Use Marketing Automation to Gather and Improve Your Net Promoter Score℠

Screenshot of Groove "How likely are you to recommend Groove to a friend or colleague?" survey

Rather than looking back at what happened, a Net Promoter Score ℠ (NPS®) is touted to be a predictive indicator of future growth. It’s claimed that companies with higher NPS’s will be more likely to experience organic growth than competitors with lower NPS as their more satisfied customers make repeat purchases and help spread the word about a great company with a great product.

While revenue is often considered the best indication of growth, it is a lagging metric and may not predict future growth at all. For instance, if your company is generating revenue with misleading marketing that creates disappointed customers, your growth will be short-lived as word spreads that you don’t deliver on your promises.

There is some criticism of its validity as a predictive indicator, but what isn’t up for debate is how useful NPSs are. They can be leveraged to create automated processes within your business to:

  • Gather reviews, feedback, and testimonials
  • Identify and leverage your “raving fans” to help spread the word about your business
  • Identify dissatisfied customers and deliver follow-up designed to overcome problems so you can prevent negative word of mouth preemptively while transforming them into more loyal customers
  • Identify what your company is doing right and what it can change to improve its customer loyalty

In this post, I’ll give you some automations you can use to collect your company’s NPS and then give you some ways you can use ActiveCampaign to improve your and leverage your score.

What is a Net Promoter Score?

An NPS is a measure of your customers’ loyalty based on their responses to two simple questions…

QUESTION 1: “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?”

They are then presented with a 0-10 scale with 0 being “Not likely” and 10 being “Extremely likely.”

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Image source: Groove

QUESTION 2: “What is the most important reason for your score?”

Question 1 gives you a number rating, Question 2 gives you insight into why you earned that rating.

Question 1 allows you to calculate your company’s NPS score. It also tells you where individual customers fall in the three groups of customer’s NPS is concerned with:

Customers who respond with a 9 or 10 are considered your company’s promoters. These are very satisfied customers who had a great experience. They are likely to become repeat customers and tell their friends and family about your product or company. They are your “raving fans” and many successful companies, like Enterprise Rent-a-Car, view these customers as “a key driver of profitable growth.
Customers who respond with a 7 or 8 are considered passives. These customers aren’t thrilled, but they aren’t upset. They had a mediocre experience. Nothing went horribly wrong, but they weren’t “wowed” by any aspect of the transaction. They probably aren’t any more loyal to your company than one of your competitors. They aren’t posting nasty things about you on Facebook, but they aren’t posting love notes either.
Customers who respond with a 6 or less are considered detractors. These customers would not recommend you. They will bash you if given the chance (and some might create that opportunity for themselves). If the majority of your customers score you as 6 or below, it’s likely that the net effect of your company’s word of mouth marketing is negative — more people are hearing bad things than good things — and you don’t have many repeat customers.

Question 2 tells you why each customer is in their group. This question is just as important because the answers give you tell you exactly what you can improve to increase your net promoter score.

The calculations behind NPS

Your Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are detractors from the percentage of customers who are promoters. This score can range from -100% (all your customers are detractors) to +100% (all your customers are promoters). Any score over +50% is considered a great score. This score would mean that 50% more of your customers are promoters than detractors.

Passives are excluded from the calculation because they are lukewarm— they aren’t promoting or detracting and it’s difficult to say whether they will stick with your company or look to a competitor.

Automate collecting your NPS score

Here is an automation that sends out an email with a Net Promoter survey. When someone gives you a rating, they are tagged with their NPS and then redirected to a page on your website with a form that collects feedback for the second question (“What is the most important reason for your score?”)

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ltkufr5n9 get automation button

  • The 0 – 10 links in this email should redirect to a form on your website so that you can pose the second question: “What was the biggest reason for your score?” This form should have a field large enough they can input a paragraph or two of text.
  • The automation uses a URL parameter to distinguish between link clicks so be sure to include those when you add your redirect links in the email included in the automation. Each rating number should redirect to a form on your site to collect their feedback. For instance, if your form is at URL: have the URL be: (for a 0 rating), (for a 1 rating), and so on. Each of the 11 numbers will need to be edited to redirect to this page on your site.
  • I did not include a starting trigger. If I were using this automation, I would create a segment of contacts you want to send the Net Promoter Survey to and then use the bulk editor to “Add to automation.” You could add a trigger on some form of behavior such as “Subscribes” or “Tag is added” and then have it “wait” for a specified period of time or until certain conditions are met.
  • To apply “detractor,” “promoter,” and “passive” tags and to tag contacts with their exact NPS when they click a link in the email, import all 11 of these automations:
  • Because there are quite a few NPS automations, I would suggest creating a “Net Promoter Score” label so that you can group these automations together and easily find them.

Calculating your NPS

To calculate your NPS, filter your contacts by “promoter,” “passive,” and “detractor” tags so that you can see how many contacts have each tag.

If you received 100 responses to your survey…

20 were detractors
30 were passive
50 were promoters

The percentages for each group would be 20%, 30%, and 50%, respectively. To get your score, subtract detractors from promoters for a score of +30% or 30 (because NPS are expressed as integers).

After you begin gathering data, you’ll probably want to know how your score compares to other’s in your industry.

Now it’s time to work on raising your NPS…

Improve your NPS with marketing automation

Analyze feedback for deeper understanding of the data

Send responses from question 2 into a Google Spreadsheet using Zapier:

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From there you can easily categorize complaints and praise. With this data, you can see what is driving dissatisfaction and loyalty. Groove used this strategy to compare results between two rounds of surveys to see what drove the increase in their Net Promoter Score:

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Image source: Groove

Automate gathering actionable insight your company can use to improve its customer experience

Your detractors aren’t lost causes you should ignore — they have valuable feedback. You can use their feedback to address individual concerns (for instance, funneling certain complaints to your customer support team for resolution) or to raise your NPS in the future by solving systemic departmental problems or improve product flaws.

Send an automated email to anyone who scored you less than 7 and ask what you can do better or differently to earn a 9 or 10 rating from them with another simple question:

“What can we do differently so that you’ll give us a 9 or 10 rating in the future?”

This question is similar to “What was the biggest reason for your score?” but it’s more focused on what you can do better than what you did wrong so you’ll get a different perspective. Your follow-up might also help soothe whatever irritated the customer making them less likely to actively detract.

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Get improvement feedback from your promoters as well. Your detractors might focus on obvious negative points but your promoters will give you another vantage point on improvement… how you can be even better (as opposed to how you can fix your mistakes and weaknesses).

Automate converting high detractors to passives with one-to-one outreach

High detractors are borderline passive and can be converted with one-to-one outreach. You could create an automation that notifies someone in your customer success department that a customer is in need of attention. To do this, use the “Tag is added” trigger for contacts who are tagged as NPS: 7 or NPS: 8.

Using your NPS to automate your business

Create segments by promoter score so that you can message customers differently depending on their group

Create segments of promoters (9-10), passives (7-8), high detractors (4-6) and detractors(1-3).

Automate gathering testimonials and product reviews from your promoters

Consumers of the internet era have learned to read other’s reviews and experiences before making a purchase. If you ask them, your promoters are very likely to give you a testimonial or write a review for your company.

These loyal customers are ready and willing to help.

To automate this, set up an automated email to go out two to five days after someone gives you a 9 or 10 rating. Simply ask them to say a few words about your company and they’ll give you a glowing review.

Give your promoters a path

Many raving fans would help your company if they knew how… so give them a clear path to take. Make it easy to spread the word about your company… give them a reason, give them channels, give them messages to spread, give them ideas, give them next-actions.

Create a follow-up sequence that makes it easy for your promoters to spread the word by:

  • Encouraging them to follow you on social media
  • Holding contests
  • Asking questions to increase engagement
  • Incentivizing and encouraging customers to share positive experiences with your product and company for instance by introducing them to your referral program
  • Leveraging their passion to push initiatives forward. For instance, if your company wants to start an online community, these would be the contacts that get that process going.

Create segmented scores for your company

You can also use something very similar to a Net Promoter Survey to examine specific aspects of your business. Rather than using a general “would you recommend us?,” instead, focus on key points of interaction or segments of your business.

For instance, “How likely would you be to recommend this product?” “How likely would you be to recommend our customer service?”
In this way you can examine specific functions inside your business and focus on bringing those scores up.

By using marketing automation to collect and improve your Net Promoter Score, your company can efficiently leverage and improve its score.
If you have any questions or ideas on how to leverage marketing automation and NPS, please post it in the comments section.

“Net Promoter, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered service marks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld”

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