Net Promoter Score June 25, 2018 8 min read by Grigore

Choose the Best NPS Software for Your Business (2018 Buyer's Guide)

Choose the Best NPS Software for Your Business (2018 Buyer's Guide)

In order to choose the best NPS software that properly fits your business, it’s essential to first become familiar with what most NPS tools have to offer.

From automating various tasks to integrating with other systems, find out below what you should pay attention to when deciding on the appropriate customer satisfaction survey software for your business, what are the benefits of a specialized service along with the price differences between existing products.

Why a specialized NPS software is a must

It’s not worth mentioning that sending NPS surveys manually from your regular mailbox, storing and calculating the results in an excel spreadsheet is a bad idea. Instead, we will explore the distinctions between specialized NPS tools, and companies that offer this as an add-on to their basic products such as Appcues, HotJar, Zoho or Typeform. While you can send a survey and get a score using these platforms, there are certain benefits to using a specialized NPS survey tool.

The main reason for adopting a specialized Net Promoter Score® software is because they are developed with NPS in mind. Besides this, they have more specific analytics and reporting features, allowing you to efficiently gather, analyze and act on the received customer feedback. To the contrary, non-specialized services provide basic NPS functionality, with fewer features narrowing its usage and the deriving benefits.

The benefits of using a specialized NPS tool
The benefits of using specialized NPS software

Must-have features to look for in an NPS product

Each business has its own needs. Some require a regular email survey with the respondents imported from a CSV file, while others would need a more complex product that provides transactional NPS, supports multiple surveying channels and native 3rd party integrations with other services. Check out this list of important features to look for.

1. Survey customization

NPS survey template
NPS survey templates

One of the most important features an NPS software should offer is the survey customization. Uploading your company’s logo, applying your brand colors and style should be among some of the available customization features impacting the look of your surveys. This way, you can approach the recipients with something they are already familiar with – your brand identity.

However, once you move on to more advanced campaigns, based on customer triggers, segments or lifecycle stages, you’ll want to make sure that your survey is tailored to the respondent. An ideal survey tool will allow you to change the Rating & Open-Ended questions you address to your customers, the Thank You messages you offer different respondents depending on their score, and the Unsubscribe page.

2. Audience segmentation

There are no two similar customers. They can use different product or services you offer, can be spread geographically, or be at different customer lifecycle stages. On that account, to ensure a highly effective NPS campaign, your customers must be surveyed accordingly.

You might want to survey just a sample of your customers to avoid over-surveying. Segmentation should be also possible by data stored in your CRM, Help Desk, billing and accounting systems, and imported into your customer feedback software as custom fields. Make sure your survey tool allows syncing and further using this business intelligence data.

3. Supported survey channels

Most customer experience software offers just one survey channel; an advanced one will include at least two of these: email, in-app (web & mobile) and/or text messages (SMS).

Email is one of the most common survey channels. The advantages of emailing your surveys are a wider outreach and their non-intrusive factor. Due to these, it is a channel preferred by the majority of companies sending NPS surveys.

Surveying your customers via text messages (SMS) is considered by many as invasive, and you are especially limited by privacy concerns and the number of clients who have shared their contact data with you. Text messages tend to have a higher response rate and a lower response time, guaranteeing the receipt of a good sample of responses.

Last but not least, in-app surveys are used extensively by the majority of SaaS businesses or those interacting with customers in an online portal. The advantages of having an NPS survey pop-up are contextual relevance and high response rate.

4. Multiple NPS campaigns

Another important feature you’ll need in an NPS software is the ability to run more than one survey at a time. You can start off with one to measure the loyalty and sentiment of your existing clients, and then go for other campaigns based on customer lifecycle, segment, trigger or event.

Understanding the difference between relationship and transactional NPS will help you determine the type your business needs. But having the option to set up multiple campaigns is one essential feature to look for in any survey service.

5. Survey schedule and throttle

An important feature you’ll want and need in an NPS tool is the ability to schedule your surveys so that they reach your customers at the most effective time possible, based on their timezone – called smart-send or survey timewarp.

In addition, you should also be able to activate other scheduling rules such as:

  • Recurring surveys: send repeating surveys to contacts after a determined period.
  • Resend: send a survey to a client who didn’t open the last one or who opened but didn’t respond to it.
  • Daily survey limit: a cap on the number of surveys you can send per day.
  • Survey throttle: ensures the same person is not over-surveyed if present in multiple campaigns.

6. Survey deliverability and response rate

Look for a service caring for their sender reputation and ask them for additional information on this. Best NPS tools will allow you to send the surveys from your own domain and offer even a dedicated email sending IP address. As you are the only one sending your emails over this IP, your sender reputation is shaped solely by your activity.

Make use of the available survey personalization options. Use custom variables to add respondent’s name into the survey, A/B test subject lines and combine the survey channels for an efficient reach-out.

Keep your respondents lists clean and accurate – regularly clean them using specialized commercial services like MoonMail, Neverbounce, or their free alternatives. Never email people not expecting it. Do not over-survey your customers and do not send more than 1,000 surveys per day, as tempting as it might be. This will raise a red flag with many email services. Analyze your bounce reports, import suppression lists into your survey tool and regularly unsubscribe inactive customers.

7. Notifications

Create thresholds and set up notification triggers to alert you automatically to important events like new Detractor response, NPS score decrease over time, an unsubscribed customer, etc.

Get them in your Slack channel or by email, either immediately or in daily or weekly digests. Being endowed with this ability, your company can proactively engage with customers, detect Detractors, and turn them into Promoters.

8. Customer feedback loop

One key thing to keep in mind when implementing NPS is the importance of closing the feedback loop. Net Promoter Score is more than a metric that shows the likelihood of recommendation; it is a great way to interact with your customers, understand the issues they face and provide a solution.

When choosing your survey platform, look for features enabling you to reply to respondents directly from the software. The ability to invite your colleagues to collaborate on the collected customer insights will also accelerate the loop closure.

Additionally, if the resolution of a client’s demand will take some time, your customer success team should have the ability to track the progress either directly in the NPS service or by integrating it with their task management applications (e.g. Trello, Asana, etc.).

9. Analytics, reports, and trends

NPS dashboard
Typical NPS dashboard

The primary feature of a survey service is to compute the likelihood score after collecting customer feedback. Your NPS is usually available in the application’s dashboard. If your NPS service supports it, the score might be also displayed on a live screen, as results get updated in real time.

Other key data offered in most services is NPS trends – a graph of how your score changes over time. You should also be able to view delivery stats for your campaigns – how many respondents opened, voted and replied to your survey.

If you plan on targeting customer segments based on subscription type, location or other criteria, then you should also look for a service that provides options to filter the NPS data. This will allow you to analyze and compare customer satisfaction within different segments, thus spotting your strengths and weaknesses.

Beyond just tracking the ultimate score, your NPS software should offer advanced reporting on all aspects of the customer journey. When looking into customer feedback the text analysis will also come in handy. The received responses can be automatically tagged to unlock precious insights from a large volume of qualitative data.

10. Workflows and custom scenarios

Some online survey tools allow to easily automate various tasks and processes and run custom scenarios as resend customers an email if they don’t provide any text feedback, import the response in your CRM, create a task in Trello or call a webhook.

NPS workflows
NPS workflows

11. Export customer feedback

People are eager to do business with the ones they trust. But how do they get to choose your service over the competitor’s if they have never interacted with your business before? Looking for reviews on the internet would ease the task. But what if potential customers had the chance to look into others’ feedback directly on your site where they get referred? Some of the NPS platforms came up with a solution by providing an automatic Promoter’s feedback export feature.

Spot your brand advocates and place their feedback on your site as testimonials to share the best customer experiences with your business.

12. Native integrations

Most probably, you are already using another service to manage the customer dialogue, offer customer support or run email marketing campaigns. It is, therefore, a requirement for an NPS tool to integrate with other services such as Intercom, Salesforce, HubSpot, MailChimp, Slack, etc.

An integration with Intercom, for example, allows you to import all your existing clients and have the surveys triggered by custom events. Features such as automatic synchronization between the services mean your contacts will always be up-to-date and you’ll only survey your existing customers. Advanced NPS products even offer a bi-directional integration, having your respondents’ feedback synchronized with your CRM.

One of the most sought-after integrations when it comes to automation is Zapier. It offers a few clicks away access to more than 1,000+ other services helping to create custom scenarios and workflows with ease.

An integration with Segment allows triggering surveys at different touch points of the customer journey. By capturing data at various lifecycle stages from different platforms, you can easily engage clients based on any segmentation criteria.

13. API

In the context of an NPS product, the API provides a software development interface for those needing to customize the service, import respondents from 3rd party sources, integrate it with their internal systems or run the surveys directly from their platforms. For example, you have a customer support chat on your website; an NPS survey could be triggered once a customer closes the chat. The API allows for various automation scenarios, so a survey tool that offers it is highly preferred. Using API, however, requires coding skills, as compared to Zapier.

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NPS software pricing

As Net Promoter Score has become a key metric in assessing customer satisfaction, new NPS products are being launched on a regular basis. Back in 2004, only 4 companies were offering it; today there are over 80+ to choose from.

Begin your research and try out a couple of NPS survey tools to understand if they are suitable for your business. Retently, Delighted, Wootric, Promoter.io, Satismeter are products in the same price range you can look into. Check this Quora post for a more detailed list of the available online customer satisfaction tools, or this list of licensed Net Promoter Score vendors.

The pricing depends on the number of monthly surveys you need to send out, the features you want to access and the available integrations. Most of the services offer a free trial, so you can test their features before committing to a permanent subscription.

Further on we broke down the average pricing by feature to get a grasp of the available offerings:

NPS pricing overview
NPS pricing overview

Things to bear in mind when making the choice

Now that you know all the specifics of an NPS software it becomes easier to select the one that fits your needs best. But before proceeding with the search itself come up with a business goals list for a better targeting.

In order to select an NPS survey service that fits your company’s requirements, it is best to start by figuring out the following:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Which NPS product can manage my customer base size, recurrent surveys, etc?
  • Would I pay per survey or per received response?
  • Can I customize the NPS survey and give it my company’s branding style?
  • Can I communicate with my customers through a simple and clear interface?
  • Does it provide multiple channel support such as Email, In-app or SMS?
  • How easy will it be to integrate a third party application?
  • Can I sync my customer data from and to my CRM?
  • Does the service offer an API? Are there any limits on its usage?
  • What kind of reporting is available?

These days NPS products are used mostly for managing Net Promoter Score surveys, but as companies seek more insights beyond the basic NPS metrics, these platforms are evolving. By implementation of more metrics and features, these initially simple tools are developing into complex Customer Success platforms.

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