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The Net Promoter Score is an important metric used to measure customer loyalty and brand health. It lets you predict the size and pace of the future growth (or its lack.)

What to do when you run an NPS campaign, and the score turns out to be less than satisfactory? How to improve a poor NPS score? And, what might be the reasons for it being low? 

Read on to find out.

Why is Your NPS Score Low?

There are many potential reasons. Below, we're listing the most common ones: 

Misalignment

No one likes false promises. Yet, it's often the case that companies overpromise the value they supposedly deliver. It's a common, yet a very short-sighted, strategy that leads to customers feeling disappointed, if not deceived. 

Strong brands, like Dyson, with a 6% rise in annual revenue in 2020 (despite the pandemic), tend to deliver more than promised. (The products' actual run times are longer than stated in the product specifications.)  

The strategy inadvertently leads to high customer loyalty and growth:

As of 2021, 46% of Dyson's customers who took part in the NPS research declared willingness to recommend the company's products.  This gave Dyson a satisfactory NPS score of 16.

Also, the annual revenue growth for the past years proves that these are not just sheer declarations on the company's reviews pages:

An NPS survey answer on Dyson's product reviews page
Dyson

Poor customer experience

You can have a superb product, but how you handle customer communication can make your NPS score tank. Research shows that 96% of customers admit that customer service experience influences how loyal they are to a brand in an important way.

It's important, then, to determine current customer satisfaction levels and find ways to improve the CS. There are a lot of different steps you can take to make your customer service experience better:

  • Create knowledge bases for your product
  • Offer FAQ pages
  • Create a variety of support channels. (Go beyond a call center or a web form. Experiment with live chat apps, or a Whatsapp chat.)
  • Implement chatbots with well-designed communication flows to offer 24/7 help

Regardless of how good or bad your NPS score is, maintaining superb levels of customer experience is always a goal.

Poorly designed websites or mobile apps

Websites and mobile apps are likely to be core touch points on your customer journey. Poorly designed websites and mobile apps are bound to damage the customer experience, which will be reflected in low scores.

There are 3 factors vital for website experience

Page loading speed

With prevalent digitalization, today's consumer is used to things happening now. We, as consumers, no longer can wait.

Nearly 70% of people say that the website load speed affects their willingness to buy from a retailer. And 50% of us are likely to leave a website that takes 3 seconds to load! If it takes too long to load a page, users become frustrated, which results in a poor NPS score.

User experience

UX is neither a novelty nor a fad. The user experience field started back in the 1950s and is advancing all the time. UX professionals' growing understanding of how humans interact with devices creates better designs. 

Why does all this matter? 

Poor UX impacts product metrics and leads to cart abandonment or loss of customer loyalty. So, by underestimating user experience companies give ground to the competitors whose digital channels meet customer expectations.

Hence, it's essential to audit websites and mobile apps regularly. 

We recommend running website feedback surveys on a regular basis: 

When it comes to mobile apps, collect user feedback  by running a product testing survey. It will help to pin down areas for more user research:

Content personalization

80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. And, 48% of consumers leave a website without purchasing if they feel it's poorly curated for them. 

These figures show how vital personalization is for the positive CX. On top of great UX, content personalization has become a huge part of good website design. 

According to Think with Google, brands with personalized experience get 20% higher NPS scores. People are also more likely to finalize purchases or spend more than planned. 

If you're a retailer, focus on offering: 

  • Personalized discount deals and coupons
  • Relevant loyalty programs
  • Personalized shopping recommendations based on users' wish lists

Those are the areas that matter most for customers. They are most likely to increase your Net Promoter Scores and, more importantly, customer loyalty.

How to improve a Net Promoter Score?

1. Measure and Compare Them All: NPS, CSAT & CES

NPS is a popular customer experience metric, but it should be just one of the many metrics you use to measure CX.

NPS measures loyalty and the likelihood of recommendations. As a standalone metric, it's a great indicator of the brand's health. But, to give more actionable results, it should be coupled with CSAT and CES.

Customer experience metrics: CES, CSAT, and NPS

CSAT or Customer Satisfaction Score survey measures precisely what the name says. It tells you how satisfied with your product your customers are.

While NPS is usually used to measure long-term happiness, CSAT surveys normally ask about immediate customer experience.

They also have a different structure and are more flexible than NPS surveys. You can use either a numerical, 5-point rating scale (on a scale from 1-5), smileys, or stars. You may prefer to use the emojis or shapes, depending on your product, brand, or the target group.

Feel free to check out the Customer Satisfaction Survey Template by Survicate: 

CSAT allows you to ask precise close-ended questions about your offer. They are also less standardized than NPS surveys. So, you have more room to play around and adjust the NPS questions to suit your purposes. 

CES or the Customer Effort Score is also self-explanatory. This is the number determining how much of an effort a customer has to put into a certain action. For example, how hard it is to use a new feature you just released.

It's best to measure CES immediately after a particular action takes place. For example: If a new user has just signed up and onboarded, send them a CES survey verifying the ease of onboarding. 

Here is a CES survey template created by Survicate. Feel free to give it a try: 

NPS, CSAT, and CES are all customer experience metrics. Relational Net Promoter surveys are used to keep an eye on customer-brand relationships and give you a general understanding of the strength and health of your brand. 

CSAT and CES, in turn, help you go deeper to diagnose potential problems. When used together, the metrics give you a world of insights into the effectiveness of your CX efforts.

2. Rally the Company to Improve Your Net Promoter Score

NPS score reflects the quality of customer experience your company provides. The success hinges on how well you perform along the entire customer journey.

What it means is that not only the performance of your customer success team impacts the NPS score. The entire company contributes to the end result. So, the whole company should be involved with improving the score.

NPS huddles

One great way of getting everyone on board is arranging NPS huddles. These are regular team meetings for teams to discuss customer feedback. They make an opportunity to tackle current issues or give updates on tasks related to NPS score.

Huddles can and should be organized across all levels of an organization. From top-level management to customer-facing employees. Successful companies have such meetings: 

Apple organizes huddle meetings called Daily Downloads. During the Downloads, leaders show recognition to Apple store team for their performance.  They talk through customer feedback, and tackle the challenges and opportunities that arise.

Zappos runs weekly Zuddles. In the meetings, the customer success team exchanges real-time customer feedback. They review recent interactions with customers and draw conclusions. Or, they go through the company's values and see how successful they are acting on them.

Huddles can be organized daily, weekly, or monthly - depending on how much feedback you gather. Customer-facing teams will meet more frequently than other teams. 

Ideal huddles are run not by leaders but regular staff. It's best to run them systematically. As, by tackling feedback, performance and metrics, or company values, you help your team to stay on top of the NPS-related KPIs.

What is more, you encourage the staff to take responsibility for improving the processes that impact your NPS score.


3. Measure Customer Experience at the Right Time

Your NPS score is not set in stone, and the results can vary depending on when the NPS question is asked. The same question to the same person could lead to different customer success results.

The moment you choose to send a Net Promoter survey will also impact the NPS campaign success.

Masterclass runs transactional NPS surveys to track the quality of their classes and the participants' satisfaction. Instead of waiting to ask an NPS question at a random interval (quarterly or annually), Masterclass follows up with a survey right after a course.

Masterclass' NPS survey question
Hubspot

This way, they have higher response rates, as they hit the customers with a survey in a time slot already booked to interact with them. Moreover, the experience is still fresh in the customers' minds so the company can count on more reliable responses.

4. Track Customer Satisfaction for Every Customer Journey

As a story in Harvard Business Review illustrates, jumping to conclusions on customer experience based on one summary judgment may be misleading. Customer satisfaction, which translates into high or low NPS, may vary across various customer journeys. 

In case of hotels, where the HBR story takes place, the sentiments may change depending on where in customer journey the guests are. They may have different impressions after checking in, while using the room, or on ordering a taxi.

Customer satisfaction varies depending on a point in a customer journey
HBR

The same applies to SaaS products or any other types of business.

By measuring customer satisfaction or their willingness to recommend at various points of a customer journey, you’ll learn what exactly calls for your attention.

It may turn out that some issues are too complex or too costly to fix at this point in time. If so, map out the user journey, and annotate NPS scores and customer feedback. And learn to prioritize.

user journey map
Source

Analyze the user journey against your survey data. And focus on fixing the critical touchpoints that lead to customers’ dropping out.

5. Act Quickly and Keep Close Tabs

In the world of SaaS, competition is fierce. A customer who is not satisfied won't sit around and wait for you to fix the glitches. All it takes is a single Google search to sign up for a competitive product. Meanwhile, it could take you months to realize where the problem was.

Entelo is a SaaS company in the recruitment sphere. The company run a Net Promoter Score campaign bi-annually before they decided to increase the cadence and find out how to make their offer stand out. 

They chose to show NPS questions directly in their app. By doing so, they enabled their app users to leave feedback whenever issues arose. 

On top of that, they introduced a whole NPS system, empowering the company to take action based on the feedback more quickly, if not in real-time. This caused their dissatisfied customers to be pleasantly surprised, turning the tables around.

As it turns out, if you track NPS for SaaS, it pays back to have net promoter questions embedded within your app.

6. Close the Feedback Loop

Virgin Media is known worldwide, and their job vacancies usually attract a large number of applicants. 

At one point, VM's HR department must have got overwhelmed. The average NPS score of their job applicant plummeted to -29! Their processes called for improvement.

What the company did was strengthen its communication channels. They decided to:

  • Call candidates after a successful application instead of sending an email
  • Get candidates on the phone to schedule a follow-up call instead of requiring them to schedule on their own
  • Launch a web live chat application for candidates to reach out 

It was enough to turn the tables. Their NPS score went up from -29 to +12. A whopping difference!

Virgin Media managed to increase their NPS among job applicants. But, the story has greater significance. It shows how vital communication is for businesses. When your customers take their time to pick up the conversation you started, you must close the feedback loop

Customer Feedback Loop by Survicate

If you want to improve customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores, get in touch with customers who left feedback. By doing so, you let them know that their ideas and suggestions matter.

By closing the loop, you'll foster relationships with your customers. Better relationships lead to a lower likelihood of churning and an increased customer lifetime value.

7. Choose the Right Customer Feedback Collection Tool

To have high survey response rates, stay on top of incoming feedback, and ensure closing the feedback loop, you need an NPS tool that caters to your needs. 

Survicate enables you to send customized, on-brand surveys across communication channels of your choice. Whether you send your NPS survey via email, text message, in an app, or deliver it on the website, your customized surveys are non-intrusive.

If sent with the awareness of the user journey and the persona in mind, they become a seamless part of the service you provide.  

Survicate's features make acting on feedback and closing the feedback loop an integral part of your teams' workflows. The tool integrates with CRMs, marketing automation, analytics, and collaboration tools, like Slack. They increase the effectiveness and streamline the processes of your customer experience teams.

The tool also offers you a whole host easy-to-use templates. We've already presented you the templates of CSAT and CES surveys. Feel invited to check our template for the NPS:

Lastly, Survicate ensures you have enough data and helps you analyze your NPS. The tool records all survey responses and provides access to them even if respondents drop out. The tool examines keywords and generates word clouds to help you draw actionable conclusions from the feedback. 

Wrapping Up

Improving a low NPS score can seem a daunting task. It requires garnering more feedback, working on communication, and strategizing. Yet, it's perfectly feasible with the right customer feedback collection tools.

With Survicate NPS software, you'll be able to run surveys successfully, analyze data, and streamline workflows around closing the feedback loop. 

Our customers praise the tool for its ease of use that makes feedback collection hassle-free. Give the tool a try. Sign up for free today or choose a higher pricing plan to be able to send more surveys at a time.

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