In some ways, Net Promoter Score is a victim of its own success. Business people love simple metrics and NPS is super easy to understand. There is a lot of pressure to have a higher NPS. That is why you see people in Europe grasping for their own lighter EU NPS, which we were once for but now against; that is a different article. Often bonuses depend upon someone’s NPS, so the temptation is great…
… yet it is a horrible idea to actually game your NPS! Yes, your score will go up, but not in any meaningful way. Sometimes, I am surprised by the amount of effort that people will expend in trying to get us to change the way we ask NPS questions on our survey platform. That effort should be spent on other aspects of NPS projects that have a high ROI, like follow-up.
A well run NPS project starts by asking the correct NPS question and getting a baseline reference score. Start plotting your NPS on a timeline.
Next, see NPS as a triage mechanism. The goal is to discover why detractors are giving you low scores and get that information deep into your organization to affect changes so that other customers do not have the same experience.
Often forgotten, but just as important, is to find out what experiences promoters are having and try to replicate those experiences for all of your customers.
A goldmine of information can be found in the open answers of respondents, also known as verbatims. You should be applying text analysis to reveal the gems found in them. Use ‘Net Sentiment Score (NSS)’ to quantify the results and plot those on a timeline too. Changes in sentiment should trigger action.
Issue management and follow-up are important and we cover them elsewhere.
As you can see, an effective Net Promoter program that actually improves your internal processes and actually makes your customers more loyal and happy takes effort and has the highest ROI. Don’t waste energy trying to game your score… It isn’t worth it.