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Glossary of Marketing Terms

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What is a customer NPS survey?  

A customer NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey is a tool used to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction by asking a single, simple question:

"How likely are you to recommend [Organization X] to a friend or colleague?"

Respondents rate their likelihood on a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). The scores are then categorized into three groups:

  • Promoters (9-10): Loyal and enthusiastic customers who are likely to repurchase and refer others.
  • Passives (7-8): Satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (0-6): Unhappy customers who are unlikely to repurchase and may even discourage others from buying from the company.

What are the customer NPS survey questions?  

Here are some examples of NPS survey questions:

1. Primary NPS question

  • How likely are you to recommend [Organization X] to a friend or colleague?

2. Rating for business

  • On a scale of zero to ten, how likely are you to recommend [our business/business name] to a friend or colleague?

3. Rating for products or services

  • How likely are you to recommend our [product name or service] to a friend or colleague?

4. Rating for support staff:

  • Rate our support staff or customer support service.

5. Rating for business as a place of work:

  • How likely are you to recommend [Company Name] as a place of work to your friends and family?

6. Transactional NPS:

  • Based on your recent interaction, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends and family?

7. Follow-up questions:

  • Why would you (not) recommend us?
  • What did we do well?
  • What can we improve on?
  • What can/should we do better?

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Why is it important to conduct customer NPS survey?  

  • Measure customer loyalty: The core benefit of NPS surveys is gauging customer loyalty. Unlike satisfaction surveys that ask about a specific interaction, NPS focuses on the likelihood of a customer recommending your business to others. This indicates how enthusiastic they are about your brand.

  • Simple and actionable: NPS surveys are quick and easy for customers to complete, typically with just one core question. This high response rate translates to actionable data you can use to improve.

  • Benchmark performance: NPS scores provide a standardized metric (from -100 to +100) that allows you to benchmark your performance against industry standards and competitors. This helps you understand your relative position.

  • Identify promoters and detractors: The NPS system categorizes customers into Promoters (likely to recommend, score 9-10), Passives (neutral, score 7-8), and Detractors (unlikely to recommend, score 0-6). This allows you to prioritize efforts towards turning passives into promoters and addressing concerns of detractors.

  • Focus on customer experience: By focusing on the likelihood of recommendation, NPS inherently pushes businesses to prioritize customer experience. Loyal customers are more likely to be repeat buyers and brand advocates.

  • Track progress over time: Regular NPS surveys allow you to track your score over time and measure the impact of your customer-centric initiatives. This helps you identify what's working and what areas need improvement.

What are the challenges in using a customer NPS survey?  

While NPS surveys offer valuable insights, there are some challenges to consider:

  • Limited scope: NPS focuses solely on the likelihood of recommending a brand, neglecting other aspects of customer experience like satisfaction or specific product features. You might get a high NPS score but still have dissatisfied customers with certain aspects.
  • Open to misinterpretation: The core NPS question uses a 0-10 scale. Some customers might interpret a 7 or 8 as neutral, while NPS categorizes them as "Passives" who aren't promoters. This can skew the results.
  • Low response rates: Like any survey, NPS surveys can suffer from low response rates. This means the data might not represent the entire customer base, potentially skewing the score.
  • Actionable insights: While NPS categorizes customers, it doesn't provide specific reasons behind their scores. Follow-up questions are crucial to understand why customers are promoters or detractors.
  • Focus on the score: NPS is a metric, not the ultimate goal. Obsessing over the score can distract from addressing the underlying customer feedback that drives the score.
  • Industry benchmarks: NPS benchmarks vary widely by industry. A high score in one industry might be average in another. It's important to compare yourself to relevant competitors.
  • Customer journey: NPS doesn't account for the customer journey. A customer might be a promoter after purchase but become a detractor after poor customer service. Multiple touchpoints influence loyalty.

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