At De Persgroep, we go beyond the KPI (key performance indicator) with the Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS was introduced by Fred Reichheld back in 2003. This is commonly used as a loyalty metric and an indicator of future business potential.

Part of the success of NPS lies in its ease of use. Simply ask your customers to rate you on a scale ranging from zero to 10, then subtract the proportion of dissatisfied customers (those giving a score between zero and six, called “detractors”) from the satisfied customers (who give a score of nine or 10, called “promoters”).

The survey method used for calculating NPS considers anyone scoring under six as dissatisfied “detractors” while only those who give a rating of nine or ten are counted as satisfied “promoters.”
The survey method used for calculating NPS considers anyone scoring under six as dissatisfied “detractors” while only those who give a rating of nine or ten are counted as satisfied “promoters.”

This equation provides a score between -100 and +100. Once this score is calculated, you can start to compare your NPS, set targets for your marketing team, and benchmark with the industry.

There are multiple types of NPS measurements. The above example is relational NPS, which is designed to measure the strength of your relationship with a customer. Even more important to our industry is transactional NPS, which assesses customer satisfaction with a particular transaction.

The goal of NPS is to:

  • Put your customer at the heart of the organisation.
  • Learn what are the drivers of your business and hence where you should focus.
  • Learn what are the barriers of your business that you need to adapt/eliminate as soon as possible.

The ultimate goal is to achieve happy customers because they tend to stick with your products and hence lower your churn.

Steps to achieving this include:

  • Develop an e-mail customer satisfaction survey (or adjust your existing one).
  • Think about your drivers and barriers of your product and link them to the NPS question in the survey.
  • Add an option where your customer has the ability to ask a question or receive a service call (for priority issues).
Go a step further and communicate with survey respondents in relation to a specific transaction. The promoters, the detractors, and those in between all can offer valuable business lessons.
Go a step further and communicate with survey respondents in relation to a specific transaction. The promoters, the detractors, and those in between all can offer valuable business lessons.

Use all of this NPS feedback to your advantage. As repesented in the above image, red customers — the zero to six respondents — will tell you what you are doing wrong. Listen to what they have to say and optimise your processes. Through the measurement you will learn not only what you are doing wrong, but also how much they are impacting your NPS score (and hence provide you an overview of which priorities to tackle first).

The yellow customers are able to tell you what you can do to turn them into green customers. You might think they are not a priority, as they are giving a score of seven or eight. However, the goal is to lift them toward the highest satisfaction. How? Just ask them.

The green customers will tell you what you are doing well. Be aware of those and work with them, improve the experience even more for them, communicate with them. Are your other (dissatisfied) customers aware of these drivers?

To keep this NPS flow ongoing every day of every year, try the following: Fragment your subscriber database into daily segments so you can e-mail a portion on a daily basis. Do not contact your entire database at once. You don’t want a snapshot, but rather a continuous flow of feedback.

To achieve a high response rate, your message should be personal, to the point, and branded (after all this is a service e-mail). If you only reach 2% of your subscribers, your management won’t take you seriously anyway.

Continuously inform your customers of the actions/improvements you have made based on their feedback. Invest in this relationship by making it a two-way communication. It will boost your response rate.

Make sure customer feedback reaches the center of your organisation. For instance, put television screens with live customer feedback in your business units (newsroom, marketing, management offices, etc.)

NPS research can be used to connect marketing, customer service, newsroom, and senior management staff. And it helps you improve business and adjust decisions based on what matters to your customers — not based on gut feelings. The customers will tell you what to eliminate, downsize, create, and improve.