For years, companies have effectively utilized Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to gauge customer loyalty and grow monthly recurring revenue. In fact, former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, has identified NPS surveys as a primary driver of GE’s customer service improvements.

As more technology companies adopt subscription-based revenue models, leveraging NPS best practices to understand and improve customer engagement and experiences is perhaps more important than ever before. That’s because companies no longer have the same opportunities to upsell their products and services face-to-face or even on the phone.

But NPS surveys are becoming less and less effective as the primary delivery channel, email, has a tendency to bury NPS surveys at the bottom of inboxes. What’s worse, NPS survey emails sent at the wrong time tend to frustrate receivers who have become irritated with the daily influx of promotional emails. As a result, NPS surveys sent via email are showing lower completion numbers and very little useful feedback in the comments section.

Today, email click-through rates average 1.5%, down from 2.3% in 2013, according to Silverpop studies.

Surveys sent amidst growing email channel fatigue are producing faulty or incomplete results, and organizations are struggling to effectively gather sentiment feedback. Yet, there is a way forward without giving up on NPS. That is, companies must effectively deploy NPS surveys following a few basic steps.

1. Deploy NPS surveys inside your application

First and foremost, delivering NPS surveys inside your application in the right moment, to specific, high-value audiences yields the best completion rates and responses. Traditionally, NPS surveys have been delivered to all customers via email, which has historically yielded 5 – 15% completion rates and fewer comments.

Here at UserIQ, more than 60% of our customers provide feedback when an NPS survey is deployed in-application. This is because the survey is targeted and delivered at the “zero moment of truth” when customers are most likely to respond.

Increasing completion rates and comments aren’t the only benefits of in-application deployment. The quality of responses can also improve. Those who respond to an emailed survey tend to reply with very low or very high scores i.e “I love it!” or “I hate it.” By reaching users in the right moment, customers are more willing to offer thoughtful feedback, including comments about why they may like or dislike your product or certain features and what they’d like to see in the future. This can help prioritize a company’s product roadmap so that they develop features their most valuable customers want most.

nps survey customer feedback rating

2. Ask users what features are important to high-value customers

Typically, NPS surveys are used to understand customer sentiment or how customers feel about the company’s application or platform. Another way to leverage the NPS survey to improve your product is to focus on asking them specifically which features they use the most or what features provide them with the most value. Gauging feature-specific sentiment, especially from high-value customers, creates powerful insight that companies can then directly act on to improve their products and services and even upsell new options.


3. Ask for comments after the customer provides their scoring.

While most companies focus on the types of questions asked in an NPS survey, few consider the order of questions or the usability behind the way the questions are asked. A certain strategy and usability needs to be implemented behind NPS deployment when asking for comments. An easy rule to follow is: Never ask for comments or open-ended questions upfront.

Users typically shy away from providing comments from the start, as it can be more daunting. This has also shown to reduce response rates. Instead, add a feedback box that prompts after the initial scoring. Including comments at the end of the survey can actually remind the user of a particular comment they may not have initially considered.

Finally, when it comes to usability – why not make it easy on the user? Consider directing top promoters to review your product on sites like G2 Crowd or Capterra after they’ve selected their score.


A Fresh Take on NPS Survey Deployment

NPS surveys are still highly valuable for companies looking to improve customer experience, discover their promoters and brand advocates, and upsell existing customers on new opportunities, but the ways in which NPS surveys are being deployed are changing. Companies must think more strategically about how they’re sending surveys and the types of questions they’re asking in order to increase survey results and accuracy.

For more, check out NPS Survey Best Practices Part II, where we discuss how to identify and grow customer loyalty through NPS surveys.

Want to reach your users in the right moment at the right time? Check out our demo.