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Article 5 min read

Improve Net Promoter Score with customer service software

Use customer service software to understand customers’ perceptions of your business, product, or service and improve Net Promoter Score

By Mark Goldfinch

Last updated September 13, 2023

The world is more unpredictable than ever before. Responding to constant economic, social, environmental, and political change, consumers are making more contradictory choices as they juggle what they need with what they want, and with what’s available.

This unpredictability is making life harder and harder for businesses to acquire and retain customers. Today, 64 per cent of consumers wish companies would respond faster to meet their changing needs, while 88 per cent of business executives think their customers are changing faster than their business can keep up.

If those trends are true for your business, the question becomes how do you improve your customer experience to increase customer satisfaction and strengthen brand loyalty?

Introducing Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score, or NPS for short, is a widely-used measurement of customer experience and business growth. First developed in 2001 by American business strategist Fred Reichheld, the popularity of NPS is attributed to the fact that it is a simple and transparent market research tool.

Reichheld designed a system that groups customers giving feedback into one of three categories, which Reichheld called promoters, passives, and detractors.

Promoters are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fuelling growth. Passives are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings, while detractors are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

Reichheld also devised a straightforward ranking system from zero to ten. Promoters are those customers responding with a 9 or 10, passives give a 7 or 8, while detractors score a company with a 6 or lower.

To calculate your NPS, you simply subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. Clearly, if all your customers are detractors, your NPS will be a miserable minus 100. Equally, if your customers are exclusively promoters, your NPS will be an outstanding plus 100.

For example, let’s say you asked your customers how likely they are to recommend your product or service. And let’s suggest responses were split as 20 per cent promoters, 20 per cent passives, and 60 per cent detractors. That would give you a NPS of minus forty. And plenty of reasons for concern.

How to improve your Net Promoter Score

Today, customer service is powered by software. By giving you the ability to understand an individual customer’s experience of your business, service, or product, customer service software can help you turn detractors into promoters and boost loyalty to your brand.

Act in real time

Forget scheduling outbound calls or waiting for forms to be filled in—today’s customer feedback can happen in real time.

Chatbots and AI deliver answers and information to your customers’ questions and inquiries instantly, while tracking trends in customer feedback helps you to understand how to create more rewarding customer experiences.

Receiving one complaint about call handling wait times, for example, probably wouldn’t generate much response. Seeing 30 complaints about the same issue in real time would demand immediate action.

Customer service software providers like Zendesk enable you to see an overview of the customer experience minute by minute. They highlight customers who need help and those that need recognition. If a customer responds with favourable feedback, you can act quickly and ask for a review, referral, or NPS request. If a customer is negative, you can and should act even more quickly and ask what the problem is before attempting to retrieve the situation.

People like to be heard. And among an increasingly self-opinionated public, the businesses that acknowledge their customers in real time and deal appropriately with their needs will see their NPS improve.

Hold conversations not interrogations

Personalisation at scale. That’s the business utopia. Making each and every one of your customers feel like they’re the only customer. A tailored customer experience differentiates your business and connects with customers on a personal level, building loyalty, and the likelihood of a higher NPS.

You should start by being present on the platforms used by your customers. Zendesk messaging and live chat software works across your website, mobile app, and social media channels like WhatsApp and Facebook to deliver instant support for customers.

What’s more, as greater numbers of customers turn to messaging as their preferred platform, messaging software that is personalised and that simulates the back and forth of chatting face-to-face feels more familiar. And helps customers see your business as human.

Share across the business

Software is shareable. And installed across departments and throughout working practices, everyone in the business can enjoy a single, clear, and comprehensive overview of customer data. Which means feedback, good or bad, can be shared and acted upon.

As an example, imagine you have an issue in dispatch and orders are piling up rather than flying out the door. You can predict the general feedback from customers.

Clearly dispatch needs to get its act together, but if you share the customer feedback with, say, marketing, they can place a temporary hold on outbound campaigns that may otherwise inflame the situation. Equally, if marketing were aware of a favourable NPS, that might initiate requests for reviews or repeat purchase offers.

Improving NPS means improving customer service

At the end of the day, your NPS is just a statistic. Behind the numbers lies the truth to your customer experience. What improving your NPS shows is an enhanced customer experience.

As businesses compete for people’s attention, customer experience provides a way to put your products and services at the forefront of your customers’ minds.

Brands that want to increase customer acquisition, loyalty, and engagement while driving growth need to think about delivering more exceptional experiences and connecting with customers in more dynamic ways.

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