75 and above puts you in the world class spot.

What’s even more important than your overall NPS score is how you respond to the identified promoters, passives, and detractors.

Here’s what you should do for each of your survey group segments:

For your Promoters:

  • Give them a chance to refer more people to your business by sharing a custom link they can send to their friends and family members. For better results, include a discount for each person that they refer.
  • Ask for more feedback on their experience with your business. By learning more about why they love your brand, you’ll be able to maintain and even improve their loyalty.
  • Encourage them to leave a review for your business online. You can incentivize this by giving away a free product or service to randomly selected customer reviews.
  • Invite them to share their positive review on social, or follow your company’s social channels.
  • This should go without saying, but always thank them for their support.

For your Passives:

  • Ask them to give you more information on how you can better serve them.
  • Teach them about core product/service features and benefits they might’ve missed that could’ve led to a better experience.
  • Thank them for their feedback.

For your Detractors:

  • Apologize for the poor experience.
  • Ask them what their pain points were and for suggestions on how you can improve.
  • Thank them for taking the time to provide feedback.
  • Most importantly, use their recommendations to improve these pain points.

You can choose to implement these actions directly into your NPS survey or as separate feedback outreach. For some inspiration, check out the survey below I created with GetFeedback for a made-up dog shampoo company. Take the survey multiple times, selecting different answers to see how the survey prompts different actions based on your feedback.

Wrap-Up

Your NPS score is a key predictor of your business’s future growth. It’s also one of the easiest ways to improve business performance—by sending an NPS survey at different stages of the customer lifecycle, you can chart customer sentiment, identify weak spots, and make more customer-conscious decisions, driving brand advocacy.

Create your own engaging, mobile-friendly NPS surveys in just minutes with GetFeedback. Get started with a free trial today.

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