From the way you craft your survey emails to how you follow up on your results, there are several factors that can influence the overall success of your Net Promoter® survey program — and the long-term impact it has on both your organization and your revenue. Click here for a refresher on Net Promoter® Score>>

Sourcing from 10+ years of working with professional service firms to execute on client satisfaction survey’s, we’ve compiled a list of “best practices” that will help set your firm up to get the most out of your survey initiatives before, during, and after your survey launches.

1. Create internal buy-in.

In order to achieve a high company-wide NPS, you need the entire team on board — not just a handful of higher-ups. Champion an employee (or an entire team of employees) to lead the program and task them with owning the tactical components of your NPS initiative. Once an action plan is in place, make sure all stakeholders know their role in the process, as well as how their individual actions influence the customer experience and your overall NPS results.

2. Incentivize service wins.

If you want your team to care about your NPS score — and, more importantly improving it — recognizing and even incentivizing their service wins is key. Whenever an employee is recognized in an NPS survey, spotlight them internally — call attention to what they did, why it worked and what the client’s response was. To further drive passion for the program, you can even offer incentives like quarterly bonuses for NPS scores over a certain threshold ($500 every quarter if your company-wide NPS is 70% or higher, for example).

3. Personalize your emails.

Though your survey questions might be one-size-fits-all, your emails shouldn’t be. Personalize your messages with the recipient’s first name and have a team leader sign the email to add a more personal touch. You should also use your unique brand voice in the message and ensure it looks (design) and feels (tone) like your organization. Cookie-cutter communication can come across as too impersonal.

4. Send one-on-one responses.

Always follow up with customers who provided out-of-the-ordinary responses. Detractors always take priority, and we generally recommend working to fix the issue noted within 24 hours. The Service Recovery Paradox shows that proper response here can cultivate even more long-term loyalty than a promoter. Alternatively, if someone was particularly happy with your service, they deserve to be followed up with as well. Thank them for their partnership and assure them you also enjoy working with them!

5. Follow the 2-1-1 method.

Be transparent with your results and send them to your entire participant base. Thank them for taking part in your survey. Then share two things you learned from the survey, one area you found that needs improvement and one action you’re taking to make that change effective. This holds you accountable, increases transparency and shows that you value the client’s input, as well as the time they took to provide it. Click here to learn more about the 2-1-1 follow up methodology.

6. Leverage promoters to improve your firm’s reputation.

Promoters have let you know how much they are satisfied with your services, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve as much attention as Detractors. Ask Promoters to help you tell your firm’s story of service excellence – whether by referring your services to members of their network, sharing a testimonial, or providing a rating or review online – these satisfied customers are your firm’s most powerful marketing tool.

Next steps

  • Learn more about common NPS program mistakes. Now that you’ve learned some survey best practices, check out this blog post covering “common NPS mistakes” to avoid.
  • Ready to get started with NPS? Contact the ClearlyRated team for insights, best practices, and a tour of our survey platform (designed specifically to support professional service firms).

Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.