All business to business, or B2B, marketers have one thing in common: they are laser-focused on gathering, interpreting, and delivering client analytics as a way to measure success. However, many marketers fail to look into and uncover their own metrics, especially their Net Promoter Scores.
As a disclaimer, there are mixed emotions about Net Promoter Scores. While some marketers claim these scores hold value about how well a company delivers success, others claim that the metric is a vanity score and does not provide insight into how a business is functioning. At LAIRE, we believe that Net Promoter Scores provide a piece of a larger puzzle to assess performance and customer satisfaction.
What is a Net Promoter Score?
If you have any experience in the business to business, or B2B, marketing sector you have probably heard the term NPS. NPS is shorthand for Net Promoter Score. These scores for your company are crucial to understanding how your business is providing value to your customers through services and products. Generally, your NPS measures how likely your customers are willing or likely to refer your company to a friend or colleague.
How the Score is Calculated
Your NPS score is calculated by allowing your customers to rank your services, the value your company provides to them, and how likely they would be to recommend your company to their friends or colleagues on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest score. Respondents giving a score of 9 or 10 are considered promoters, respondents answering 7 or 8 are passives, and respondents scoring 0 to 6 are detractors. You then subtract the number of detractors from the number of promoters to receive an absolute number score from -100 to +100. As an example, if you have 40% promoters, 35% passives, and 25% detractors, you would subtract 25% from 40% to receive an NPS of +15, which is considered a good score. As a rule of thumb, any score above 0 is considered to be a “good” score.
What Questions Can Be Asked on an NPS Survey?
The NPS survey is usually a two-part questionnaire. The first part of the questionnaire asks your audience to rate your company. Examples of this question could be “How likely are you to recommend our services to a friend?”, “Based on your experience with our company, how likely is it that you would give us a positive review to your colleagues?”, or even “Rate the level of value that you feel your friends would receive from our services based on your own experience.”. This is where the scale of 0 to 10 is offered.
The second part of the questionnaire would then be an open-ended question where your customers or partners can leave feedback about why they gave you the score they did. A common NPS question for this section is “Would you provide us with feedback on why you gave our company this score?”. Hopefully, your respondents would answer that they would rate your company as a 10 and say that the service and results they have received from you are extraordinary, but we know as humans that no company can deliver perfection, even if the company does everything right. While the ranking is important, you can receive insights directly from your customer that a number could never give you.
When Should You Send Your NPS Requests? And to Whom?
As an anecdote to this question, if you signed up for classes with a new fitness trainer, you would most likely not appreciate that trainer sending you an email immediately asking you to rank the results you have seen since participating in their services. The same goes for any B2B company. Give your respondents time to develop a true understanding and perception of your company before asking for a review. As a good rule of thumb, ask around the 30-day mark of your customers working with you. From there, it is a wise choice to ask for an updated score every 3 to 6 months. While you gather additional customers and updated scores, you will be able to see a glimpse into the value you are providing for your customers.
While it may be tempting to send NPS requests to only customers that frequently voice how happy they are with your services, it is important to survey all of your active customers. As unfortunate and discouraging as it can be to receive negative feedback, it is important to see the full range of satisfaction from your customers. If you partner with other companies, send your NPS email to any employee contact you have so you can receive multiple responses to account for one company. Should you offer subscriptions to your blog, send an email to your current subscribers as well. While they may not pay for your product or service, they can still attest to the value of your resources and provided information from your blogs, case studies, eBooks, and webinars.
The Impact a Positive Net Promoter Score Can Have On Your Customer Relationships
Track Your Company and Industry NPS Trends
Now that we have covered the what, when, and who, let’s cover the how. Your NPS can be extremely meaningful when comparing your company to peers and competitors. If your competitors and peers use the Net Promoter Score system, you can compare their overall score to yours. This will give you an idea of how their patrons perceive the value they provide. If these competitors have extremely high NPS numbers, maybe take a look at the resources they are providing during your regular competitor research. You might find an area that they do not have resources dedicated to, which would give your company a place to become the authoritative source on that particular topic.
While looking at other company’s NPS can be important, don’t forget to track your own NPS over time, both overall and on a client basis. Seeing your NPS trend can help determine how your value is continuing to grow, remain on a plateau, or even decrease. Remember how we said that NPS questionnaires usually consist of two parts? This is where the second question can give you a true look into how happy your clients and subscribers are with your offerings. If your NPS is trending upwards, choose a few promoter scores to review why they are satisfied with your company and what you are doing exceptionally well. While you can always improve, take a peek at some of the passive and detractor scores to understand why you are not going above and beyond in their eyes. In the case of LAIRE, we noticed that our audience wanted to see more resources about financial services, social media platforms, and some of the unique characteristics of our team that help us shine.
Continue reviewing NPS by looking at your individual scores as well. Is Nancy from one of your client companies trending downward? If her coworkers have submitted their responses and ranked your company the same way, it might be time to reassess their strategy and address any new pain points they might be having. By understanding why they might be ranking your company lower than they have in the past, you can work to improve that relationship and improve your NPS.
Here are 5 things you can do to improve your Net Promoter Score:
- Listen to your current customers! If a customer voices that your blog is focusing too much on one specific topic or they would like to receive a new resource (checklist, guide, webinar, eBook) from you, take that opportunity to create new content that speaks directly to that customer. Chances are, your other customers and prospects will enjoy it too.
- Take complaints seriously and investigate them. Did a rating come in with a note that your team was underperforming or under-serving them? Go directly to your team and find a solution that will create a positive impact for that individual. Chances are, they will rank your company higher in their next NPS.
- Make continual improvements. It is one thing to promise improvement for the future, and another to actively include those efforts. You might experience some growing pains, but these new actions will become second nature and your audience will thank you.
- Thank your customers for their time, especially those who have left positive reviews and referred additional customers to you. While it can become easy to forget about an awesome Google review, sending a quick note to the individual that your company truly appreciates their business and review will help give your company a reputation as one that cares about the individual.
- Comment and interact positively with your virtual community. Your customers will be delighted to see that you’ve interacted with their recent LinkedIn post that shares a success about something outside of how you are servicing them. At LAIRE, we succeed when our customers succeed. Your clients will thank you for celebrating them and cheering them on by creating positive memories surrounding your business.
Boost Your Referrals
As marketing experts, our team can guarantee that word-of-mouth marketing and referrals go a long way. These referrals have the highest potential to turn into closed leads and new customers, and by receiving good reviews from their friends, these leads might have a positively formed opinion of your company and services. This is where you can convert your happy customers into promoters for your business.
If a truly satisfied customer receives your NPS email or communication, that might induce a reminder that their friend’s B2B company needs a world-class partner and your company is exactly what they need. But don’t stop there! Open up your dialogue to these happy individuals. Ask them to give additional details about their satisfaction with you. Ask them if there is anything you can improve upon. Talking about the awesome job your company is doing could potentially encourage them to voice their additional pain points and increase their retainer or plan with you. Both of these acts can drive your revenue up. Not to mention, their unique insight as a company can offer hugely valuable information on how effective your recruiting efforts are. This information can be relayed to both your marketing and sales teams as either a pat on the back for a job well done or a recommendation on what can be improved.
Turn Your Referrals Into Revenue
Remember the customer flywheel that we have previously shared? If you are new to the flywheel or need a refresher, check out this blog. As a quick reminder, your flywheel moves from strangers to prospects, from prospects to customers, and from customers to promoters. When you are doing everything you can and more to truly delight your customers, you have a very good chance of turning your customers into promoters. The NPS is one way you can identify these promoters. When you work to continually impress and deliver to your promoters, you are actively working to increase organic brand mentions and awareness, free reviews, customer referrals, and more. All of these free additional marketing efforts done by real people and actual customers are additional boosts to your company for help, thus increasing your revenue.
It is no secret that when someone mentions a brand that performs a service or provides a product that could be useful to us, we want to learn more. There have been many team discussions at LAIRE where one member promotes a new restaurant in their area. This often leads into a discussion about what makes that restaurant so yummy or how it is different from the other restaurants surrounding it. This is an excellent example of an organic mention and referral. If you happen to be a CPA for dentists and have several promoters within your clientbase, chances are your company will come up in conversation with other dentists facing similar challenges. They might even create a post on social media that talks about the awesome tax services they received this year from your company. There isn’t any incentive for your current client, just a truly wonderful experience that they would recommend to a friend.
Promoters are also more likely to be willing to leave your company a review. If you are excelling in providing great value to a particular client, it might be worth mentioning that it would truly help your company if they could leave a Google review. This review will then be seen by strangers and prospects, letting them know that you are a great company and can provide excellent value to them as well. Think about it, would you be more willing to buy a product from a company that had zero reviews or several really outstanding reviews? Most individuals would go with the company that has multiple 5-star reviews from current clients.
Net Promoter Scores can offer a lot of information about your company. This information can be used to create new strategies, improve upon current services, and understand how your business is delivering value to your customers. Overall, the information will help you gain an understanding of the big picture that is your company.
If you’re new to email marketing and Net Promoter Scores, talk with our team. We are happy to discuss how you can improve your efforts through a free 20-minute marketing assessment.