Yes, measuring Net Promoter Score (NPS) is simple. But it is important to understand the nuances behind executing a successful NPS program. This understanding can be the difference between a poorly executed program and a successful one. A poor NPS program does more harm than good – it irritates customers without driving retention or providing tactical and strategic insights. A good NPS program on the other hand makes a company responsive to its customers, increases retention and provides invaluable insights for driving a company’s strategy.
Here are 5 key things a company in India should keep in mind for their NPS program. This list is by no means exhaustive but can serve as a good checklist and starting point.
Even before you contact your customers for feedback, make sure your company has taken explicit consent from them that you can get in touch. For example, if you are running a transactional NPS program for an account opening process, the form for account opening should take consent for getting in touch. Apart from compliance, this would allow a company to send transactional SMS messages with the survey link as opposed to using promotional SMS. This dramatically increases SMS deliverability.
People’s memories are short lived. When you want to find out about their experience with a particular interaction, the survey should come as soon as possible after the interaction. When a survey comes late, not only does the quality of response drop as memory fades away, it also dramatically reduces response rates. There is no point asking me about my flight experience 3 days after I have flown. Typically, this delay happens because it takes time to extract data from a company’s transactional system. This can be solved if the NPS system exposes APIs to consume transaction data or can automatically pick up data files which allow for quicker integrations with enterprise systems.
There are countless times when I have clicked on a survey link only to find an interminable loading icon or had to pinch and zoom to take the survey on my phone or struggled to tap the right button with my fat fingers. Once a survey link is clicked, the survey should open immediately and take no more than a couple of minutes to complete without any effort. In India a lot of surveys are completed on a mobile phone (even email surveys), so all surveys should work well on small screens. A poor survey design reduces response rates, creates customer irritation and reduces the quality of input (especially for open ends). Apart from the design itself, things like survey expiration, a link saying how data will be used, giving unsubscribe links and ensuring a customer does not get multiple surveys in a short duration should also be taken care of.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) in itself is just a number. It needs context to be really useful. Context like whether it going up or down and what is driving the movement and also what is not, how different areas of the business are contributing and how it is impacting the business. A good NPS program should give frontline staff actionable insights on a daily basis and allow HQ to drive strategic on a more longer-term basis. One way to achieve both is to have a real-time NPS dashboard available company-wide which allows front line staff to take prompt actions and a deep-dive 6-monthly analysis to create strategic plans. For example, an NPS dashboard for an airplane could show that NPS on a particular route is falling. They can investigate the cause and take immediate remedial measures before revenue for that sector dips or the issue becomes viral on social media. On a more strategic level the airline can decide which attribute (food quality, check-in, in-flight service, etc) they need to prioritize for improvement and how that will impact their margins. The right technology mix is important to make this work, for example NLP for text analytics, driver analytics for prioritization and good visualization tools to make it simple for front-line teams to act on the data.
You have had a bad experience dealing with customer support, you get a survey, you fill it and then what happens? Nothing? How does that impact your opinion of the company? Running an NPS program and not doing a proper close loop is one of the most common mistakes by Indian companies. The NPS system should automatically create tickets based on pre-defined criteria which the front line teams close after connecting with the customers. When a customer sees that a company is hearing him and acting on it, that is what creates the wow moment. In real-life, depending on the nature of the business, it may not be feasible or even required to connect with all the detractors. In this case, the NPS system can generate tickets for a specific segment, say high value customers who have rated less than 5. This segmentation can be decided during the half-yearly strategic reviews.
So, there it is, 5 things which you should keep in mind for your Net Promoter Score (NPS) program. As mentioned, the list is by no means exhaustive. For example, things like email deliverability, the right employee KPIs, fraud prevention, etc have not been covered but, nonetheless, this should be a good starting point.