Net Promoter Score (NPS), a very popular measure of how a company is performing in the eyes of its customers, has attained the coveted status of the industry standard in recent years.
Every company tracks it and wants to improve it.
And why not?
It is a simple tool that gives an idea about how a company is performing in the eyes of its customers.
Hence most companies actively want to increase their net promoter score.
But the very reason that’s given it the popularity is also the reason why it’s a difficult metric to improve upon.
It is too simple to get meaningful insights.
NPS analysis is crucial to understanding customer sentiments and done with the right intention - gauging customer feelings and then using those insights.
But the problem is NPS analysis only produces half-baked insights which do not provide the whole picture.
Often touted as the ultimate measure of customer loyalty, NPS is a fairly uncomplicated metric to measure.
It is also an easy metric to analyse. But the current method of analysing NPS in a silo is causing more harm than good.
That’s got a lot to do with how NPS is collected in the first place. Let‘s have a look.
Companies send out surveys to their customers asking them to rate the company on a scale of 10 based on the likelihood of them recommending it to others.
This is often followed up with a close-ended question asking the customers to provide an explanation for the particular rating they provided.
To know the scoring procedure in more detail check out this guide our customer Hotjar published on NPS scoring.
• NPS surveys are biassed
A follow-up question to an NPS score will only capture a small excerpt of the customer’s journey and not shed any light on the previous experiences that led to such a score.
• NPS surveys are reactive
Detractors share their issues only after it’s troubled them to a point where they feel highly negatively about it. At this point it is too late. If you can proactively track and solve customer issues, then customers won’t even turn into detractors in the first place.
• NPS surveys are not complete
While it's great to rejoice when a promoter gives you the perfect score, it’s essential to also understand those nagging issues that they are facing and take proactive steps to fix them. Promoters do not share that information in NPS surveys.
• NPS surveys have a low completion rate
NPS surveys, like most surveys, are often unanswered. The industry standard is in single digits. Such a short data sample means that the insights do not reflect or match what the majority is thinking.
One can not disagree that the most critical step in improving NPS is to understand the drivers behind it.
A holistic approach that included NPS analysis as well as customer sentiment analysis is the need of the hour.
Let's look at why.
Customer sentiment analysis can help you figure out exactly how your customers are feeling about your product.
And the most authentic form of sentiment analysis comes from analysing your customer service conversations.
Yes, your customer service tickets, customer emails, calls, and chats hold a goldmine of insights.
Remember, a bad NPS (or a good one) is decided by a culmination of all the experiences that your customers had with your company up until that point.
Customer sentiment analysis of customer service data can tell you what problems your customers were facing, and what repetitive problems they had.
Customer service data tell you the story of your customer's journey with your company and enable you to connect those dots between a bad experience (or a series of bad experiences) and a low NPS rating.
As mentioned above, all of the fantastic data you need to understand and dig deeper into NPS drivers is already there with your customer service team.
There are a number of reasons why analysing customer sentiments from this data is the best way of understanding how your customers are feeling about your product.
• It’s granular: The biggest benefit of customer service conversations is that it provides richer customer data. Since the data is detailed, the insights are also granular and actionable.
Example: NPS analysis can tell you that your customers are facing issues with 'audio quality'. But this is very generic and vague. With customer sentiment analysis, you can give you much meatier insights into what aspect of ‘audio quality’ is troubling your users. Let’s say it’s the lack of support for audio files above 320 Kbps, then you know exactly what to work on.
• It’s proactive: If you use customer insights from throughout their journey, you can fix topics of concern before they become huge risks. This way you can prevent customers from turning into detractors and leaving you a terrible score.
Example: A mild irritation with the login page, if experienced repetitively can turn into a much bigger problem. This can even lead to the customers turning into detractors, or even cancelling out.
• It’s holistic: Customers share their concerns with customer service without being asked, which means that the data is all-encompassing and not restricted to limited questions or aspects.
Now that you know why you absolutely need customer insights, check out this latest article on how to improve NPS using customer sentiment analysis.
If you’re looking to improve your NPS, the trick is to take a step back and zoom out.
Think about what led a customer to give you a poor score - what were those recurring problems that turned a happy promoter into an angry detractor in 3 months?
NPS surveys are a great tool to get some insights into the minds of your customers, there is no doubt about it.
But it itself it’s probably not the best way to recognise those areas of concern that are bringing your NPS down.
What you need is to supplement your NPS analysis with customer sentiment analysis of customer service conversations. Together, these two can give you granular insights into how your customers are feeling and why they're giving a low NPS score.