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Surveys: To NPS or Not NPS

Tracy Borreson

Tracy Borreson,
January 28, 2020

We all want to know what our customers are thinking. Historically, customer surveys have been one of the ways that we go about doing this. With all of the survey option out there, how do you know which to choose?

SPLICE Software specializes in optimizing completion rates for Net Promoter Score Surveys (NPS). But which survey strategy is right for you? There are scenarios where you want a transactional survey (like Customer Satisfaction surveys) AND there are times when you want something more robust.

Read on to learn when to use each solution to optimize your Voice of the Customer...

Let's start by understanding Customer Satisfaction scores

Simply put, a customer satisfaction score is a measurement against what your company has deemed as acceptable in terms of customer standards. It is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) used to measure the satisfaction of your customers for a particular product, transaction or interaction. 

CSAT is a great way to look at particular pieces of your customer journey to see how well they are meeting your customers expectations OF THAT SPECIFIC INTERACTION. Things like:

  • Feedback on a sales process
  • Feedback on a customer service experience
  • Feedback when using a Help Desk
  • Feedback after a delivery

All of these examples are great use cases for a CSAT survey. And, they are NOT the place for an NPS survey ;)

Understanding Net Promoter Score

Again, let's start simply. NPS is a measure of long-term happiness or customer loyalty. It is a customer perception index that predicts customer loyalty based on willingness to promote a product, service or brand. As you might assume from the description, this metric is NOT associated with a specific interaction, but is built to understand the entire customer journey and overall happiness. 

Measuring NPS helps to predict the growth of your business with real data. To make NPS a true reflection of an overall experience, it's important make sure it is timed and framed as separate from a specific interaction.

NPS breaks your customers into 3 segments: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. Promoters are those who are likely to recommend your brand. Passives are people who likely will do nothing in terms of word of mouth referrals, but had a good enough experience to buy from you again. Detractors are likely to speak poorly about your brand, either in private, or public (in the case of severe detractors). 

One of the primary differentiators of this type of survey is the follow-up protocol. Severe Detractors (0-3) receive a follow-up within 24 hours; Detractors (4-6) within 48 hours. Passives and Promoters within 5 business days. The follow-up protocol ensures that the feedback doesn't go into a black box, but that it is used immediately to improve the customer relationship. 

Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score are complementary measures

There is a place for both of these survey metrics in your customer journey and it is important not to look at them as competing offers. CSAT will give you valuable insight into specific KPI's that are not being met that need to be addressed. NPS will give you valuable insight into the overall attachment your customers have with you brand. They work hand in hand to give you the FULL Voice of your Customer.

The Dangers of a Singular Survey Strategy

There is no rule against only doing CSAT. Or only doing NPS. But without both, you lack the full picture of your true customer experience. And without the full picture, we can never make the best business decisions. 

So, if you have a current survey provider, talk to them about the benefits of getting a more thorough survey strategy in place. And if you don't, the team at SPLICE would be happy to chat about it!

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About the Author

Tracy Borreson

Tracy Borreson

Tracy has been a member of the SPLICE Team since 2012, with roles in both Client Success and Marketing. As VP of Marketing, she leads the team's demand generation, branding, and communications efforts. Tracy holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from the University of Alberta and a Relationship Selling designation from Dale Carnegie. Prior to SPLICE, Tracy perfected her marketing expertise through senior level Project Management and Marketing positions at Kirk Marketing, Honeycomb Direct Mail, The Brick and CFCW. Her contributions also extend to the community, including past roles as Vice President of Marketing at the Credit Institute of Canada, Calgary Chapter. She is also a proud mother of a rambunctious, red-headed little boy.

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