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5 Big NPS mistakes you can't afford to make

Posted: Oct 24, 2014

NPS MistakesNet Promoter Score is a very valuable tool in conducting your user research and understanding.  However there are several pitfalls that can often be easy to fall into.  let' spend a few minutes going into those now.

Ignoring the Big Picture

With any business metric it is easy to focus on the day to day ups and downs associated with it and forget about your broader picture.  You need to maintain a long term perspective on the improvements you are making for your customers.  Use NPS to gauge your progress and justify the end goal.  Don't make NPS your end goal that once you achieve you forget about.  Your NPS score is not a finish line that once you achieve you can then discard.  Focus on a winning strategy that strives to understand the data your customers are providing.  If you do that then you can be confident that you are making decisions for your product that will enhance it and evolve it with your customers at it's core.

Bugging your customers

It is very tempting to continually record new NPS data, especially when you are working hard to improve your product or service.  However you have to be careful not to fall into the trap of querying your customers too often.  If you continually pop the same satisfaction survey then they will get annoyed with it and in turn frustrated with your company.  Find an appropriate balance between querying your user base as well as not popping the survey too often.  We often suggest somewhere between 1-5% of your user base on a daily basis.  This of course depends greatly on how much churn of customer turnover you have.  The more turnover you have the greater percentage of your daily base you can engage with.  If you have a highly engaged user base then you will want to ping them less often as it will be the same users returning each day.

Ignoring other customer data

Net promoter Score is just one of dozens of customer feedback methodologies out there today.  You should not use NPS exclusively to understand your user base.  While NPS provides valuable data into what customers do not like about your product and systems, you can't neglect other customer feedback vehicles.  Focus groups, larger surveys, support tickets, etc… are all classic examples of customer feedback systems that still play a very vital role within your organization.  NPS is a customer feedback tool that is complimentary to all of your other customer feedback systems.

Forgetting to act on feedback

You have gone to the effort of collecting feedback -- you have to make sure that you act upon it.  This might seem like a silly pitfall to get into but it is unfortunately a very common one.  Often companies may over analyze the data and miss out on critical messages being sent.  Other times the company spends too much time in the data collection phase and simply does not move to the action phase quick enough.  NPS is designed to be a constant metric.  You can record a new gauge every day that your product is live.  Once you start receiving data begin making improvements based upon that data.  It is extremely rewarding to see your NPS scores improve as you publish fixes and improvements.

Lumping all the data together

A very common mistake people make is to lump all of their customers into the same bucket and aggregate the data.  While this might give you an overall score, it makes it very difficult to understand your client base.  At any given time you could have brand new users, users who are just returning for the second time, users who have just completed their first purchase or even highly engaged users that come back frequently.  Figure out what the most meaningful data segregation groups are for your client base and then perform data analysis on the group.  You may be surprised at how different the scores and data are across the various groups.

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