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Do net promoter scores matter?

The customer experience industry (CX) is increasingly important to businesses because having satisfied customers is crucial to success. Loyal customers are worth 10x the value of their first purchase and it’s considerably easier to retain customers than acquire new ones, so delivering the best possible customer experience is well worth the time and effort.

That’s where customer satisfaction surveys come in, and metrics like net promoter scores. Surveys help to gauge customer satisfaction and record any trends or negative sentiments amongst customers, which in turn can help businesses to make improvements. 

What are Net Promoter Scores?

NPS is a popular metric amongst businesses because it’s simple and easily measured. This premise of an NPS is to ask how likely a customer is to recommend the business to someone else. The question tends to look something like this: 

“How likely are you to refer [organisation X/Product Y/Service Z] to a friend or colleague?”

An NPS is usually measured on a scale, such as 1-5 or 1-10 which allows the business to put a numerical value on customer satisfaction. Having a quantifiable metric for customer satisfaction makes it possible to track progress and improvements, as well as pinpoint any major areas of customer complaints. 

NPS surveys tend to be sent out either quarterly or annually to gauge a regular sense of customer satisfaction and track any patterns over time. This gives businesses something to measure progress against and serves as a benchmark for success. 

What value does NPS give businesses? 

Since customer satisfaction is so important, businesses need to lean into their customer feedback and make it a priority to deliver the best possible customer experience.  Satisfied customers are worth more than just a few good reviews because they lead to a 30% rise in profits, and 87% of customers will promote a business to others after a good experience. That means customers are organically marketing your business without any additional effort from you, which is much simpler and more cost-effective than conventional marketing efforts. 

Upsides of NPS surveys: 

  • NPS surveys are straightforward and easily applied to any industry.
  • NPS can give a broad and indicative measure of customer satisfaction with one simple question. 
  • NPS is popular across the business world and recognised by many successful businesses as an established customer satisfaction metric. 

Considerations to make when using NPS

The problem is that the popularity of NPS is not reflected in its true effectiveness. Customer satisfaction surveys need to be increasingly specific because businesses need to know where and how their customer experience is falling short in order to make the necessary improvements. NPS might have worked when it was first developed over 20 years ago, but the business world is constantly evolving, and now that customer experience is a key differentiator between businesses the metrics to measure it needs to evolve as well. 

NPS is oversimplified and outdated and doesn’t deliver the information businesses need from a customer satisfaction metric. To be useful to businesses, a survey needs to delve into the specific details of the customer experience, rather than the generalised point-in-time impression an NPS gives. Unfortunately, many businesses use the NPS as a box-ticking score rather than a useful indication of customer experience or satisfaction. 

Alternatives to NPS surveys

In 2022, a good customer satisfaction metric needs to be targeted, personalised and meaningful. Where NPS falls short of that, other metrics deliver such as Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT) and Customer Effort Scores (CES). 

Customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT)

CSAT surveys are a more focused and strategic approach to customer satisfaction because they are an indicator of how happy your customers are with a certain product, service or interaction. CSAT surveys are measured with a scale, such as 1-5 and the questions tend to look like this:

‘How would you rate your experience with us?' 

‘How would you rate this product?’

‘How would you rate our customer service?’

CSAT is a key indicator of how your business is performing while still giving precise details about what exactly needs to change. Where NPS is oversimplified, CSAT is insightful and actionable

Customer Effort Scores (CES)

CES is another crucial metric that is designed to measure how effortless an interaction with your business was for a customer. For many customers, having a difficult experience with a brand is enough to make them leave, and tell other prospective customers about it. That’s why businesses should be prioritising their customer experience, and making sure interactions are as seamless and helpful as possible.    

CES surveys are also measured with a scale, such as 1-5 and the questions tend to look like this:

‘How easy was it to find the answers you needed?' 

‘How easy was it to purchase this product?’

‘How easy was it to resolve this problem with our customer service team?’

A CES survey is an excellent way to determine when and why customers are abandoning your business, and what could improve your retention rates. Unlike NPS, CES is direct and requires no guesswork on the business's part. 

Review Tui survey tools

Since recognising the shortcomings of NPS, Review Tui realised that businesses need a modernised and comprehensive approach to measuring customer satisfaction. That’s why we developed software that makes CSAT and CES surveying as easy as possible, as well as provides valuable analytics and tracking tools.  

Review Tui is designed to be user-friendly, customer-focused and up to date with all the latest customer satisfaction metrics. If you want to ensure your customers are happy and keep them coming back for more then you’ll need to make the most of customer feedback through surveys. 

For applicable tips, and practical actions you can take, download our guide to implementing a customer feedback strategy.  

Download our free customer feedback strategy guide