How to make NPS and Customer Experience Surveys More Useful

By: Susan Ganeshan

April 26, 2017

Clarabridge Analytics
Customer Feedback Management
Natural Language Processing
Natural Language Understanding
Net Promoter Score

There are many ways to measure the effect of your customer experience efforts. Both Net Promoter Score® (NPS) and customer experience surveys are useful ways to understand how your customers feel about you. But is there a way to get even more value out of these surveys?

In a recent blog post, Net Promoter Score and Customer Feedback Consultant Adam Ramshaw outlines some ways to set targets for NPS surveys. He suggests that companies use what is known as relative targets. Ramshaw writes, “Stop worrying about absolute scores and instead focus on relative changes in scores over time.”

This advice is useful for customer experience surveys as well—the initial CSAT score is less important than the changes you see over time. Are your scores improving? You’re doing something right! Going down? You need to find out why, fast.

So how do you make progress on your relative targets? And how do you find out what is driving your scores? Combine multiple-choice and open-ended questions on your surveys.

Your multiple-choice question is your “How likely are you to recommend us?” or “How satisfied are you?” scale. It provides you with the number that you can measure against.

The open-ended question gives people an opportunity to tell you why they assigned that score. They can tell you what they liked or disliked. If you take that information to heart, you can make changes that can improve your scores.

And you can dig in even deeper. Using text analytics, you can look at which specific topics drive higher or lower scores. Then you can see the issues that create detractors. You can also see what is really bugging your promoters—the people you really want to keep happy.

Using open-ended questions as part of your NPS and customer experience surveys lets you uncover the emotions driving your customers’ opinions. And it also encourages people to complete your survey. For example, one Clarabridge customer, a leading NPS user, reduced their questions from 15 to 2. Afterward, completion rates spiked by 15% among their SMB customers, and 70% in Enterprise.

So, stop worrying about your score, and figure out what is causing the score. If you add open-ended questions and then analyze the results, your NPS and customer experience surveys will be more useful. You’ll make progress and improve the customer experience.

For more details about how to better structure your NPS or customer experience surveys, check out the Ultimate Guide to Survey Success.