How to Increase Your NPS Score With Ongoing Customer Engagement

Jul 31, 2019

If you’ve sat in a board meeting any time in the last few years, you have probably spent some time debating how to increase your NPS score. Net Promoter Scores have been adopted by two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies as a metric for measuring customer loyalty. According to a recent WSJ article, “net promoter” or “NPS” was cited more than 150 times in earnings conference calls by fifty S&P 500 companies last year. That’s more than four times as many mentions, and nearly three times as many companies, compared with five years earlier.

The noticeable increase is another sign that customer experience has become the responsibility of everyone from customer service agents to c-level executives. CEOs see it as strategic and competitive advantage, and many — including Delta and Best Buy — even report a direct correlation between NPS improvements and increases in revenue and earnings.

What your NPS score can show you

NPS is calculated on the response to a single question: How likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? We all know the answer to that question can depend just as much on a person’s mood at the moment as it does on whether your product or service delivered. We also know that a smoother customer experience builds goodwill, so your customers are more likely to respond positively when asked about your services in general.

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While NPS and how it’s measured has long been debated, the underlying desire to learn from and act on insights to improve your customer’s experience should be top of mind for every company. Doing that requires the ability to both effectively capture customer feedback and directly address their needs.

Laying engagement groundwork for positive customer NPS

If you want to increase your Net Promoter Score, you first need to understand what your customers want. Contrary to popular belief, the best way to deliver a positive experience doesn’t come from going above and beyond to impress or “delight” your customers. Instead, it’s about making things easy in their moments of need.

Those moments of need -- like purchasing a product or using it for the first time -- have splintered into the micro-moments -- all of those all the individual points along the customer journey where customers have questions, look for products or face a decision. Forrester estimates these micro-moments now number 30 billion per day in the U.S., and growing.

Securing positive NPS scores in the micro-moments

The trick to delivering support at that level is to identify when your customers have acute needs. Then, you can find ways to guide them through with the right information. Applying proactive solutions to the most frustrating interactions can turn micro-moments into countless opportunities to connect with your customers, earn trust and build value.

See how we helped one telecom increase NPS by 37% by making moving easy

At US Specialty Care, WellDyneRx’s wholly-owned specialty pharmacy, that meant delivering answers proactively during the most critical patient engagement moments, like medication refill reminders, therapy onboarding and disease education. Using Relay’s HIPAA-compliant mobile messaging platform, US Specialty Care delivered personalized support to every patient at scale, simplifying and improving their experience and increasing Net Promoter Scores.

At Comcast, that meant communicating with customers more effectively throughout the installation process. By putting information at their fingertips with the Customer Feed, Comcast reduced the customer’s need to call and improved their perception of the effort required to get set up. As a result, Net Promoter Scores are up and call volume for this group of customers is down.

How your customers receive a Net Promoter Score request matters

While the importance of NPS is on the rise, most businesses share a common struggle: eliciting responses from customers has been really hard. Emails, web pop-ups and phone calls have been the most common methods to request an NPS rating. And according to Qualaroo, email response rates are usually less than a 5%.

The key to eliciting NPS responses isn’t just what you ask your customers, but how and when you ask those questions. Your likelihood of collecting a promoter score increases dramatically if you’re already engaging that customer regularly.

For US Specialty Care, its patients were used receiving mobile messages from their pharmacy and having an easy, seamless experience. So when the request to provide feedback came in, patients were more likely to respond. To date, the NPS campaign has a 51% clickthrough rate, nearly 10x more responsive than email and with a far greater reach. Out of those surveyed, 95% were satisfied or very satisfied with their Relay experience, leading to increased NPS.

For Comcast, the steady drumbeat of communications informing the customer where they stood in the process made recipients feel that a big company really does care about its customers.

The key to a well-rounded NPS score? Asking the question at the right time on the right platform to net more responses. This way, NPS scores are based on a wider population. Plus, with the foundation of a better experience, the question is likely to yield a positive score.

Make getting feedback from your customers as smooth as any other interaction

The clearest solution we see for improving customer feedback is making it a more common part of the company-customer relationship. The more customers are used to giving your team feedback about what they do and don’t like, the less it will seem like a hassle. It will also make them feel more invested in your company as a whole which will lead to an increase in overall satisfaction and loyalty.

If you’re worried that NPS is too shallow of a metric, there are plenty of ways to follow up after the survey or lead with more open-ended questions that can get you more valuable feedback. If your customers are already invested in you through frequent engagement, they won’t hesitate to give you honest information.

If you are already engaging your customers regularly, they won’t be thrown off by an NPS survey request. They’ll be used to hearing from you, and trained to think of these interactions as mostly to their benefit. You just have to lay that groundwork first.