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How to Use Net Promoter Score: Sabrina Bozek Offers Tips for B2B Customer Experience Pros

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Having recently learned what NPS means, we may be asking ourselves what to do with our scores. I reached out to Sabrina Bozek, Director of Marketing for Waypoint Group, for tips.

How to use net promoter score

Steve Bernstein began Waypoint Group after a burst of inspiration about NPS and the B2B marketplace. While working with Net Promoter Score co-developer Satmetrix, Bernstein realized that while the Likelihood to Recommend question is statistically sound for predicting loyalty and customer sentiment for a B2C audience, B2B relationships are different. For example, B2B customers are made up of many people with varying roles within an account. Bernstein founded Waypoint to help B2B companies get the most value out of asking for feedback.

Bozek shed some light over email regarding how customer service teams could better utilize their Net Promoter Scores.

Move away from the score

“Sales people (and really all departments) need to move away from the score,” Bozek wrote. She recommends B2B companies look into everything the data may be telling them.

“There is so much to be done from a Sales perspective when collecting customer feedback other than calculating an NPS,” Bozek wrote. “The real insights come to light after the feedback is collected and customers are contacted to better understand why they answered the way they did.”

In a LinkedIn article Bernstein recommended businesses describe what happened to the business whenever the scores change. “The important aspect is to look at leading ‘process metrics’ that contribute the end results. If you know that in order to achieve an outcome there are certain “best practices” that need to be in place, then it would be important to measure if those best-known processes are in fact being used.”

Ask for more information

“Sales folks can use an account-based approach to identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities with Passives and Promoters who don’t spend as much money as they could, or identify who within an account would be great references for prospects,” Bozek wrote.

This suggestion runs counter to advice to double down on success by focusing on happy customers. “We recommend reaching out to all groups of customers,” Bozek wrote. “Happy customers still need the recognition in the form of a Thank You and in those conversations, you should try to identify what you’re doing right so you can apply those bright spots to similar use cases that may not be thriving for some reason.”

But, she warned, “unhappy customers are threatening your business in two ways.”

First, they’re a churn risk. Second, They are “likely bad-mouthing you with peers,” Bozek wrote. “That’s doubling down on negativity. The good news is that unhappy customers are still invested with you enough to tell you how mad they are!”

She recommends proving your worth to your Detractors by letting them know you care and are listening to their gripes.

Bernstein echoed this advice. “The better the company can understand customer problems the better the company can develop the right solutions to those problems.”

Give voice to the silent accounts

Bozek suggests companies segment customers into four categories: Promoters, Detractors, Passives, AND Silent accounts.

“Your Silent accounts are really more dangerous because they’re checked out and likely looking for other solutions (like your competitors),” Bozek wrote.

“Identify customers and people within all the segments after you ask for feedback and ask them to clarify their answers (or for Silents, what challenges they’re facing and offer to help).”

Use your data

The purpose of all this digging is to provide sales and account teams with data they can use to acquire and retain customers.

But for the data to be useful it needs to be in the right place at the right time. That’s why it’s a good idea to link your feedback data with your CRM so teams can see the associated feedback with the account.

“Most companies use Pivot Tables or other Excel analysis, but don’t take the time to look at results at the account-level, just in the aggregate.”

Conclusion

Once you’ve got your NPS, it’s time to take a step back to see what all the data is telling you. One way to get more value from your data is to segment your customers in order to ask them follow-up questions. Ask your Promoters what makes them Promoters, but also ask your Detractors what makes them unhappy. And to those segments add your Silents. Be sure you they know that you care about them too.

How do you use NPS? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for Customer Service software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Service software solutions.

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About the Author

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz helps B2B software companies with their sales and marketing at Capterra. Her writing has appeared in The Week, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications. She has been quoted by the New York Times Magazine and has been a columnist at Bitcoin Magazine. Her media appearances include Fox News and Al Jazeera America. If you're a B2B software company looking for more exposure, email Cathy at cathy@capterra.com . To read more of her thoughts, follow her on Twitter.

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