How to Be More Than Your NPS Score

By Frank Ambrose | August 29, 2017 | Rally Health

Keeping customers happy is important. In fact, you could say it’s the primary goal of any business, no matter what industry you’re talking about.

The business world pays a lot of attention these days to something called the Net Promoter Score, or NPS. This magic number claims to be the best indicator of how happy your customers are with the service you provide, and how likely they are to come back for more, or recommend you to others. It’s a score that determines loyalty as well as satisfaction, and proponents say it’s a leading indicator of company growth.

The health care industry has been particularly focused on NPS, in part because its ratings are near the bottom, below banks, airlines, and phone companies. As we noted in our recent white paper, “How to Make Sure You Buy the Best Health Care Engagement Platform,” one way health care companies can improve their NPS is to help consumers more easily navigate their wellness journeys.

According to Satmetrix, one of the originators of NPS, the five key drivers for the health care industry are:

We take NPS very seriously, but to us, it’s just the first step in our Voice of the Customer (VoC) program, where we go beyond the numbers and look for all the ways customer feedback can provide a better, richer experience. Our view is that, done right, you can not only keep your existing users, but inspire them to spread the word to friends, family, and co-workers. And that’s the kind of advertising money just can’t buy.

To put it simply, we believe NPS is just the beginning. Here’s how we approach it.

What Is NPS?

First, it pays to look a little closer at what exactly NPS is.

Extensive research has been done on the best ways to find out whether a user is likely to keep using a product. The conclusion is that one question is best at predicting customer loyalty, and that’s the so-called “net promoter question.” It basically asks, “On a scale from 0 – 10, how likely are you to recommend this product to your friends?” The user answers by clicking on a scale from zero to 10, and this is the NPS scale.

At Rally®, we also provide an open-ended comment box where users can type in additional feedback about their experiences. It’s very simple, but very powerful. It allows you to have a deeper understanding of the user’s experience with your brand, and to hear it in their own words.

More Than a Score

This is the key to our VoC program. Our NPS score is an important data point, but it’s what we  do with that data that counts.

“For us, VoC is truly a systematic and operational approach,” says Katey Brown, Rally’s Consumer Insight Director. “We collect feedback from our end consumers, seek actionable insights, bring them back to our product, marketing, sales, and client operations teams, and partner with the appropriate team to make improvements. We also try to close the loop with those customers to make sure they know how much we value their input. It really is a cycle of listening, taking action, improving, and then monitoring.”

We pay close attention to the key drivers that push our NPS  score up or down, and then seek industry benchmarks to make sure we’re up to par not only with our competitors but with high-scoring companies such as Tesla, Amazon, or Apple, to make sure that we focus on being best in class.

That said, the actual insights gained from looking deeply at NPS results can be the most difficult to embed across all of your products and services, so at Rally we’re working on a weekly basis to refine and figure out the best way to connect back and close the loop on the feedback we’re getting.

And when we say “close the loop,” we make sure that we’re not just listening to detractors but also to those that give us medium or “meh” scores, as well as to our fans. Why do some people love us, why do some people give us a “meh” score, and what is keeping some people away entirely? Closing that loop is connecting back with the consumer or member in a way that can potentially re-engage them.

Our solutions have included creating a customer support dashboard, building a sentiment analysis tool, and holding reviews with our operations and client support teams so that we can share what we’re hearing, turn it into insightful information, and then take action on the data.

We’re also in the process of introducing new customer support channels. For instance, when we decided to add a live chat function, we also decided to start with some small pilot programs before rolling it out more broadly later this year. You have to be careful if you introduce features like live chat support too quickly, as you can get inundated with volume before you have a trained staff to handle it, and hurt yourself from not only a support perspective, but also from a service level perspective. So we’re going slow and steady, testing along the way.

Avoiding Survey Fatigue

One important question you’ll want to consider is, how often should you ask customers for feedback? There is something called survey fatigue, where your scores will actually go down if you ask too many questions. People get angry that you’re bothering them with yet another feedback survey, and they’ll actually give you a lower score.

We do ask for feedback anytime a user has a particular issue that gets resolved, as most companies now do. But how often do you check in and ask for general feedback? Our feeling at Rally is that it should be quarterly. Any less and you miss a lot of the day-to-day experiences that people might be having with your product. Any more and you’re going to run into survey fatigue and bring your numbers down. It’s a delicate balance, and you’ve got to find one that works for your brand and your product.

Because we are such fans of the VoC approach, we are beginning to embed the NPS survey into our product so we can capture what customers are thinking at any stage of their Rally experience.

The point to remember is that you have to look beyond benchmarks like NPS and go for the deeper insights. That’s the secret for bringing true improvement that will keep your customers happy for years to come.

Frank Ambrose is executive vice president, operations at Rally Health.SM 

 


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