One of the biggest challenges for any business is developing strong, insightful relationships with customers.
In this respect, Net Promoter Score® is one of the most efficient tools to ensure progress towards establishing meaningful bonds and effective communication with clients, focusing on earning the passionate loyalty of the ones who would further sing the company’s praise.
While most people think of Net Promoter Score solely as a way for collecting feedback, it can also be an excellent channel for breaking the ice with customers, laying the foundation for feedback and advice that helps you improve your service and increase retention.
In this post, we’ll share specific tactics that you can use to break the ice and start communicating with your clients. We’ll also explain how you can gradually develop NPS® feedback into a real source of customer insight for your business.
Use NPS surveys to break the ice
One of the biggest advantages of Net Promoter Score is simplicity. Since NPS surveys are made up of only one question, they have a significantly higher response rate than the long-form surveys used by most companies.
By sending Net Promoter Score surveys to customers, many businesses have achieved response rates of 62% or higher — rates that simply aren’t possible using conventional online surveys.
This makes Net Promoter Score a great tool for breaking the ice and initiating a conversation with your customers.
Sales experts often talk about the “yes ladder” — a method of getting sales prospects to agree to a large request by first getting them to assent to a small one.
Researchers Jonathan Freedman and Scott Fraser found that when they asked people to put a large “Drive Carefully” sign outside of their home, only 20 percent of them accepted.
But when they first asked people to put up a small three-inch sign before following up by asking the same people to hang the larger sign, their success rate more than tripled to 76 percent.
Starting a conversation with a customer using a Net Promoter Score survey is similar. Instead of requesting page after page of information all at once, you’re beginning the conversion with a tiny request that requires very little work on the customer’s part.
It’s never easy to break the ice by making a large request. Start with a small, simple NPS survey and you’re far more likely to build a relationship with your customers than by sending a traditional long-form web survey.
Ask follow-up questions for more information
One key advantage of NPS is that it lets you follow up on your initial question to get more insight from each customer.
Once you receive a response to your Net Promoter Score survey, ask each customer a series of follow-up questions to learn more about their thoughts and generate extra feedback. You might be surprised by the number of customers that respond, creating a two-way conversion.
Many customers ignore email surveys not because they aren’t interested in sharing their ideas and feedback, but because they don’t think they’ll receive a response. By following up on every NPS survey, you open the door to a longer, more valuable dialogue with each customer.
Using the same technique as above, you can gradually expand the scope of each conversation over time. Start with a short, simple NPS survey, then ask for more information with every new response to give your team as much customer feedback as possible.
Keep every conversation focused and relevant
One of the most important parts of generating feedback with your customers is to keep every conversion as focused and relevant as possible.
This means that if you get initial feedback from a customer about a specific feature, the main focus of your conversation shouldn’t stray too far from that topic.
For example, if a customer leaves negative feedback about your application’s design, the first few follow-up questions you ask should be directly related to design and usability. Expand the conversation too quickly and there’s a risk that the customer will lose interest.
One of the most common customer satisfaction mistakes is asking clients to provide broad feedback on topics that don’t concern them. Instead, focus your entire conversation on the one feature the customer finds frustrating to generate more detailed, actionable feedback.
Most customers aren’t interested in answering random messages and requests — a key reason for the success of NPS compared to conventional email surveys. Keep the dialogue tight and focused and you’ll maximize your response rate, helping you generate real insights.
Provide updates to earn continual customer feedback
It’s also important to keep customers updated. If you start a discussion using an NPS survey and let it grow into a two-way conversation on a specific problem or feature, following up with a personalized update is a great way to show the customer that you care.
We’ve written about the importance of closing the customer feedback loop before, but it’s worth repeating. More than anything else, closing the customer feedback loop is the easiest and best way to reinforce a positive experience or rectify a negative one.
If you receive feedback from a customer, always provide a response. After all, nothing is more frustrating to a customer than providing constructive, valuable criticism to be met with disregard from the business you’ve just helped.
Identify and talk to your most responsive customers
Over time, you’ll be able to identify certain customers as friendly, responsive sources of useful feedback. This clientele can be extremely valuable to your business, so it’s important that you prioritize and nurture these relationships.
An easy way to stay on top of your customer relationships is to keep a list of the clients you can rely on for honest, useful feedback. Additional to sending them an NPS survey, reach out and talk to these customers personally every few months or whenever you need fresh feedback.
Doing this not only gives you a reliable source of honest feedback — it also lets you monitor how your customers’ needs and priorities can change over time, letting you spot opportunities, trends and potential setbacks ahead of time.
Start using NPS to get real feedback from your customers
More than any other system, Net Promoter Score makes it easy for you to accurately measure customer satisfaction and learn more about what your customers think of your product, service, and business.
Using Retently, a diverse range of businesses have gained insights and feedback that helped them increase retention and generate more revenue. Get started now with a free Retently trial account and send up to 100 surveys to your customers for free.