When it comes to using Net Promoter Score surveys to gain insights from your customers, you probably have questions about sampling.
How do you decide how many customers to survey? When should you first survey a customer? What about after that? These are three important questions to think about in advance of getting started.
In this post, I’ll discuss best practices for survey sampling for NPS. While these practices apply to many types of businesses, I’ll relate them to gathering customer feedback in the online world — inside web and mobile applications, and on websites.
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…
The beauty of Net Promoter Score is its simplicity. At the core, it is one key numeric ranking question supported by an open ended “why” question. (See my post on the ABCs of NPS to learn the basics.) It’s a question that can be asked in many channels: over the phone, in an email, in your website or mobile app, in person. A variety of tools exist to help you execute NPS for your business with various degrees of complexity and cost. These range from setting up your own email survey to using an automated service to hiring a consulting firm to implement NPS programs for your company. Here’s a snapshot of what these different options have to offer:
Whether you specialize in customer experience, engagement, success, or service, you’re tasked with retaining and delighting customers all the time. Plus, you have to get to know them.
That’s why we talked to 6 customer engagement experts to find out what strategies bring the most success. Here are their top tips:
1. Using Tools as You Scale
At Grasshopper, we struggled with finding ways to engage our customers as we grew. It became a real challenge for us to develop and maintain strong connections with our customers the way we used to: sending welcome packages, notes and swag to people we spotted on social doing cool things or giving us shout outs.
We realized that what we were doing was becoming harder and harder to scale, Read More…
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!
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.
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.
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.
Imagine a lion tamer in the center of a circus ring, whip in one hand, a wooden chair in the other. The lion stares at the man, unsure of its next move. The crowd waits anxiously for the lion to strike — but nothing happens. The angry lion has been tamed, without brute force or coercion.
The secret, as writer James Clear details on his blog, to taming a lion isn’t submission. Rather, it’s confusion.
When a lion tamer holds a chair in front of the lion’s face, the lion tries to focus on all four legs of the chair at the same time. With its focus divided, the lion becomes confused and is unsure about what to do next. When faced with so many options, the lion chooses to freeze and wait instead of attacking the man holding the chair.
This is precisely the reason that Net Promoter Score is such an effective tool. In other words, the goal isn’t to “tame” your customers but rather to set them free. Read More…
In-product tools can be extremely valuable to a business. Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Optimizely, Crazy Egg…I’m sure we all have a few we can’t live without. But if your technical resources are constrained, even the easiest tools to install end up somewhere in the development pipeline. As the non-technical side of the house, I know how hard it can be to wait to test out a new shiny tool.
We built InMoment to measure Net Promoter Scoreinside your product. Why? Because every online business deserves to hear from more customers in the most fresh and contextual way. While a developer would tell you Wootric is a fast code install, it’s still an install. And I’d certainly tell you that “marketing me” would need help.
We succeed when you succeed, so we’ll remove any barriers we can to help our customers–technical or non-technical–quickly get up, running, and listening to customers. Read More…
Here at Wootric we’re big fans of Intercom. We are a customer feedback platform and we use Intercom ourselves to have meaningful conversations with our customers. Not surprisingly, our customers also tend to share the same passion for reaching their own customers where they are most likely to respond.
We also believe that asking customers for feedback without proper follow-up is a cardinal sin in customer experience management. When survey feedback, such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), is coming in from your customers every day, it becomes something that you need to manage proactively. We’ve taken steps to address that by making follow-up an integrated part of the Wootric dashboard. But we also know that many of our customers manage their user conversations outside of Wootric. Rather than re-invent the wheel, why not combine forces?
And so here we are, making the connection for Intercom users between measurement and proactive followup.
Wootric + Intercom = Customer Love
Here is how you can use Wootric in Intercom to make the most of Net Promoter Score feedback:
Note: This process is essentially the same for our Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys.
1) Wootric samples your user base to collect NPS score / feedback
2) Individual scores and responses get posted to your Intercom dashboard, and are also recorded as an event in the user record.
3) Then the fun begins. Some ideas:
Trigger Intercom messages to a user based on the score they provided. Perhaps you’d like to ping your detractors (scores of 0-6) that chose not to leave you a detailed comment, asking for additional feedback. Or maybe thank your promoters (scores of 9 or 10) and invite them to your referral program. You set the rules to drive meaningful interactions!
Leverage NPS segments for future Intercom communication campaigns. This could be something like releasing and communicating new features to your promoters first. Or perhaps targeting specific passives with additional on-boarding to important features they might have missed.
Ready to Get Started?
Here are two ways to implement:
If you are an Intercom customer, simply click on this button to create a Wootric account (or sign in) and instantly connect it to your Intercom account.
Measuring your NPS is just the beginning of your journey. Follow up in the ways that work best for your business, whether it’s through us, through Intercom, or another tool. We are here to support you in connecting the dots.
Start measuring Net Promoter Score, CSAT or Customer Effort Score for free with InMoment
I heard about Venture Beat’s GrowthBeat conference a little last minute and made the decision to attend. As a marketer and a founder of a platform often leveraged by marketers, I was interested to hear the latest on growth (who isn’t?) and connect up with other marketing minds in the tech community.
GrowthBeat brought together some excellent speakers and panels — great case studies of how companies that have been willing to push the boundaries, iterate quickly, and leverage new tools are learning and finding success. But a few themes resonated for me at the higher-level–themes that spoke to the future of marketing, the future of organizations, and the role of the voice of the customer to drive growth.
Feedback is a powerful concept. The word itself sets you up for improvement—even success. And, so, for your online business (as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider with customers, a blogger with an audience, or an e-commerce product with a market), you want to solicit—heart-in-hand—feedback.
Getting Enough Responses
You are looking for feedback in any form:
Great, small, lean, prolific.
Negative, positive, optional, specific.
Feedback from fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins.
Feedback by tens and dozens.
Use a feedback tool that increases the likelihood that your audience will respond. That is, for your SaaS app, blog, or e-commerce site, don’t use email surveys—ask for feedback inside your product. Email surveys can hope for open rates of 20% and even lower response rates. In-app surveys regularly achieve response rates of over 40%.