If you’re not using Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys as part of your marketing strategy, you’re missing out! Are you considering conducting an NPS survey but don’t know where to start? In this post we’ve got everything you need to know about NPS surveys so that you can be ahead of the curve and start getting those valuable insights from your customers today. So strap in and let’s dive in!
Collecting customer feedback is crucial for companies of all sizes, and it provides an insight into your customer’s mind like nothing else can! Marketing is all about understanding your customers and giving them what they want. And one of the best ways to do that is by collecting customer feedback with Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys.
But a lot of people don’t know how to collect customer feedback properly, or they’re afraid to ask their customers for feedback because they don’t want to hear what they have to say. That’s where we come in. In this article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about NPS surveys so you can get better results. Because in the end, it’s always better to know what your customers think so you can improve and give them what they want.
Imagine you’re about to make a purchase.
Let’s say you want to buy a new mobile phone, and you are doing your research online. This primary research will give you a good indication, but you will probably ask your friends about their mobile phones and if they have recommendations.
Being recommended is a powerful way to be in the forefront of your customers’ minds, and it only happens when their experience is positive enough to share. Just one lousy experience of one of your customers can damage your business massively. And let’s be honest, it is much more likely you tell your friends about your bad experiences than talk about your good ones!
Nowadays, it doesn’t take much to share a bad review on social media or Google, and it is visible for everyone. Potential customers will see them and might think twice to use your service.
So what can you do to avoid this problem? Here is where an NPS survey comes in handy because it makes collecting your customers feedback much quicker and more comfortable. It is necessary to identify your brand ambassadors as well as your unsatisfied clients. It not only detects your promoters, passives and detractors, it also allows you to act quickly regarding their score.
What is a Net Promoter Score?
A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer loyalty metric used to determine the likelihood of customers recommending a company’s products or services to others. This is done by using the question:
“On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our business or service to a friend or colleague?”
The responses are categorised according to their score.
- Promoters: Customers who answer the question with 9-10
- Passives: Customers who answer the question with 7-8
- Detractors: Customers who answer the question with 0-6
How a NPS is calculated
The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors (those who rated 0-6) from the percentage of promoters (those who rated 9-10).
You may already guess that the promoters are your brand ambassadors. They are happy with your service and passionate about your brand or product. These customers are loyal and tell their friends about their experience and bring new customers through your doors.
Passives are in the middle and give your service a neutral or average score. They can be indifferent but could become promoters if you keep nurturing them. These people could also change to a competitor because their experience wasn’t positive enough to come back again.
And well, there are the detractors. A detractor is defined as someone who would discourage a friend from buying your product. They are unhappy customers, and you are at a high risk of losing them. They could also damage your business by leaving a negative review and sharing their negative experience online and with friends.
Why should you use NPS?
The Net Promoter Score is a metric that helps you measure customer loyalty to determine if your processes are efficient enough for your customers. It’s a great way to get feedback from your customers regarding their shopping experience, product quality and other issues they might have had while using your services or buying your product. This also allows you to detect which areas should be improved for you to provide better service.
How to conduct NPS surveys
To conduct an NPS survey, simply send customers a short questionnaire measuring their willingness to recommend your company. An NPS survey asks customers to rate their likelihood of recommending your company/product/service on a scale of 0-10. The results can be used to measure customer satisfaction and track progress over time
To calculate your Net Promoter Score, simply subtract the percentage of detractors (those who rated 0-6) from the percentage of promoters (those who rated 9-10).
An important note: NPS surveys ask for your customer’s opinion, so do not give any clues or try and influence responses for a higher NPS. This will provide a false benchmark and you may lose out on feedback that could be constructive. You should always listen to your customers’ feedback. Give them a voice, and they will feel that you care about them.
Need a hand with your survey set up? Not sure how to put together an effective strategy? At 4DP we’re here to help you! Contact us today to find out how we can help you get better results.
If you want to know why digital marketing is so important read more here.
Which survey tool should I use?
Choosing the right survey tool can seem overwhelming, which is why we’ve created a survey tool comparison chart, which you can access here. We compared a few of the main survey tools currently on the market, but please note there are more from which you can choose. This survey tool comparison chart can serve as a great foundation at the beginning of your survey journey that will help guide you, and you may dive deeper into exploring other tools.
Here are just a few survey tools you might want to consider:
When we first rolled up our sleeves to get to the bottom of which survey tools were best suited for our clients, we quickly found there is no one solution for all and that prices vary a lot. Finding the right survey tool depends on the systems you have in place. For example, whether you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) or not.
What survey tool should I use if I have a CRM?
If you do have a CRM set up, you first want to look into native integrations between the survey tool you want and your CRM. Try to avoid using platforms like Zapier.
Zapier is a tool that helps you to integrate two or more apps without using code. When an event is happening in one app, Zapier can communicate this to another app or trigger an action. Even if you have no CRM in place, there is always the option to combine apps. Keep it in mind in case you find a survey tool that really suits your needs but it does not have a native integration into any of your systems in place, Zapier might be able to help you. Read more about the marketing automation review and why it interlinks with surveys here.
What survey tool should I use if I have no CRM?
If you have no CRM in place, the survey tool you choose might need to have the ability to create emails and/or store contact details. Twilio’s SendGrid API could be a good option for you. It is a cloud-based SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) provider which is used as a delivery engine and allows you to send emails without the complexity of maintaining your own CRM! You won’t have to deal with some of the headaches that may come with setting up a CRM, and it could be more cost-efficient when you use emails, not as a primary marketing tactic.
Which channel should I use to send my survey?
Determining which channel you should use to send your survey will depend on a number of factors, including the contact details you have for your customers. If you have only their first name and email, email will be the right channel for you. However, if you also have the mobile number, it could be worth testing using SMS to send your survey.
Consider a combination of emails and SMS reminders. Sometimes, when your customers change devices they can be more likely to respond. Further down the survey journey you can also analyse and compare the response rate from email and SMS. Only time can tell, but it might be a good way to shift your marketing activities and focus on the device your customers are more likely to use.
How can I get reviews with my NPS survey?
Our team has found that sending out an NPS survey provides a great opportunity to ask for reviews as your customers are already engaged while completing the questionnaire. Luckily, we’ve tested some strategies to integrate your request for a review to help you get the most out of your survey.
1. Split-screen at the end of a survey
When you ask for reviews within your NPS survey, we recommend staying on the same platform. Your customer is already thinking about how they felt about their experience with your business after going through all of those questions and it will be top of mind when writing a review!
With a split-screen at the end of the survey, often this review request is on the ‘thank you’ page at the end of your survey and is in the form of a button. The button can link to a review page on your website, your Google My Business (GMB), or even your Facebook page.
Check out the example below which shows the request for review on the thank you page after a customer has completed this NPS survey.
2. Send a separate email requesting a review
You can minimise the amount of manual work involved in collecting feedback by automating an email that is separate from your NPS survey to be sent. An automated separate email is a simple and easy way to capture reviews of many customers at the same time.
Asking for a review in an email can have many different approaches. You could ask for a Google or Facebook review and link to it. Read more about the importance of online reviews here.
3. Send an SMS
Using an SMS to ask for a review might be tricky for some, however can work really well for other clients. If you are sending your survey as an email and you suddenly ask for a review via SMS, this might not work as you are making the customer change to another platform in the process.
It’s always best to test!. Split test your audience and send half of your customers to receive an email survey and email request for review, and the other would receive an SMS request for review. When done, compare the results to see which worked best for you and adjust your strategy.
4. Personal approach
A personal approach to requesting reviews from customers is more successful than any automated process. While sending an automated email is often the easiest solution, it is also much less personalised.
Having the time to follow up with all your customers might not always work in every situation but if you have a client care office or a customer service team you might be able to invest a couple of hours into requesting reviews. A personal approach does not need to be a one-hour phone call; it could also be a personalised and meaningful SMS.
Which review platform should I use?
Asking for Facebook and Google reviews are a good starting point. But it is best to consider some review platforms which your customers use and trust. This could be local review platforms or international websites. Ask your customers where they are reviewing products or services.
When should you send an NPS survey to your customers?
Finding the right time to send out your NPS survey is essential. Too early, and your customers might not have enough time to use your product. You want to give them some time to digest how they found their experience with your business. Too late, and they might have forgotten what it was like and may find the survey irrelevant.
The best way to find the perfect timing is to ask your customers. Call a handful of your customers and ask them directly. Not just your favourites or the loyal ones! (as tempting as it can be). This will give you a great indication of what timeframe is best to get in touch with them for feedback.
Additionally, consider asking them for an NPS if they complain about the quality of your product or services.
We recommend reaching out to customers when they’re most active and willing, so this way it’s more likely someone sees their email with all questions answered promptly – which means better feedback from those who respond (and less frustration).
Use predictive sending
Fortunately, to make your life easy, most CRM tools can define the best sending time for you. Once you have started sending your communications to your contacts, the system remembers when they are most likely to open your emails, this is called predictive sending.
What to do if you don’t have predictive sending
If you don’t have predictive sending built-in to your CRM, or you don’t have a CRM, there are a few points to keep in mind that will put you in good stead.
- Avoid sending on weekends – no one wants to review your business while they’re spending time with family.
- Respect time zones – no one wants an email at 2am!
- Send customer surveys at the beginning of the week between 5am and 4pm.
Response rates are usually highest on Monday and lowest towards the end of the week.
On average, surveys sent out on Mondays received 10%** more responses than average, and surveys sent out on Fridays received 13%** fewer responses than average.
SurveyMonkey looked into their clients and created a great little analysis that gives you a deeper look at how they defined best sending times. Read more here.
Why not test this yourself? Send a portion of your survey invitations out each day of the week to see if response rates differ. Depending on the results (primarily open rates and click through rates), you can define the best day or time for YOUR customers to receive a survey.
Remember, just because you have done research and testing to find the right time to send your surveys, this does not guarantee that the NPS responses you receive will reflect this. When customers complete your survey and give you a score they will consider the overall customer service, the pricing, the usage, the overall sales process and many more factors.
Keep in mind: the customers most likely to share their experience are those who had either a very good or bad experience, rather than someone who had a neutral or pleasant experience.
How many survey reminders should you send?
Email reminders are a common strategy for businesses to use as they may boost the survey response rate. BUT be careful when sending reminders – you don’t want to spam your customers. Sending out reminders doesn’t guarantee you more responses. Reminders can only do so much for you, and we don’t recommend relying on numerous send-outs.
When to send the first survey reminder
Send the first reminder within the first three days after sending the initial email requesting a review. One reminder might not be enough, and it is essential to keep nurturing your contacts/customers. Often it takes two or even three reminders for them to leave a review. You need to contact your customers at the right time and in the right channel.
When to send additional survey reminders
More than two reminders for the survey may start to annoy the receiver. However, this is worth testing. Check the open and response rates of the reminder emails and look into possible unsubscribers or spam notifications. This would give you a great indication of the success of your reminders and you can decide if you want to keep or adjust how many reminders you send out as part of the customer journey. This can also be changed and adjusted for different segments.
Remember, not one customer is the same and once you look into the reporting and analytics you might be able to see a trend in certain client segmentations or personas. This can be a great learning opportunity.
Testing and troubleshooting survey reminders
Every customer is different, which means you might need to adjust and test your survey reminder strategies until you have found what works best for you. You might need to test different subject lines, or the length of the copy within the email, or the copy itself which may not be compelling enough to take action.
A subject line should be personal and appeal to your customers. Include their first name to address them directly. If you ask people in different countries, genders, or depending on the product or service they have used, you may need to vary your subject line throughout your segmentations. The best way to do this is to A/B split test subject lines before deciding on one subject line for the segment.
Once you’ve finished testing your survey reminders, don’t just set and forget! They may have to be changed depending on the survey responses you receive. For example, if you see that the completion rate has dropped, you need to investigate why this is happening and how you can change it.
For example, you might need to tweak the initial survey invite to increase the responses. Be personal and follow the trend towards mini-surveys rather than creating a lengthy survey with too many questions.
How often should you send NPS surveys?
This is a question that many business owners ask themselves. An NPS survey can be sent at any time during the client’s journey with your company. NPS surveys can be sent out to new customers, existing ones and even past clients.
Sending NPS surveys is an excellent way for businesses to get feedback from their customer base. However, if you send out surveys too often it won’t be an accurate measure of your company’s customer satisfaction. NPS surveys are best used during a customer’s journey because they indicate how your company is doing at specific stages in the journey and which type of client would benefit most from NPS surveys (new vs existing clients).
NPS surveys can be sent out via email, via SMS or you could have a feedback form placed on your website. If someone has already had some sort of interaction with your company, NPS surveys are a great way to get feedback from them. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into some examples of how NPS surveys can be used for different types of businesses.
NPS surveys for product-based businesses
If you are selling a product, you want to make sure that your customer has the time to use, experience, or test your product before you ask for a review. We recommend sending your survey within a 2-week period of your customer receiving the product to ensure they have experienced it. However, this can depend on the type of product you are selling and its lifespan.
NPS surveys for repeat service-based businesses
Suppose you offer a service. If your service is subscription-based, you want to use the first time a customer used your service as the starting point. In doing so you receive valuable feedback at the beginning of the customer’s experience and can implement it while your customer is still subscribed.
By getting their responses and understanding their experience from the start, you still have an opportunity to positively influence their overall experience. This gives you a great chance of shifting their experience rather than letting them go through the entire customer journey without knowing how they score and perceive your offering.
You can also integrate a final NPS survey or create an exit survey when the subscription ends or is cancelled. There are so many opportunities to ensure you give the best customer experience, which might only be the beginning of creating your brand ambassadors. We encourage you to really use the responses you get to address your customers’ experiences, turn the table during the customer journey, and convert them into your super fans.
NPS surveys for one-off service-based businesses
If the service you provide is usually one-off, you could send a survey to your customer any time after they have received your service. There is also the opportunity to arrange for the customer to leave feedback when they are still in your shop, store or office. However, when getting immediate feedback please consider that this might result in a response that is more emotionally charged and less detailed as they are on the go.
Let’s look at a specific example. You are a Veterinarian, and you see a client with a sick dog. There are three possible outcomes here.
- You can treat the dog and the animal will recover.
- The dog needs special care and you need to transfer it to a specialist or animal emergency hospital.
- The dog is too sick to recover and needs to be put down.
Even though you have given your best in each of the three scenarios, because of the associated emotions each of the different scenarios could have drastically different NPS and reviews. Consider giving your customers or clients some time to digest the service they have received by sending the NPS survey the next day via email or SMS instead of asking them on the spot.
What is a good open rate for NPS surveys?
In general, a good email open rate is between 15 – 20%. However, not everyone who will open your email will also respond to your survey. To increase your open rate we recommend split testing your subject line and the email content. Put in the time and effort to test and troubleshoot your survey, the survey invite, and how it will be sent before sending it to all of your clients. Investigate the reporting when the first group of survey invites are sent to see what they click… and if they click at all!
What is a good survey response rate?
When it comes to surveys, a good response rate is key. After all, you want to make sure that you’re getting as much feedback as possible in order to improve your business. So, what’s the ideal response rate?
The average survey response rate (across all types and channels surveyed) is 33%. So, ideally, you should aim for that or higher. This will ensure that you’re getting enough feedback to make informed decisions, while also not overwhelming respondents with too many surveys.
Of course, there are a few things you can do to increase your response rate. First, make sure your survey is short and easy to complete. You also may want to consider offering an incentive for completing the survey. And, lastly, be sure to follow up with non-respondents to make sure you don’t miss out on valuable insights!
Remember to clean your database
It’s important to have a clean database so that you can make informed decisions when it comes time for the next survey. Make sure all hard bounces and unsubscribes are removed from your list, but soft bounces might be worth keeping – check if there’s anything in them (misspellings in email addresses are notorious for triggering soft bounces) that needs correcting.
Our top 9 takeaways when sending surveys
1. Testing, testing, testing.
We recommend split testing the subject lines to ensure that the emails have the best chance of being opened. Do this with a small portion of your audience to determine your ‘winning’ subject line. Once your open rate is where you want it to be, make sure people actually click the survey link and respond. If you still don’t see any clicks on the survey, consider split testing the content of the email (or SMS) as well. Be as personal as possible by including their first name, the product they bought, etc.
2. Adjusting, adjusting, adjusting.
Adjust your processes or waiting periods when possible or if needed. Don’t be complacent with a mindset of “set and forget”. Be flexible and make adjustments based on your customers’ experiences and feedback. You might need to tweak the initial survey or the survey invite to increase responses. For example, change the subject line, include more personalisation tokens, reduce the copy etc.
3. Don’t sway the audience.
If you are asking for their opinion or a review, make sure you don’t give any hints or clues that could influence your customer’s response.
4. Check your integration.
When looking into integrating with your survey tool or CRM platform, we recommend looking into their native apps. Most times if there is no native integration you can use third-party tools like Zapier. In that case, you can easily connect multiple tools with each other without a single line of code.
5. Ask for a review.
Kill two birds (not parrots!) with one stone. There are different methods you could explore:
- Split-screen at the end of a survey
- Send a separate email
- Send an SMS
- Personal approach e.g. call your clients up or send a personal message rather than an automated SMS or email.
6. Use predictive sending
If you don’t have predictive sending, test different days and times until you find the right one for your customers. Better yet, ask your customers. Call a handful of them and ask them directly when they are active and responsive with the channel you are using (email, SMS etc.).
7. Combine channels.
Don’t just stick with one channel because you have always done it that way. Consider combining different channels like email and SMS to accommodate your client’s needs.
8. Don’t badger.
Don’t send more than two reminders to a contact. It might annoy them and they could unsubscribe from further interactions with your business. Respect people’s time zones when sending your surveys or reminders.
9. Make a change.
Implement feedback you receive while your customer is still using your product or service. This might only work on subscription-based services or products.
When it comes to surveys, we know that testing and tweaking is essential in order to get the best response rates. But don’t stop there – be sure to personalise your survey invitations as much as possible, use a variety of channels (including predictive sending), and ask for reviews while they are still using your product or service. And finally, always remember to respect your customers’ time by not bombarding them with too many reminders!
By following these tips, you can increase the likelihood that your customers will respond to your surveys. If you want help implementing any of these tips or want advice on how to design and distribute a survey that yields results, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
Contact us to discuss surveys for your company
If you’re looking to improve your customer’s survey experience, get in touch with the Four Drunk Parrots team today. We can help you increase response rates and get more valuable feedback from your customers.
If you want to talk about surveys, call Sandra. She can help you to find the right tool to integrate with your budget and scope.
Sandra Wiedecke, [email protected], 02 6686 0117