Every marketer worth their salt wants to boost their company’s NPS scores. The most direct and impactful way to accomplish this goal is through a prioritization on the customer experience.
Customers confronted by complex processes or encounter rude support staff won’t result in an enjoyable experience. Any stumbling blocks placed in the customer’s way is another reason for them to not give your firm a recommendation. It’s the experience that matters.
NPS surveys ask fundamentally simple questions, which all seek to determine how likely it is for the customer to refer the brand/service to another?
NPS is a score ranging from “0 to 10” range with 10 representing the highest likelihood to recommend. Scores of 9 or 10 denoting a “promoter”, “passives” scoring a 7 or 8, and every score 6 or lower earning the mark of “detractors.”
The final NPS score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. The “promoters” are of course the goal score. They’re the loyal brand enthusiasts who not only make repeat purchases, but they actively promote and recommend the brand to others in their circle.
Moving nearly all of your customers into this category requires a cultural shift of customer service before any other action or goal.
For some context, NPS average scores vary widely depending on the industry. Sectors such as automakers and cable companies often report very low NPS scores, sometimes in the negative numbers.
Very high-performing software companies are often in the mid to upper 50s. Reaching into the upper 50s up to 60 means a company is providing clients with exemplary service levels and those customers are very likely to recommend the firm to others.
It’s about Delivery – Not Money
An exemplary customer experience is largely about giving the customer what they were “sold.” So go beyond the literal object or service you are providing and ensure you’re meeting your promises to the customer.
This means making sure you have the right product to deliver the capabilities. If your service is a business-focused software platform, then its features need to perfectly match your marketing content. And then you must ensure the customers have the right skills to make the most of the platform and be successful.
Putting dollars before the customer can end up disrupting the entire operation. Firms must of course need to generate revenue. However it’s definitely a “cart before the horse” situation where the customers’ needs must be met before the real revenue comes in.
The top companies will drop any other priorities when there’s a customer problem. IT needs to be pulled away from an update to fix a customer’s issue with the platform? They stop working and get it done. Develop a culture of service where problems are addressed immediately and the team worries about receiving compensation later.
Find areas of the business that can be turned towards the customer’s needs, even if they seem to result in short-term losses. Perhaps move your SaaS platform away from a three-year commitment to annual contracts with no cancellation penalties. Show your customers a commitment to their success.
Listen and Respond
NPS scores of course come from direct customer polling. To improve these scores you should be taking in continual feedback from the customer base. Give them opportunities to rate your services from onboarding to final delivery. Conduct in-depth training sessions and then ask for feedback. Are the sessions too long? Did they overlook an important part of your platform? Did onboarding provide customers with the right information?
Tailor your feedback surveys to answer these customer-centric questions while avoiding any feelings of “spamming.” So when it comes time to distribute your short annual NPS survey, they won’t be sick of your brand.
Setting up many “listening posts” is vital. Try to monitor support forums that discuss your platform. Read social media to spot any consistent complaints.
Leverage AI and analytics technology to automatically analyze your customer interactions to measure satisfaction and extract insight into causes of positive or negative customer experiences. Fix small problems proactively not reactively.
Develop online communities where customers can ask for help, share their experiences, and receive support from experts. Create user conference events that are entirely customer focused and are devoid of any direct sales to new customers or upsells to current users. Let the platform/service/product speak for itself.
Consider building a dedicated customer success group that’s sole purpose is to manage the customer experience. Offer this service at your own expense to illustrate how customer success is a worthy investment. You’re trying to provide them guidance on how they should reach their ROI and goals.
A business approach that’s consistently 100 percent customer focused succeeds because it’s authentic. You need staff members to be on board with handling customer problems before others. And you need every part of the business, from the platform’s UI to the marketing materials to all relate to an exemplary customer experience.
Companies that take this track can quickly boost their NPS scores because the customer knows the firm has their interests at heart and will do the same for referrals.
About Adam Walton: Adam Walton is the COO of CallMiner, a leader in cloud-based speech and customer engagement analytics. As a software as a service provider, CallMiner focuses on customer success and CX in an effort to retain high customer renewal rates. CallMiner recently achieved a 59 NPS score in their 2018 annual customer survey, placing them as a leader in NPS within the software industry.