4 Interesting Ways Slack & Other Brands Use Net Promoter Score Data

The most successful companies are those that take NPS data and use it to fuel and direct their marketing methods and even product development.

But while obtaining your NPS is easy, knowing how best to use the information is anything but. Ask any rocket scientist. Many of the highest-tech rockets don’t make it to orbit; they fall ‘clunk’ on the launch mat.

To help provide some clarity, we’d like to introduce you to four companies using NPS data in very interesting ways. Check them out below. Read More…

How to Build an Army of Brand Promoters: The 15Five Story

  • Segmenting customers by NPS score makes it easy to identify and empower promoters.

  • “Always on” survey insights give 15Five a constant pulse of customer sentiment.

  • Promoters create a defensible base of customer love.

    Read More…

Why the Customer Success Manager is the Product Manager’s New BFF

In 1853, U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry (no, not the Friends actor) sailed to the shores of Japan to strongly suggest (with several gun-laden vessels) that the ruling shogunate open Japan’s ports to outside trade. For 200 years, Japan had embraced a policy of near total isolation from the West, but with the Industrial Revolution fresh out of the oven, even isolationist Japan couldn’t ignore the benefits of trade. What does this history lesson have to do with Product Managers and Customer Success?

Read More…

Qualitative Data & Reaching Problem-Solution Fit & Product-Market Fit: An Interview with Morgan Brown

Since we’re both in the business of qualitative data, Wootric reached out to Morgan Brown to interview him for his expertise in the field.

Morgan is 15-year startup marketing vet, who is passionate about helping great ideas and companies grow. He’s currently the COO of Inman, a real estate media company that covers the residential real estate space in the U.S. He’s also married to an awesome woman and has two kids that remind him of how lucky he is every day.

He loves to study what makes online companies grow, what makes some brands successful and others not, consumer behavior and all things business. He reads a ton, with his favorite reads being business books and biographies of famous leaders. His latest read, Leadership BS, is a great book on how most of the leadership advice is misguided and harmful to leaders and their teams.

You can follow Morgan on Twitter at @morganb.

  1. How have you used qualitative research in your career as a growth marketer?

Qualitative research for me really lies at the heart of what it means to be a marketer.

Talking to customers, listening to people, peeling back the onion with the right questions to really assess their needs, wants and motivations is incredibly powerful. Running growth at Qualaroo certainly meant a lot of time studying and using qualitative research. It really helped me see first hand how powerful it can be when deployed properly.

I’ve used it in my career in all sorts of ways: conversion rate optimization, product development, marketing campaigns, website and email copy, and software package and pricing. It’s helped me learn what matters most to people, what concerns people have, and the words they use when they talk about a product and solution.

  1. What are the differences between qualitative and quantitative research?

Analytics tells you what’s happening, but voice of customer research tells you why. It’s that contextual layer that helps put data into perspective. You can stare at numbers and guess at what’s happening, or you can ask your customers and get feedback about what’s really going on.

  1. What is the importance of qualitative research for online businesses?

The beauty of qualitative feedback is that it helps you define the problem space better when you’re looking to improve the performance of your business. For example, you can see a really high cart abandonment rate and guess at all the potential issues preventing someone from purchasing or subscribing, or you can talk to some people and narrow your set of potential hypotheses and experiments. It’s a great way to shorten your experimentation process and find higher quality tests that are more likely to be wins.

  1. What methodologies can be used to conduct qualitative research? How can a business make sense of all the feedback they get ? We think some people inherently distrust qualitative, don’t know what to do when they get A LOT of it.

There are lots of ways you can collect qualitative feedback, from interviewing people in person or on the phone, surveying users via an onsite survey, using Net Promoter Surveys via companies, to marketing panels where you survey people who are in your target market. The key to effective user surveys is to ask the right questions to the right people, so that you’re eliciting valuable feedback.

If you use a Net Promoter Score survey, you’ll get a numeric representation of your overall customer happiness or satisfaction with your service. You can benchmark yourself over time and also to other companies who publish their NPS online. It gives you some context to the results you’re getting and helps you gain some understanding of the feedback you’re getting.

You don’t necessarily need a ton of feedback from qualitative research to find answers that can help your business. Jakob Nielsen, one of the foremost user experience experts, wrote an article 15 years ago that showed that getting feedback from just five users uncovered 85% of usability problems. So you don’t need a ton of feedback to uncover important learning that can improve your growth, conversion rates, etc.

  1. What are some of the common mistakes people make (or fears? resistance?) when conducting qualitative research and how can they be avoided?

The two biggest mistakes are: not doing qualitative research in the first place and then not putting it to use. People are afraid that they’re going to ask the wrong questions, get a non-representative sample, hurt their conversion rate and more. The third big mistake is asking the wrong people for feedback.

These are all easily avoided. The first is to just do it. Qualitative feedback doesn’t have to be hard. Just start by talking to customers, on the phone, via email, onsite, in surveys, etc. Getting over the fear of doing it is the hard part. Then, once you have data flowing in, it’s important to share it with your team.

Finally, asking the wrong people is a big issue. You want to ask people who are potential customers, not just random people who never have any intent or landed on your site by accident. Just like you wouldn’t do customer development interviews with someone outside of your target audience, don’t waste your time getting feedback from people who will never buy.

To do this, filter out unqualified traffic, users, etc. For example, at Inman we don’t run onsite surveys to older content which gets great SEO traffic but is written for a different audience. Those readers are not the people we’re trying to build our business with.

  1. How can qualitative research be used to find language-market fit, problem-solution fit, and product-market fit?

This is where qualitative research really shines. For language-market fit it gives you insight into the exact words and positioning they use to describe your product. You can use their words to help with copy and positioning that is relatable and intuitive to your target audience.

For problem-solution and product-market fit you can ask questions like ‘What product would you use if you didn’t use ours?’ or ‘How disappointed would you be if our product was no longer available?’ or ‘What’s the one thing that would make this product indispensable?’ and more to gauge how important your product is to your users and how to make it a must-have.

One of the best ways to improve retention is to ask people who leave why they left and then work backwards to solve those issues and keep people engaged and happy with your product.

  1. How can it be used to help scale a startup once product-market fit has been established?

Qualitative feedback is essential to conversion rate optimization. If you have PMF, then you want to maximize your growth through improved conversion rates, messaging, acquisition, retention and more. Qualitative research can give you the insights you need to improve all of those things.

One of the best qualitative questions to ask as part of conversion optimization is to ask people who just successfully purchased or signed up this question, ‘What almost stopped you from signing up/purchasing?’ 

The answers you get from your new customers will point you directly to the moments of confusion and hesitation that almost derailed them. If you go back to those spots in the funnel, you’ll likely find many more people who couldn’t get over that hurdle. That intelligence gives you great insight on where to start experimenting to improve your overall conversion rate.

Start gathering qualitative feedback today. Signup for free in-app Net Promoter Score with InMoment.

How to Get Rich Product Feedback when You Can No Longer Talk to Every Customer

As a startup founder, you were probably on a first name basis with many of your early users.  Some became cheerleaders and champions, others churned. And, in those early weeks and months, everyone’s detailed, anecdotal feedback was critical. Those first 5, 10, or 50 customers helped you hone your product into something that hundreds or even thousands of customers now rely on.

As more and more users come on board, you can no longer develop personal relationships with each and every one. Plus, your attention is pulled to hiring, infrastructure and funding.  Now, more than ever though, you need to know what customers think of your product and stay connected.  You need a solution that scales.

What do you do when you can’t talk to every customer any more?

Homebase, a startup that offers free employee scheduling and timekeeping software, has thousands of customers, uses Net Promoter Score to continue its personal response to customer feedback and to shape the product roadmap as the company grows.
Read More…

A/B Testing to Optimize Customer Happiness using Net Promoter Score at Magoosh

This week we are featuring a guest author, Peter Poer, Head of Business Development & Content at test-prep platform Magoosh. We love the creative, agile way the Magoosh team used NPS as the A/B test metric to improve their product (and student happiness.) 

Magoosh is all about making sure our students are well educated and happy.  But we’re also a data-driven business that uses metrics to make decisions — vague notions of happiness are nice, but we want numbers!

So this is the story of how we improved student happiness by A/B testing changes to our product with the goal not of optimizing clicks or conversions or revenues, but of maximizing student happiness.   To start, though, I’ll introduce the metric at hand: Net Promoter Score.

NPS: Our Reliable Referral Indicator

Net Promoter Score is a metric that tells you, on the whole, how willing your customers are to promote your product.  Customers are asked on a scale of 1-10 how likely they would be to recommend your product; 9s and 10s are considered “promoters”, 7s and 8s are neutral, and anything below 6 is a “detractor.”  Your Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the number of detractors from the number of promoters and dividing by the total number of respondents.  As a result, NPS is a percentage somewhere in the range of -100% (all detractors) to 100% (all promoters).  Not to brag, but our NPS is high. Really high.

At Magoosh, NPS is one of the most important metrics we track — it helps us determine not only whether students like our customer service and user interface, but also how well our products prepare students for their exams.  And most importantly it has been a reliable leading indicator of growth in word-of-mouth referrals — our largest marketing channel.  When NPS is high, students talk about Magoosh and more people buy it!

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 4.13.43 PM

Historically, we’ve asked students the NPS question after they’ve taken their exams (and, importantly, seen their final scores).  We do this because our products prepare students for tests, and, really, the proof is in the pudding.  You can’t fully decide if you’re willing to recommend Magoosh for GRE prep until you’ve taken the real GRE.  The downside is that it can take a while for us to see NPS change in response to product changes.  Since we’re waiting until after students are done studying to survey them, it can take months between when a student sees a new feature and when she rates our product.

Our NPS Issue: Mismatched Expectations

Because NPS is such an important metric to our company, we take changes very seriously.  Earlier this year we saw NPS for our GMAT product dip fairly significantly.  Looking into why, we discovered that several passive and detractor students were complaining that they were getting lower scores on their real GMAT than they did on their Magoosh practice tests.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2.31.45 PM

Our algorithm was telling students to expect one score, but, for some, their official reports were coming back lower — obviously a frustrating experience.  These students were still improving their scores significantly, but once you’ve got a 750 in your mind, a 700 seems disappointing!  We determined that we needed to fix our score prediction algorithm to be more accurate, but we were left with a major concern: would an improved algorithm that displayed a lower predicted score be demoralizing for students?  Which was worse for customer satisfaction — a lower predicted score while studying, or a disappointing final score after the exam?

The Challenge: Could we optimize quickly for NPS?

Normally when we have questions about what works best for conversion or marketing, we run a quick A/B test to determine what works best.  But NPS was different — we’d never A/B tested for NPS optimization before, and our NPS collection survey only went to students after their exams.  It would be months before students who saw the changed algorithm took their exams and we got back NPS data.  Making a significant change without knowing how it would affect our word of mouth marketing was a big risk.

Our Solution:  Bring NPS inside our product

We determined that in order to A/B test the algorithm change, we needed a method for collecting NPS data while students were still studying — not just waiting til the end of their exam.  We began using a third-party tool called InMoment, which allows us to ask the NPS question in our product and analyze the data in real-time.  We then deployed the changed algorithm to half of our GMAT students, and we could then match the “Likely-to-refer” rating to students in the treatment and control groups.  Suddenly NPS had a new use case for us — as a powerful, agile product tool.

Wootric NPS Survey in Magoosh Dashboard


It turned out that the improved algorithm did not affect student satisfaction while studying with Magoosh — NPS from both student groups was identical.  Knowing this allowed us to roll the change out to all students more quickly.  We were also able to track the students in the A/B test over time, and have seen that post-exam NPS for students in the treatment group is a full nine points higher than for the control.

Takeaways from A/B Testing for NPS

1)  Include current customers in your optimizable funnel

Our goal is always to provide our students with the best possible test prep experience.  But since we’re not able to read minds, it’s not always easy to know if what we’re doing is actually providing a great experience.  It’s easy to think of customer acquisition as a funnel, and to wrap our brains around how to A/B test to optimize that funnel.  But what doesn’t come easily (at least for most startups — and definitely not for Magoosh, at first) is to think of current customers as part of an optimizable funnel too.

2)  Optimize your products for referrals

If your business is built on recommendations and word-of-mouth, then you really can’t afford not to optimize your products for referrals.  This process has helped us make sure that what we’re doing is making a meaningful difference for students, and has provided us with a useful and repeatable framework for testing future features and products.

3)  Focus on agility

Shift your thinking on NPS from a one-time transactional model to an ongoing and contextual model.  In-product NPS tools available today like Wootric can help you do this easily, as well as keep track of your A/B test groups.  You can speed up decision making and keep your pulse on customer happiness.

Fee in-app NPS with Wootric

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