When you start NPS surveys in your organization, you will soon realize that you would be required to kick off several smaller projects in order to make the best use of the NPS survey responses. This is a blind spot for almost every company that is rolling out NPS surveys for the first time. Don’t get me wrong! NPS in itself is a super simple survey to execute. In fact, it is so simple that many people end up making some avoidable mistakes. For instance, they think NPS is just about adding another question to an already lengthy customer feedback form! Despite its simplicity, NPS surveys could be deceptively difficult to extract real value from, more so, if you are not prepared to tackle the small projects that start showing up within a few weeks of starting your NPS survey.
I know it sounds contradictory when, on one hand, I say NPS is super simple, while on the other, I am warning you of the hidden challenges. My intention is to get you more prepared for success than to keep you in the dark. Why is that important, you might wonder? Let me share a short story to help you understand that.
Why are small projects important for the success of NPS survey?
About a year ago, I was pitching to implement NPS at a major online ticket booking company in India. After several rounds of meetings with managers and executives from different departments, I was told: “We are anyway doing customer satisfaction surveys currently. NPS is just another question that we will add to our survey and see how it goes. Once we have the results from this test, we will think of whether we should get external help.” I remember showing them how important it is to set up a closed-loop feedback system and why NPS should be used as a standalone metric. However, once I received their response as above, I promised to stay in touch and moved on to pitch to a new opportunity.
Interestingly, around the same time, we closed a deal with one of the biggest online gifting retailers in India. This company understood what it meant to implement a closed-loop NPS feedback and took all our recommendations on-board. The online retailer has been using Omoto for over a year now and has started seeing an upward NPS trend too. This trend, of course, was a result of several things done right within the organization. The company hired a third party customer service team just to follow-up with detractors within 24 hrs of receiving their feedback. Upon our recommendations, the CX Head started paying close attention to product segments that created promoters and detractors. Omoto helped her identify the top three reasons for happy and unhappy customers on a daily basis. It also ensured that the root cause was easily traceable through further data analysis. By setting up the right systems, tools, and processes, our client was able to reap great benefits from the NPS implementation.
On the other hand, I recently had an experience of booking a travel ticket through the same company that I had pitched to earlier. The booking experience was flawless. However, when I received the feedback email, the NPS question asked me to rate on a 5-star scale but the email showed only 4-stars! I was perplexed. Clearly, something wasn’t going right with their NPS survey. I know that the company is struggling with increased competition in their sector from new-comers. Going by the online reviews, unfortunately, its customers don’t seem to be particularly happy with the service either.
Please understand, my intention is not to point out the incorrectness in NPS survey of the ticket booking company. Rather, I would like you to pay attention to the fact that companies that succeed with NPS focus not only on the questionnaire but also on the entire system. Setting up the system requires several other projects that need to work in tandem to make the NPS survey initiative a success.
In his recent article on securing project resources along with getting a ‘Yes’ for it, Maurice Fitzgerald, an accomplished author, and Ex-VP of Customer Experience at HP Enterprise writes about a similar issue when projects are approved but without a commitment from required people and resources. Maurice has an interesting take on showing the leadership team what it means to say ‘Yes’ to a project so that you are successful in executing the project. He proposes adding a slide: Here is what saying yes means, where you’d list the people, funding, project timing, and even individual’s names who would be required for executing the project.
Indeed, you’d need a clear project road-map for your NPS survey to be able to ask the required resources. When you are doing it for the first time, it might be very difficult to know beforehand. I also realize that there are very few places where you could find what other factors are required to make NPS surveys successful. Here are some of the additional activities you should plan for in order to ensure success:
1. Identify the right touch-point
When customers buy something from you, they go through a journey and interact with you at different touch-points. Knowing where to seek and collect NPS feedback first could be a turning point for your NPS project. Getting this understanding would require executing a customer journey mapping exercise with all department heads at your company. It could easily leave you with several days of work along with extensive participation from customer service, sales, and marketing departments in particular.
Bringing about the clarity of your customer’s journey helps you launch a focused effort in collecting feedback and improving the customer experience at each touchpoint.
2. Set up a quick route to recovery for detractors
Not closing the loop on your customer feedback is perhaps the worst thing to do. Depending on the kind of business, you would receive different volumes of responses on the NPS survey. Being prepared to close the loop on each detractor is the minimum level of preparation you need to do. Defining an escalation matrix for detractor feedback and getting a commitment from all stakeholders in the matrix to act on negative feedback will help you set up a route to recovery for detractors.
What this means is that you must set aside a few hours every day to work on customer feedback. We recommend having a central first-point-of-contact for detractors. Members of this group would follow-up with detractors to understand their concern. Subsequently, they would engage relevant members within other departments to resolve the concerns.
3. Appoint a CX champion and set a daily routine
This is more about accountability towards customer experience than about a particular task. If you don’t have an individual who is looking after CX, the entire NPS program will soon come to a standstill.
Setting a daily routine around NPS feedback helps keep the momentum alive. Plan daily activities such as sharing the top three reasons for happy and unhappy customers. Read through detractor comments to identify trends in customer concerns and set targets such as reducing fault rate in a particular area of the customer journey.
4. Select the right qualifying parameters for customer segmentation
In order to analyze your NPS feedback, you must put considerable thought on the right qualifying parameters on which you would slice and dice the NPS data. This is important because I have seen many companies struggle with data hygiene issues that lead to an inability in drawing insights from NPS feedback. By thinking through the data points, you would also know where you will get that information from.
Choosing the right parameters would mean that you are looking at the right insights too. Don’t leave this for later. Set aside some time to stitch together the data sources so that it doesn’t become a bottleneck later.
5. Analyse, discover, and execute quick wins
When analyzing NPS feedback, look for things that can be easily improved to resolve some of your customer concerns. Once you identify such quick wins, plan and execute a project to fix the concern. Subsequently, observe how your customer feedback changes. This is an important consideration because companies don’t keep a buffer to resolve issues that are uncovered through NPS feedback. This leads to internal tussles and disappointments.
I believe that if you have considered these five points, you should be off to a good start. Using a tool like Omoto can ease a lot of your operational work around NPS. It will not only free you from executing the survey, but also take care of workflow management, data analysis, and summary reporting to keep you on your daily routine.