Published by ClearlyRated - 11/8/22

Think NPS® Doesn’t Work? You Could be Doing it Wrong.

At ClearlyRated, we’ve consistently championed the Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) satisfaction survey. We believe in the power and beautiful simplicity of beginning with one question: How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague? This question gives survey takers real-life context, easily identifies your happy customers and your unhappy customers, and allows you to benchmark your client satisfaction against others in the industry, among other advantages. But, occasionally, NPS surveys come under fire. 

>> Get a quick refresher on Net Promoter® Score (NPS). <<

Correcting Common Misconceptions about NPS Surveys

Sometimes skepticism comes from people who’ve never tried NPS surveys. They don’t understand how one question could help you learn so much. Other times, the naysayers are companies that have tried it but, thanks to a subpar partnership or uninformed internal processes, they succumbed to common NPS mistakes. Let’s clear up misconceptions about NPS surveys and how to decipher their findings once and for all. 

Myth #1 – They ask just one question, and it doesn’t provide enough information.

Not true. They start with one question—and this isn’t a bad thing. It’s an essential question (How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?). In fact, kicking off with this one question improves response rates and immediately gets to the crux of the matter, keeping things clear and simple. This way it’s easy to compare against industry benchmarks and quickly identify how clients feel about your organization in a way that directly translates to your bottom line. Plus, NPS surveys have evolved. After respondents answer that first, all-important question, give them the option to answer more simple questions to tease out additional insights. 

Before NPS, satisfaction surveys often included 30 questions and required customers to spend at least 10 minutes providing their feedback. But people are busy. Not only are they less likely to finish a longer survey, but they’ll also be less inclined to even consider starting one next time you send it. By reducing their required commitment to just one question, you get more responses and easy-to-digest results that you can respond to with more agility. You can even segment NPS results by team, by location, and by market to hone in on great performances and opportunities to improve. This delivers unprecedented context to evaluate your team’s performance. Plus, don’t neglect your option to ask important follow-up questions within the survey. Just prioritize the topics that could most impact your firm and your clients when planning those questions.

Myth #2 – The simplicity of NPS can only help firms with lagging technical prowess.

Not so. Technology enriches NPS. In fact, the two go hand in hand. NPS can help any organization better understand their customer satisfaction, improve their customer experience (CX), and even encourage testimonials and referrals regardless of how tech-savvy they are. NPS surveys do this by delivering rich data. And, regardless of whether your current tech is adequate, the right survey partner uses their own tech platform to deliver actionable insights and helpful tools to help your firm respond to both good and bad feedback. 

NPS may seem simple, but it generates robust data to slice and dice for new insights. ClearlyRated provides a real-time dashboard and even full-service account management to guide you in deciphering data, identifying trends, and generating insights. We also provide a Financial Impact Report to help customers leverage their survey results into business growth.

Myth #3 – NPS surveys deliver stale data.

*cough* User error *cough

Honestly, this depends entirely on how you run your survey program. If you seem to be looking back on old data – numbers that are a reflection of six months or even a year ago rather than now – ask yourself some soul-searching questions. Consider how often you send surveys, and how quickly you review your data afterward. The fact is, it’s possible to get real-time NPS pulses. It all comes down to the way you (or your survey partner) administer(s) your survey program. Rather than a long, annual survey that takes more time to field, analyze, and digest, we recommend fielding shorter, simpler surveys with more frequency. Then make time to review the results and respond appropriately. After all, customer sentiment can quickly change. If you rely on infrequent surveys, you not only risk missing data but also key moments when you could have made a difference. By seeking real-time insights, you protect the health of your business.

Myth #4 – NPS surveys are time-consuming and expensive.

Depending on your survey partner, NPS surveys could be as simple as handing over a contact list. If you already have clean data and an organized list, you’re well on your way! Your partner may even handle integrations that automate list updates and connect with valuable related tools. But if you need to clean your room, then yes, that may take you some time. We’d argue, though, that decluttering your data and organizing a contact list is something you should do whether you use NPS surveys or not. Any time you spend on NPS surveys should be during the rewarding, post-survey period when you have rich data and can create a plan of action based on the results. You know the saying: Time flies when you’re having fun.

Now… expensive? Everyone has different ideas about what constitutes the label “expensive,” but for us everything comes back to ROI. Any NPS platform worth its salt should make it easy to take action in real time when an account is at risk. We’ve often seen NPS survey programs help our clients both protect revenue – by discovery and recovery from service issues of Detractor accounts – and expand revenue – by expanding Promoter accounts. The recovery or expansion of just one account may very well cover the cost of the entire program, and when you take swift action on the feedback and insights (whether positive or negative), you can supercharge your program ROI.  

Next steps

NPS surveys are a boon to business—when they’re done right. Get tips on creating, maintaining, and utilizing an effective NPS survey program:

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