The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) is a powerful measure of how customers feel about your business. The metric is based on one simple question: How likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or colleague? The answer is given on a scale from 0-10, and responses are then sorted into Promoters (those who respond with a 9 or 10), Passives (7 or 8), and Detractors (6 or below).
Your NPS score is an excellent measure of customer loyalty, and customer loyalty is an excellent measure of your profitability and growth potential. In fact, research by Bain & Company has found that companies with industry-leading NPS scores outgrow their competitors by more than double.
But there’s more than one kind of NPS survey, and knowing which ones you should use in certain scenarios will help you get a stronger holistic view of your overall customer experience and loyalty.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about transactional NPS surveys—what tNPS is, how to use these surveys, and where they fit into your customer experience strategy as well.
What is transactional NPS?
Transactional NPS (tNPS) is a specific kind of survey that measures NPS feedback at a granular level after certain interactions a customer has with your business. These interactions could be a purchase, a customer service call, a visit to your store, or any other specific event in the customer journey. (We’ll cover all the potential uses of the tNPS survey down below.)
The NPS question itself is very flexible—it can be adapted to fit many situations so you can clearly see where every aspect of your customer experience stands. Companies use tNPS surveys to gain a more complete understanding of customer data, and to measure how customers feel after they interact with some part of the business.
tNPS vs. rNPS
There are two main types of NPS surveys: relational vs. transactional. Each plays an important role in your holistic Voice of the Customer (VoC) program, but they have important differences you should know about.
tNPS measures customer loyalty and experience after a specific interaction or transaction. But relational NPS (rNPS) takes a bigger-picture view of the customer relationship. It measures how customers feel about your company as a whole, independent of any recent encounters.
At a basic level, rNPS is designed to assess and gather data on your complete and ongoing relationship with customers. It can be measured over time and at different intervals. tNPS, on the other hand, assesses a customer’s opinion at a specific point in time with one transaction. And it tells you how an interaction with your company changed their satisfaction and loyalty levels—for better or for worse.
Both forms of NPS surveys offer value to businesses who want to improve their customer experience. But they have different goals and use cases, and you should carefully consider when to use each kind of survey.
Relational NPS is great at giving you a high-level view of customer loyalty and satisfaction. It’s designed to gather information on the health of your brand identity and customer relationships. And it also provides you with data you can use to compare year-over-year and with industry NPS scores as well.
But you want to choose the right time to send rNPS surveys—be sure not to send them too soon after a customer interaction, because that one touchpoint might color their whole view of your brand at the moment in a way that’s not indicative of their overall long-term feelings. You should send rNPS surveys at regular intervals, like every quarter, six months, or yearly, so you can measure your progress and keep abreast of customer sentiment.
Transactional NPS questions, on the other hand, give you data about a very specific moment in time and customer interaction. tNPS provides direct feedback about specific issues, which can help you find pain points in your customer journey and work on finding solutions for them. You can collect tNPS feedback more often than rNPS since you want to gather feedback after many kinds of transactions.
And since these surveys are very quick—just the one NPS question with an option for open-ended feedback—you will likely get strong survey response rates. These will help you understand each touchpoint of the customer experience and how you’re performing against expectations.
You will also gain an understanding of how certain interactions with your business are making customers more satisfied and loyal, or decreasing their happiness with the customer experience. Finding these pain points means you can improve the customer journey with precision and efficiency.
When you should use transactional NPS (tNPS)
Using transactional NPS surveys at the right time can give you a better idea of how satisfied and loyal your customers are after interacting with your brand.
You should use tNPS surveys when you want to identify your business’s strengths or weaknesses in customer experiences and interaction. You can use those strengths to shore up other areas of the business, find Promoters to feature in your testimonials, or suggest they share their recent excellent experience on a review site. And of course, you can use tNPS feedback to find features of your products or customer service that your buyers love and feature those in your next marketing campaign.
There are two main types of feedback that are excellent uses for the tNPS survey.
If you want to gather feedback from customers right away after a transaction to see how everything went, this can be helpful data in measuring certain customer experience touchpoints. For example, if you’re looking to understand how the experience of making an online purchase, paying a bill, or visiting a store is for your customers, sending a tNPS survey immediately after they do just that works well.
If you’re looking for immediate feedback, of course you’ll need to send the tNPS survey right away. This helps your customers give feedback while the experience is still very fresh in their minds so they can offer an accurate and honest opinion. You can set up email triggers in survey systems like GetFeedback to automatically send surveys right after a customer takes an action you’d like their feedback on.
Not all tNPS feedback needs to be immediate, however. You can also send transactional NPS surveys to customers after a certain amount of time if you are looking for ways to improve the customer experience. For example, if you’re looking to see where improvement can be made in the products you sell or the services you provide because you suspect customers are dissatisfied, tNPS surveys work well.
With actionable feedback, you don’t want to send a tNPS survey right after a customer has purchased a product or service, however. If you do, they will probably only have unpacked the product or just gotten the service. And that’s not enough time to really gauge how much they like and use the product, and any specific problems they have experienced.
Likewise, if you’re surveying customers about a service you provide, they may not have seen the full value of it right after they receive it. Instead, you should pause on that send for a week or possibly longer in order to get an accurate look at how they feel about their purchase. This is another area where automatic triggers for survey sends can be helpful so you don’t miss a valuable opportunity for feedback.
Types of transactional NPS surveys
There are many types of tNPS surveys you can send to your customers, and each can help you gain different kinds of feedback to improve the customer experience.
What all of these transactional NPS survey types have in common is that they specifically mention a transaction or interaction. Instead of asking a general question about their likelihood to recommend your company as a whole, you should ask them how likely they are to recommend your business after their most recent purchase or customer service call. That way, you’re being direct and clear about the connection between their recent touchpoint with you and their feelings about your business.
You can send tNPS surveys about nearly any interaction your business has with customers, if you desire. But if you’re looking for the most common types of tNPS surveys, here are a few suggestions to inspire you.
Post purchase surveys
There are several aspects of the purchase process that can increase or decrease customer satisfaction with your business. Online shopping carts are often abandoned because of technical issues on your website or bugs in the check-out process, and that can hurt your bottom line.
Even if the purchase process is successful, customers may have feedback to offer on the process itself that could be valuable for increasing your conversion and satisfaction rates. Sending out a tNPS survey on these interactions can help find any pain points in the purchase process you could fix.
Customer ticket or call
One of the most common customer interactions can also be deeply frustrating. When customers have a question or problem, they will turn to your customer service team to help them answer or solve it. If your customer service experience doesn’t help them resolve things quickly and efficiently, it will decrease their satisfaction.
Knowing where the pain points in your customer service experience are can help you make improvements that keep customers loyal and happy even when they have an issue with your products or services. Sending a tNPS survey right after a customer service interaction helps identify these pain points.
Post product update surveys
Once customers have made a purchase and are using your product in their lives, they will certainly have opinions about how much they enjoy using it and whether it has small (or serious) flaws. This kind of real-life feedback helps your product team ensure you’re selling only the highest-quality products, and that they’re meeting the needs of your customers.
Be sure to send these kinds of tNPS surveys at least a week after the product purchase, if not longer. You want to ensure that customers have had time to use the product so you’re getting the most accurate and well-rounded feedback.
New customer onboarding
Getting your new customers comfortable with the services you offer or the products you sell can be a process. How well are you doing at making that process as simple and clear as possible? Sending a tNPS survey to new customers after they’ve been onboarded can help you find out.
Perhaps you need to add more self-help resources or customer service options to get customers set up. Or maybe there’s a bug in the implementation process that multiple users are frustrated with. You won’t know until you begin asking customers how it went with a tNPS survey after they get set up.
Providing a positive experience within your physical stores is also important for keeping customers satisfied, even if they don’t make a purchase. You can set up your survey system to send out a quick tNPS survey after a customer visits a store, and this is even easier if you have a geolocation system set up through a mobile app.
Website user feedback
Your website is often the first impression that customers have of your business—it’s like your online welcome mat. Make sure it’s having a positive impact by sending out tNPS surveys to at least some of your website visitors to see how they enjoy the experience.
Surveys about the user experience on your website are especially important when you’re thinking about a design overhaul, or if you’re changing a lot of things in the layout or function of your site. tNPS surveys can help you gather feedback about what customers want from your site, how they feel about new changes, and what they’d like to see.
Benefits of transactional NPS
Now that you know some of the many ways you can use tNPS surveys for your business, what are the benefits of doing so? What’s the payoff for setting up a system to send out tNPS surveys in a thoughtful and timely manner?
Get real-time customer opinions
There’s plenty of real value in the relational NPS survey, showing you customer opinions over a long period of time. And the same goes for other customer satisfaction metrics like Customer Effort Score and Customer Satisfaction Score. But what if you want to know how customers are feeling right in the moment after an interaction with your company?
Then only tNPS surveys will do. You can find out exactly how customers feel in the minutes after a purchase or customer service call or website visit.
Discover drivers of customer satisfaction
What makes your customers highly loyal to—and satisfied with—your business? Knowing this means you can create even more exceptional customer experiences that target exactly what your customers value. tNPS surveys can help you pinpoint these drivers of customer satisfaction so you can replicate them in other areas and use them in your marketing as well.
NPS surveys will help you find out if your customers are satisfied and loyal. Adding key driver questions to your surveys will help you discover why your customers are satisfied and loyal. To identify key drivers, you’ll need to add some follow-up questions that dig into the key attributes of your brand (like price, value, ease of use, etc) and ask the respondent to rate you in each of these categories.
Find the cause of changes of opinion
What makes your customers go from being Passives to Promoters? What kinds of experiences change them from Promoters to Detractors? Finding the answers to these questions can significantly improve your customer retention and satisfaction. And tNPS surveys help you do just that.
By honing in on specific touchpoints in the customer journey, you can find any pain points that are dropping satisfaction rates. You can also find spots where you’re winning over customers by exceeding their expectations. All this knowledge is vital when designing your customer experience strategy.
Find specific places for improvement
If your NPS score is lower than you anticipated, or simply lower than you’d like, you will want to find the exact pain points that are dragging your score down. It’s not enough to know your NPS score—you also need to know what you need to do better and how to take action on it.
And your tNPS surveys will help you pinpoint what’s going wrong in the customer journey so you can fix it. If you’re just guessing what’s driving customer dissatisfaction, there’s a good chance you’ll get it wrong—so rely instead on the accurate data tNPS surveys give you.
Tracking and monitoring customer satisfaction and loyalty is no easy task—there’s not one single survey that will give you an accurate view of the big picture. But tNPS surveys are an important part of your overall customer feedback program. They help you focus on specific customer interactions and how they impact the overall customer experience—and you should add them to your VoC program today.
Collecting actionable feedback from your customers is easy with GetFeedback. Understanding the drivers of your customer experience can help you create a customer journey that exceeds expectations and delights your customers so they keep coming back for more. And with GetFeedback’s instant insights and sophisticated analytics, you can be on your way to a better customer experience right away, as well as taking quick action on those insights with our Salesforce integration.