April 15, 2016
Information Insight

And the Survey Says….

Kenway just wrapped up a project where we had the opportunity to work towards improving a client’s Net Promoter Score (NPS).  On the surface, the concept is simple:  Customers are asked to provide a ranking based on their experience with a company.  Specifically, on a scale of 1-10, how likely are customers to recommend <Insert Company> to your family and friends?  Customers who give a 9 or 10 are a ”Promoter”, while customers who give a 7 or 8 are “Passive” and those who give a 6 or less are a “Detractor”.  To calculate NPS, simply take the % of Promoters less the % of Detractors.  Anything above 0 means you have more Promoters than Detractors, and you are well on your way to happy customers.  Anything above 50%, and you can consider yourself best in class!

Critics of NPS say it’s too simple, it’s not statistically relevant and there is lack of sufficient evidence to indicate that tracking NPS drives growth.  The critics have a point; however, it’s hard to argue against any process with such a high focus on customer satisfaction.  We are constantly looking to our family and friends for recommendations.  If I were to look at any of my social media accounts right now, I could almost guarantee there is a post asking for recommendations about a company / product, providing reasons why I should never use a company / product, or promoting a company / product I absolutely have to try.

As Kenway pointed out in an earlier blog, ‘Your Information is Worthless’, information is not valuable unless the data is captured and interpreted in the right way.  Calculating your NPS is a valuable way to capture customer feedback as long as companies go beyond simply calculating the metric and actually develop a process to analyze, understand and drive necessary change.  Companies who keep the following best practices in mind will likely see value in capturing their NPS score:

  1. Plan & Identify

Identify which customers you want to include in the survey.  Some companies may decide to target their entire customer base.  However, for starters, a more focused survey may be better.  The goal of any NPS process is to drive business value through customer service excellence.  If you have a specific territory that is preforming poorly or a call center that is having significant issues, then you may want to target customers in those areas.  Think about the key opportunities within your business and start by focusing in those areas.

  1. Design & Develop

Create a design and develop your survey.  Your survey will include the standard NPS question, but how should it be worded?   Again, this will depend on how targeted you are trying to be.  Some companies decide to keep it very generic (e.g. “On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest score, how likely are you to recommend <insert company> to a friend or a family member?  If you had to name one thing that we could improve upon, what could that be?”)  Others may choose to target how satisfied customers were with their call center reps and ask a more targeted question (e.g.  “During your last interaction with us, you spoke with one of our Call Center Representatives. On a scale of 1-10, if you had your own company that was focused on service, how likely would you be to hire this person to work for you?  What exactly stood out as being good or bad about this service?” )  Regardless of the approach you decide to take, the key is to follow up with a question that helps you understand what drives your Promoters and Detractors. Understanding these drivers is just as important as the score itself.

  1. Data Integration

In addition to analyzing the results of the survey question, it is very important to integrate your survey data with other key metrics to better understand factors that may or may not be impacting the customer’s satisfaction.  Integrating the survey data with other key metrics such as account information, product mix, eligibility and support metrics will help identify the key drivers behind customer satisfaction.  For example, looking at the product mix of your customers may help determine whether customers with complex product mixes are more likely to be Detractors than Promoters.  Or, looking at support metrics (e.g. first call resolution, time to resolve a ticket, etc.) may help you identify key processes that need improvement.

  1. Measure & React

Now that you have the customer survey data at your finger tips, you have an invaluable opportunity to measure and react.  While companies may not have the ability to reach out to all Detractors, you will find that customers react very favorably when a company reaches out to let their customers know they were heard and have a plan to make sure the same mistakes are not repeated.  Additionally, you will likely start to uncover some quick wins (e.g. a quick change to a call center script or a simple tweak to your website) that will help you see an increase in your NPS score.

  1. Get Proactive

In addition to measuring and reacting, understanding what drives your customers’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction provides a unique opportunity to get proactive in driving increased satisfaction.  Proactive communications are a definite convenience for customers.  For example, Airlines proactively contact customers to let them know about flight delays and severe weather warnings.  Billing departments proactively alert customers when an invoice is coming due to keep them from becoming past due.  Some wireless companies proactively identify customers who are experiencing dropped calls or poor service within their home and send them boosters to improve the service in the home to retain their business.  Using the survey data from the NPS survey can give you insight into the proactive touch points that can be done to not only improve first call resolution, but eliminate contacts altogether.

Implementing a NPS process may not be the right approach for all companies, but customer satisfaction is a key component to sustaining a healthy company.  If you are looking for help to measure and improve customer satisfaction, consider letting Kenway be your guide.  We are here to help.

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