NPS surveys appear to be such a simple thing at a quick glance. Send them out, receive a proportion back, then calculate your score. Maybe you've recently established a CX or Voice of the Customer programme. Maybe it’s something that management wanted to implement because your competitors are doing it. Maybe a project was instigated to be seen to be taking action on your customer experience.

There are many ways that NPS can be rolled out well, and there are also many common pitfalls awaiting organisations. So before you file away yet another NPS survey result, check that your business isn’t making the following common mistakes.

1. Underplaying the importance of your customer intelligence

A truly customer-centric business is one that understands the importance of their customer intelligence. In a recent CMO article, Optus head of customer experience, Charles Weiser, noted that the success of an organisation is determined by its customers and the quality of customer intelligence it can obtain.

Transactional intelligence, that is the operational and financial intelligence, should provide the context in which your customers interact with your brand. This, overlaid with customer feedback data, leads to meaningful and actionable customer insights to improve your products and services for new and existing customers.

Combining this data enables organisations to match themes to customer segments and develop higher relevancy products and services by understanding real customer sentiment within their survey feedback. To demonstrate the efficacy of combining this intelligence, Optus has gained a much greater understanding of customer retention drivers by matching this longitudinal data with real customer interactions.

2. Missing the 'why'

NPS is undeniably one of the best benchmarking tools currently available - as long as the 2nd question is analysed for the context behind ‘why’ your customers are giving particular feedback. This is where the true actionable insights come from, not from only knowing your score. These deeper insights will highlight performance and process issues within your business that are driving negative customer experience.

No matter how thoroughly you analyse and monitor your NPS number, you are inherently limited in your ability to analyse why customer sentiment is changing without focusing on the unstructured data in the 2nd ‘why’ question. By focusing solely on the rise and fall of your NPS number, you run the risk of missing significant actionable insights that could be used to improve your customer experience. Instead, you need to spend the resources to analyse the responses to that second question, only then can you gain a true understanding of your customers.

3. Not closing the loop

Fast and effective response to customer feedback is crucial. Up to 50% of your detractors will leave within 90 days (or sooner). Ignoring detractors is an expensive risk for your organisation. It is estimated to be 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. If you can touch base with your ‘detractors’ and address their concerns, you drastically increase your customer retention. And the closer this happens to the original customer interaction, the easier it will be to rectify their poor experience.

It is important that organisations have a standard procedure in place for closing the loop. Ideally, your company should be following up with customers directly. Most customers don't expect a personal phone call from a company they have given negative feedback to, so picking up the phone, and discussing their concerns could be one of the most beneficial things your organisation does to improve customer experience.  

Decide who in the business will contact detractors. Whilst it may depend on the type of customer and their concerns, often customer support is a good place to start, particularly more senior members of the team. Make sure that when you do follow up, you ask lots of questions to gain context around the customer’s experience, address the customer’s concerns and be sure to follow up afterwards if you cannot address all of the these immediately.  

Taking ownership of your customer feedback

Remember, a customer-centric organisation is one that takes ownership and control over its customer feedback and how it is utilised to have the greatest impact. They genuinely cares to follow up and close the loop with their customers on the negative (and positive) experiences they have had.

Before you disregard NPS as a poor return on investment, check that your business is actually taking the right steps to see success. Automated NPS analysis software allows your business to quickly and effectively gain valuable insights into NPS results in a user-friendly environment. Consider how arming your internal Voice of customer team with the tools they need can improve your customer’s experience. And, most importantly, keep you in control of the information that drives these changes.

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NPS Customer Experience