5 Examples of Poor Net Promoter Score Practices

One of the biggest strengths of Net Promoter Score is its simplicity. Once you’ve built a large enough customer audience and started using Net Promoter Score product, surveying your customers and acting on their feedback becomes a simple, scalable process.

Despite this, a surprisingly large number of businesses make avoidable mistakes when using the Net Promoter System to gather feedback.

From forgetting to act on customer feedback to polling your entire customer audience at the same time, seemingly small mistakes can have a significant effect on the quality of your NPS results.

Below, we’ve listed five of the most common examples of poor NPS practices, and explained how they can have a negative effect on your business. If any of them sound familiar, it’s likely worth reworking your NPS strategy to produce better results from your customer surveys.

Measuring it once and assuming it’s a static metric

By far the most common Net Promoter Score mistakes is measuring NPS once and assuming it will stay that way forever.

If your company earns a positive Net Promoter Score on its first survey, it’s easy to assume that because customers are satisfied now, they’ll remain satisfied forever.

Of course, this isn’t how business works. Customers and clients might feel satisfied one month and disappointed with your service the next — a fact that you’d never know if you failed to use a long-term approach to Net Promoter Score.

Net Promoter Score measures both short-term customer satisfaction — a static measure — and long-term customer progress. Long-term progress is measured by comparing the change in two NPS surveys conducted at specific interviews.

When you treat NPS as a one-off task, you’ll get a temporary snapshot of how your customers feel about your business, but little in the way of long-term insight. When you treat NPS as you should — as an ongoing process — you’ll gain a deep understanding of where your business is going.

If you’ve completed an NPS survey several months ago, now is a great time to perform another to gain a second set of results for comparison. The more data points you get, the easier it gets to track your business’s progress and gain more confidence in your results.

A good rule for NPS surveying is to send out an individual customer survey once every quarter — an interval that’s frequent enough to track measurable changes, but not so often that it could bother your customers.

Nothing in business is static, especially when it comes to customer feedback. Avoid making the mistake of treating NPS as a static, one-off measure of customer satisfaction and you’ll get a far deeper level of insight into how clients and customers really feel about your business.

Failing (or forgetting) to respond to customer feedback

NPS is more than just a way to learn how satisfied customers are with your business — it’s also a great opportunity to communicate directly with your customers and act on the tips, feedback, recommendations and ideas they provide.

One of the most frequently observed poor NPS practices is to focus entirely on the quantifiable side of Net Promoter Score — the final, numerical score your business earns — while forgetting to act on the equally valuable qualitative customer feedback.

While some customer feedback can be repetitive or unconstructive, you’ll discover a lot of great insights, suggestions and ideas by studying the feedback you receive from customers.

Often, direct feedback from your customers is just what you need to break out of the developer or business owner “bubble” and discover simple, effective changes that you can make to create a better product. Close the feedback loop and you’ll never miss them.

Your customers are your most valuable critics. Pay attention to them and you’ll discover missing features, bugs and opportunities faster than you can imagine. Ignore them and there’s a serious risk that they’ll move on to one of your competitors.

Sending your NPS survey to all of your customers at once

Another poor Net Promoter Score practice is sending your NPS survey to your entire customer base at once. Inundated with feedback, you will find it impossible to find the time to read and respond to each customer in a timely manner.

This error is the easiest of all to solve. Instead of sending your survey to all of your customers at once, count how many customers you have and break your NPS campaign down into segments based on how long you expect it to take to analyze and respond to the results.

This way, you’ll get the quantitative and qualitative feedback you need to grow your business, all without the stress of responding to hundreds of surveys and customer recommendations at the same time.

Poor Net Promoter Score Practices
Poor Net Promoter Score Practices

Surveying your customers too frequently

The flipside of surveying your customers once and then forgetting to send a second NPS survey is surveying your customers too frequently. Send your NPS survey every few weeks you’re more likely to alienate and annoy your customers than generate any meaningful feedback.

While there’s no rule for how often you should survey your customers, there are some general practices that you can follow in order to get the most from your NPS surveys:

  • If your app or product is something that takes a few days to produce results, try sending your first survey between 7 and 30 days after your customer’s initial interaction with your product or service.
  • Your second survey should ask your customers for feedback once they’re well outside the “honeymoon” phase of using your product. A good date for your second survey is between 60 and 90 days after the user downloads or purchases your product.
  • Finally, you should follow up with quarterly surveys to get a full understanding of how your target customers respond to your product over the long term. This is the interval that seems to strike the best balance of continual feedback and convenience for users.

However, if you’re not updating your product that often, then you can stretch this period to 6 months.

Building and sending your own NPS survey

Since NPS is a simple concept, it can be tempting to create and send your own NPS survey using a regular email client, or develop a basic NPS solution using services like SurveyMonkey or Typeform. While doing so might save you a few dollars a month, it’s likely to cost you valuable time that’s better spent running your business.

One of the reasons NPS services work so well is that they massively reduce the amount of time required to measure and track your Net Promoter Score. Instead of creating an NPS survey and calculating your score, you can create and manage everything at the push of a button.

A NPS product will also automatically show your Net Promoter Score trends and will help you predict subscription renewals or revenue. Also, advanced NPS products give the possibility to automatically send surveys based on specific customer touch-points and even automatically initiate conversations and close the feedback loop.

Simplify NPS and get back to growing your business

Do any of the poor NPS practices above sound familiar? Almost every business makes a small customer satisfaction mistake at some point, from failing to follow up on customer feedback to sending out too few or too many NPS surveys.

Retently helps you avoid all the poor practices listed in this article and makes it easy to create and manage your NPS campaigns, giving you the insights and feedback you need to grow your business without any wasted time. Learn more here about how you can use Retently to survey your customers to retain customers and enhance your business.

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