The do's and don'ts of collecting NPS
As part of my work, I spend a lot of time on websites. Browsing, researching and perusing are all part of a Business Development Rep’s daily tasks.
Thanks to this I’ve seen my fair share of digital feedback forms. I’ve seen some forms that really impressed me in their delivery while others have left quite a bit to be desired. This prompted me to start writing on what I see as a critical dark zone in the customer journey and started with my blog post titled ‘Three reasons why smileys don’t work for customer feedback’. If you haven’t read that, I suggest you do!
In this time I’ve seen everything from complex multi-page forms to (the worst crime) nothing at all. This blog will cover Net Promoter Score (NPS) in digital feedback and how you can use it effectively.
While NPS can certainly work for digital feedback, its nature as a customer loyalty metric means that there are some caveats. In this post, I’ll give you some short tips on how you should use NPS in your digital customer feedback program and what you should avoid if you want to be successful.
How to collect NPS on a website:
So, you’ve decided that you’re going to use NPS in your digital Customer Experience (CX) research. What now? Here’s what you need to keep in mind.
Remember that NPS is a Customer Success Metric
What I mean by this is that NPS is designed to track customer loyalty, not to examine how happy they are upon their first visit or how successful they were in their journey. Other scores such as Ratings, Goal Completion Rates and Customer Effort Scores offer far more focused alternatives. Bain & Company describe three types of NPS questions:
- Relationship – Gauging the change in score over time with a specific customer to identify their likelihood of remaining a customer.
- Experience – Questioning at key points such as post-purchase or interaction with customer service.
- Benchmarking – Surveying at random points and using the total score to compare with other companies.
Notice how it would be difficult to fit generic digital feedback within these three types of NPS questions? So now that we’ve identified that generic feedback lies outside of the scope of the NPS score, where can we use it?
Use it as a customer success metric
Many websites today have some form of account functionalities which gives a perfect opportunity to survey your customers. There’s no denying it, email open rates are dropping year on year and email surveys are part of the problem. Consider the fact that in our day-to-day lives we have a choice on whether we engage with your email surveys or not. If you send out an NPS email survey, there’s a very high chance that this will simply be ignored with just 10% response rates in B2C email surveys being considered a success.
So when should you survey? According to McKinsey & Company, we are now in an age of on-demand interaction where customers choose the moments when they want to engage with your company and not the other way around. Adding NPS surveys to your account page on your website or e-commerce site allows you to capture NPS results when your customers choose to interact with your company. This includes asking customers for their feedback while they are on a specific channel. Arguably this is more convenient for both parties than sending emails and hoping that your customer engages.
Don’t forget to analyse regularly
While not exclusive to NPS, regular analysis of your digital feedback is critical to success. Individual results, while important, don’t give you the full picture and can’t be relied upon for executive decisions. Gathering feedback, analysing trends and acting upon individual feedback elements is the key to a healthy digital feedback campaign.
How NOT to collect NPS on a website:
Avoid using it as a generic metric
NPS works as a customer success metric, however it leaves a lot to be desired as a general digital feedback metric. Let’s say I’m a brand new visitor to your website. I’ve looked at a three pages and now I’m receiving an NPS feedback form. Is my nine really an informative metric to base executive decisions on?
As NPS is designed to be a customer loyalty metric, there needs to be some sort of relationship between the customer and the brand. It is more or less ineffectual to ask a potential customer who hasn’t converted or is visiting your website for the first time whether they would recommend your business without any supporting questions. This will only result in a hollow survey with little relevance to your digital strategy.
Avoid focusing on individual results
While all customers are created equal, some customers are more equal than others. With that in mind, it’s important to avoid getting bogged down with individual digital feedback moments and analyse the overall trends within your online campaigns. Focusing on individual feedback elements will distract from the overall goal of delivering insights that can direct your digital strategy.
Don’t survey for the sake of benchmarking
Bear with me on this one. Some metrics work quite well for benchmarking your digital performance against other companies. For example, I can benchmark a Goal Completion Rate quite effectively with another company as the survey method, type of interaction and level of engagement with the recipient are comparable enough to give a meaningful result.
NPS, on the other hand, is a little more difficult to benchmark as no two NPS campaigns will ever be exactly the same. Differences in survey methods (online vs call or face-to-face) can have significant impacts on feedback results. Your digital NPS score may be far more negative than a competitor’s face-to-face NPS scores simply due to the different methodology used. NPS scores also vary significantly based on industry and even geography. Benchmarking only works if it’s done right – using relationship studies (about the brand) rather than transactional NPS studies (on a touchpoint level).
Remember that the key to your digital feedback campaign is to improve your customer’s experience and boost conversion rates, not to compare with other companies.
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