Your NPS score gives you a single number that makes it easy to measure your overall customer satisfaction. By asking a single question—”How likely are you to recommend us to your friends or colleagues?”—to your customers, along with a scale of 0 to 10, you can average your customer’s satisfaction. This can be a benchmark to help you gauge improvements. But, once you have it, how to improve your NPS score can be more complicated.
How to Improve Your NPS Score: 6 Methods
1. Follow Up With Customers
Your NPS surveys will tell you, on average, how happy—or not—your customers are. However, to figure out how to improve your NPS score, you need to ask follow-up questions.
If your NPS score is already high, ask your customers how you can improve. If your customers are generally happy, they might provide ways you could add to an already satisfactory performance. If your customers are unhappy, they will hopefully provide some information on specific areas you should improve.
You might use a follow-up survey after your NPS score, so you can refine your questions more carefully. Or, you might include an open-ended question in your NPS survey, so customers can answer both questions at the same time. Whatever method you choose, follow-up questions are essential to improving your NPS score.
2. Talk to Employees
Many customers provide low NPS scores and critical responses because they are frustrated with unsatisfactory treatment by the business. Often, this stems from negative interactions with employees. However, it should not be assumed that employees simply do not want to help customers. To truly understand the issues between customers and employees, it’s important to open communication with employees.
Have a conversation with employees at every level, from entry-level to managers, across departments, and ask about their experiences working with customers. What complaints do they commonly hear? How do they solve these problems? Do they have the resources to solve these problems effectively.
Too often, employees do not have the authority or resources to actually solve a customers’ problem, resulting in a negative customer service experience. Or, employees may be understaffed, resulting in long wait-times and irritated customers. In other cases, the product or service simply does not work as it was promised, and employees cannot resolve these issues.
Keep in mind that employees may be nervous expressing their frustrations or needs. You might use an anonymous survey to gather responses. If this method does not work, employees may feel undervalued or mistrustful. In this case, you may need to strengthen this relationship first.
3. Customer Service Training
If customers cited service as a reason for giving their low NPS score, training can help employees react more constructively. When you speak with your employees and they explain that they do not know how to react or what to do when a customer has a particular problem, training may help to improve your NPS score.
In your training session, address the problem that customers cited in their NPS surveys. Maybe customers were frustrated by a slow return process, or a lack of a return process. Or maybe employees aren’t knowledgeable about a particular product or service. Give employees the tools that they need to address customers’ complaints, including the training.
4. Customer Service Empowerment
In other cases, employees may not have the freedom that they need to address customers’ complaints. If an employee is limited by strict policies so they cannot rectify a customers’ problem, you can improve your NPS score by addressing this problem.
Here are a few examples of flexibility you can give your customer service team so they can address customer complaints:
- Discounts: If a customer has a problem, a few kind words and a discount can encourage them to make a return visit and resolve frustrations.
- Returns: Customers expect a relatively easy and painless return policy from most businesses. If your company doesn’t offer it, it might be time to start.
- Free gift: Words alone might not be enough to solve a customers’ problem. Give your employees free gifts they can offer to help create positive experiences.
- Replacement merchandise: Broken or defective products will quickly frustrate customers. They’ll be more frustrated if they can’t get a replacement. Give employees the power to replace products without a lot of questions.
5. Adding Features
If your NPS surveys showed a mostly neutral response, or a positive score near zero, your customers are generally satisfied, but they’re not blown away. These customers are very likely to switch to competitors, since they don’t have any connection or loyalty to your brand. To improve your NPS score from this starting point, focus on features, products, or services that will really make an impression on your customers.
First, use your follow-up question to ask what customers are looking for from your business. There may be a particular feature, service, product, or improvement that customers are looking for. For example, they might be looking for more convenient online services, such as online ordering or online booking. Or, perhaps they are looking for a particular function from your software product, or a particular integration. Pay attention to responses, and ask for more information where needed. Then, get to work on these improvements.
Once you’ve made these changes, close the customer feedback loop and let your customers know that you were listening. This will make an impression on customers that is likely to improve your NPS score.
6. Building Brand
If your customers showed satisfaction, but low loyalty, and couldn’t give you specific feedback about what changes they’d like to see, building your brand can help to increase loyalty. Customer loyalty and brand evangelism often arise from an emotional connection to your brand. Customers see themselves in your brand, your products are an important part of their life, or they support the same things that you support. Building on these points can help you to build your brand and increase loyalty.
There are a number of ways to build your brand. You’ll want to make sure that you thoroughly understand your primary audience before you start on these initiatives.
- Brand identity: Brands like Jeep and Harley Davidson create an identity around their brand that matches their primary audience’s. Learn about your customers’ interests, personality, and demographics to create a strong brand identity.
- Ethics: Some consumers form strong connections with brands that support causes they believe in. This might include social justice, environmentalism, or civic engagement.
- Community: Helping customers meet and interact with each other over a shared loved of your business will help to increase connections. You might do this by supporting existing online groups, creating them, or creating or supporting events.
Improving your NPS score and, overall, customer satisfaction, doesn’t happen overnight. It takes sustained effort and communication. With a positive customer service experience, quality products or services, and a strong brand, you can improve your NPS score over time and build valuable brand loyalty.