Support System: 5 Ways to Combine NPS with Other Customer Experience Metrics
By Leonie Brown, Experience Management (XM) Scientist, Qualtrics
Net Promoter Score is a polarizing statistic. On one hand, there’s a Cult of NPS that believes it’s the chosen metric, one customer-experience number to rule them all. On the other, there’s a group that sees a vanishingly thin and arbitrary line between a “promoter” and a “passive,” which can cause massive scoring differences despite similar results. People in the latter camp often argue the whole exercise is worthless.
The truth lies somewhere between. NPS is far from perfect, but used in combination with other customer-experience metrics it can add real value to your view of the customer journey and how your customers feel about your brand. Here are five ways that NPS can overlay with additional experience (X-data) or operational data (O-data) to yield deeper insights:
#1 NPS and operational service data. One more point to make up front: your NPS score—the actual number—doesn’t matter. What matters is how it changes over time and how you rate when compared to your competitors. So when tracking NPS changes, it’s useful to overlay the results with operational data. Does falling NPS correlate with longer call-center hold times? How about product inventory levels? Do your different locations produce different results? How about other factors such as the time of day during which the customer interacted with your brand? Making these connections can help identify areas ripe for interventions.
#2 NPS, demographics and segmentation. Loyalty drivers can vary substantially among all sorts of different segment types such as age, gender, region. At minimum, it’s key for multinational companies to isolate results by country, because NPS results vary substantially across borders. You can compare the fluctuations between countries, but keep their baselines separated.
#3 NPS and churn rate. Your most loyal customers are statistically less likely to leave your brand than the median, which means there should be an inverse correlation between NPS and churn rate. Customers who score as promoters should also reduce churn in a second way if they follow through on their expressed willingness to advocate on your behalf, because customers who were referred to a brand are also less likely to abandon it. Tracking these two metrics in combination puts expressions of loyalty to a bottom-line test.
#4 NPS and customer satisfaction. NPS typically aims to capture long-term, high-level sentiment about your brand, whereas customer-satisfaction (CSAT) surveys are intended to isolate experiences at individual points along the customer journey. Overlaying the two, especially in combination with segmentation, can help you see whether short-term initiatives are influencing broader opinion.
#5 NPS and competitive intelligence. Your NPS scores can vary based on factors that originate outside your business. Perhaps a news report questions the safety of all products in your category, in which case your NPS scores may dip, but so would those of your competitors. Or perhaps one of your competitors debuts a killer new feature that catches your customers’ attention and calls their loyalty into question. It’s important to track NPS alongside these external insights, both to see how your customers are reacting to trends and to know what might be affecting your score fluctuations.
NPS isn’t an end-all, be-all measurement of customer satisfaction. But used in combination with a suite of other data sources, it can unlock meaningful insights.