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What and How to Learn From Bad Net Promoter Score

According to a Gartner Customer Experience survey, two-thirds of CX Managers said that their companies compete majorly on the basis of Customer Experience. To keep setting new benchmarks of customer experience to stay competitive, brands consistently hear the voice of customers. Customer satisfaction and Customer Effort Score are two powerful metrics. But the most typical and critical metric that businesses use to measure customer experience and customer loyalty is Net Promoter Score.

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The ultimate objective of every Net Promoter Score strategy is to get more promoters and fewer or no detractors. And very often than not, this objective can be achieved only by learning from bad NPS. No customer experience manager would like to see a bad NPS score. But looking at the brighter side, there is a lot of insightful information that it can uncover to help you retain customers and improve loyalty. So, let’s read about what and how bad NPS can teach us.

But before that, we have explained NPS briefly here to give an overview to those who are unfamiliar with Net Promoter Score.

A Quick NPS Rundown

NPS or Net Promoter Score is a customer loyalty metric that ranges from -100 to 100. It represents the likelihood of your customers to repeat business and attract new customers.

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What to Learn from Bad Net Promoter Score

If you carefully analyze detractors, they can tell you a lot about what your customers expect from your brand. So, here are a few things you must remember in case of a bad net promoter score:

Detractors Can Be Turned Into Promoters

It is common for brands to think that they cannot really do much after the customer has had a bad experience. For them, a detractor means a customer who would not come back. But that may not be entirely true.

77% of consumers view brands more favorably if they are willing to collect customer feedback and apply it to the system. This means that they would give a brand another chance before giving it up for good. This proves that despite poor Net Promoter Score, you can redeem your brand reputation by doing everything to improve customer experience. What’s important for customers is to know that their business is valuable and that you act on the feedback received.

Bad NPS Highlights the Need for More Engagement

Engaged customers are able to connect emotionally with the brand and view it as a partner in their experience. And NPS is a great way to highlight those customer segments that need more engagement.

If you know exactly which customers are detractors, you can ask them the next question – “what challenge did you face with our brand?” A detractor is your cue to improve engagement and resolve the issue more effectively. Moreover, proactively approaching detractors to hear their problems and offer help is a way to communicate that their business is valuable to you and you are more than willing to work on the challenges to improve your relationship with your customers. And this is something that can turn even your detractors into promoters.

Bad NPS can Be Used to Identify Recovery Hotspots

NPS score helps you identify recovery spots. Your product may require some improvement, your website may require a smoother interface, or your staff may require training to handle certain complaints and queries. But if you track touchpoints that detractors took the NPS survey at, you can also identify hotspots that must be prioritized for recovery. As a result, you can improve experience first for the segment that is likely to stop business with you and be able to retain customers.

To put it into simpler words, NPS allows you to focus specifically on customer demands from the segment that is likely to speak badly about your brand and get an opportunity to turn the situation around as quickly as possible.

Tunnel Vision May Not Be a Great Idea

Net Promoter Score is a perfect metric to understand customers’ general sentiment for your brand. But if you want to dig deeper into challenges that are resulting in a poor net promoter score, try to avoid tunnel vision and also include CSAT and CES, other important metrics to uncover reasons for a bad net promoter score.

CSAT: CSAT is a customer satisfaction metric that measures satisfaction score on a 1-10 satisfaction scale. It also allows asking customers questions about their challenges; for example:
“Please share what you liked and disliked about our brand.” or “Please share your biggest challenge while doing business with us.”

CES: CES surveys measure customers’ effort while doing business with you. It helps understand if it’s challenging for customers to get help regarding a purchase, have a request fulfilled, or get a resolution to an issue.

NPS, CSAT, and CES together help understand customer experiences as well as the root cause of negative and positive feedback. Moreover, CSAT and CES surveys can be embedded into your NPS survey. The data can then be collected through any medium, including mobile, tablet, kiosk, SMS, email, mobile app, web link, QR code, and live chat.

What to Learn from Bad NPS

How to Improve Net Promoter Score?

According to a PwC Customer Experience survey, 1 in 3 customers will discontinue business with a brand after one bad experience, which means that you still have a chance to change the opinion of the other two about your brand. How? Let’s understand.

Respond Promptly

According to HubSpot Research, 82% of customers find an “immediate” response very important when they have a question. And 60% of these customers consider immediate as “10 minutes or less”. Often customers are quite understanding and do not mind talking to share their issues with your brand. It becomes problematic when they have to wait on hold, repeat their issue to a new customer executive, and keep following up to get an update on the reported problem.

To ensure that your customers leave with a positive experience make sure that:

  • Your customer service team is trained to answer cross-departmental queries.
  • Helpdesk stations are available at multiple touchpoints on site.
  • The waiting time for email, live chat, and phone requests is reduced to the minimum.

Ensure Multi-Channel Engagement

Engaging with customers to find out what can turn detractors into promoters is essential. But if you’re only engaging through a single channel, you might not be able to capture all customers’ attention. And it’s very rare for customers to come up to you and share their challenges.

So, make sure to engage your customers at every touchpoint, both online and offline. For example, live chat engagement will allow you to offer real-time support while customers shop with you. Email or SMS surveys will allow your customers to share their experience post purchase. QR Code surveys enable customer feedback collection while customers are in the store. Similarly, customer focus groups will create a bandwidth for innovation based on customer interactions and expectations.

Here are some channels that you can leverage to optimize customer engagement:

  • Multi-channel surveys
  • Live Chat
  • Phone Calls
  • Focus Groups
  • Customer Interviews
  • Social Media Channels
  • Reviews

How you interact with your customers has a huge impact on their purchase decisions. A well-engaged customer is more likely to stay with your brand, make repeat purchases, and recommend you to people in their social groups.

Always Close the Feedback Loop

Your responsibility doesn’t end once you receive feedback and create recovery plans. The most important stakeholder in this transaction is always your customer. Therefore, it is important to keep them updated throughout the recovery process and close the feedback loop with an appropriate action or response. This is an ideal practice to convey to your customers that their feedback is critical in helping you improve your brand.
Here’s how you can close the feedback loop:

  • Take time to personally respond to your unhappy customers.
  • Give them an opportunity to share their challenges and assure them that you are working on the feedback.
  • Fix their challenges or issues without being defensive.
  • Apologize if a specific challenge cannot be resolved at the moment.
  • Treat your unhappy customers with incentives.

Do Not Overlook Happy Customers

Yes, the Net Promoter Score brings your attention to unsatisfied customers. But it’s important to remember that happy customers are equally important. Customers that receive consistently improving service have more chances of promoting your brand and shopping with you again than customers who are in the passive segment. Passive customers are not completely dedicated to your brand and may replace you with your competition if promised better incentives.

Therefore, your goal should be to convert passive customers into brand advocates by offering them rewards, thanking them for their business, ensuring proactive service, and engaging them with new offers and discounts.

How to Improve NPS
Bad Net Promoter Score is a critical part of the learning curve. So, look at it as an opportunity to get to know your customers better. Keep all the things explained above in mind and work as a team to improve customer loyalty and net promoter score.


Written by Bhawika

Dec 14, 2021

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