‘The Next Big Thing’ That’s Already Here

10 NPS Best Practices

The next big thing is here!
Everyone is always in search of the next big thing, whether it’s the latest consumer electronics device, or the hottest business technology. Sometimes that makes sense, because the next big thing may deliver more value, or make our lives easier. But with Net Promoter, the next big thing is already here for most organizations.
Still, I am constantly reminded that many organizations have a lot of work to do to get the basics right. Many believe that because they are already measuring NPS they are ready to move on in search of a newer, shinier object to help manage the customer experience. But are they?
Before you begin your quest to find the next big thing, evaluate these key areas of your Net Promoter program and see if you are employing NPS best practices.

  1. Does your customer feedback data mirror your business?Do you have adequate representation from the segments that matter? Does your transactional data represent an adequate percentage of customers that experience that touch point? If you are a B2B, does your customer feedback include decision-makers and influencers?  Here are some ideas about ensuring data quality: Effective Survey Sampling

  3. Where do you measure NPS?  Some organizations overuse NPS. They ask “Would you recommend…?” at every point of interaction. Or, they consider the NPS collected after an interaction as “their score.” This can be misleading when you attempt to link to financials. Remember that NPS is a relationship measure that evaluates your performance across the customer journey and identifies the key drivers of loyalty. More on proper use of NPS here: Would You Get Engaged on Your First Date?

  5. Are you closing the loop? Most NPS professionals know the importance of the closed loop, but many still don’t do it well. Be sure your closed loop process has a purpose! In the B2B world this means improving relationships with the decision-makers and influencers in your most important accounts, and may include closing the loop with non-respondents. In transactional environments it may be about service recovery. But, don’t play “whack a mole,” continuously recovering around the same service gaps. Learn from the closed loop activities. You’ll find more on this topic here: Don’t Play Closed Loop Whack-a-Mole and Other Keys to Understanding Your Net Promoter Journey

  7. Are you communicating? Communication strategy is so often missed. Do you regularly communicate to your customers and employees the learnings from your NPS data and the actions you are taking to improve on it? Your closed loop process should include an internal and external communication strategy to help employees and customers see that you are listening and improving based on their feedback. This is also a bonus for improving response rates and employee engagement.

  9. Is your customer data integrated into your business rhythm? Do you review customer feedback at the same cadence as financial data and operational data? Do you train employees on NPS for their role in creating promoters?  Assess how “sticky” NPS is within your business. Make sure employees see this as part of the way you run the business, not an administrative process to collect a score.

  11. Are you leveraging your promoters? Many organizations worry about detractors, but leave their promoters alone. Your promoters raise their hands and state they are willing to recommend you to others – take them up on their generous offer! If you’re in a B2B environment, feed this data into your reference program, and stream positive comments into LinkedIn, or other relevant web properties. For B2C organizations, mobilize promoters on social media and create “refer a friend” promotions.

  13. Do you understand the customer journey? Too many organizations allow survey democracy, which can all-too-quickly turn into survey anarchy. How and when you ask for customer feedback should not be decentralized.  Understand the journey and reel in those fragmented surveys to bring together a comprehensive view of how you are performing at moments of truth and throughout the entire journey. Focus on what is needed to make more promoters, not just collecting meaningless scores.

  15. Is your compensation strategy aligned with your desired results? This is one of the most abused areas of any program. I truly hate to see a one-size-fits-all compensation strategy. If you think compensating employees based on NPS will drive higher NPS, you may be disappointed. How can they affect something if they don’t know how their job function impacts the outcome? You are much better off measuring employees on the things they control, and bonus the leadership team on NPS to drive cross-functional collaboration. Also, with any compensation strategy, be sure to protect yourself from the gamers.

  17. Do you democratize data? Do employees have an opportunity to see how your customers perceive the service they deliver? Do they have the opportunity to provide feedback on how to improve? Data democratization is critical to driving cultural transformation. Get the customer out of the management report and into the frontline. Most employees don’t wake up in the morning with the goal of disappointing customers. Get them data so they can improve their own performance, and offer suggestions of how you can improve overall. Find out how being customer-centric at your core can ripple outwards to benefit your overall reputation

  19. Do you starve customer retention efforts while throwing money away on traditional marketing to acquire new customers? How many of these mass market acquisitions create customer lifetime value? What if you could mobilize an army of promoters to sell for you and bring customers just like them, Promoters? If you do the math you will likely find you can improve financial performance faster by investing in creating promoters vs. random acts of acquisition that bring more detractors.

This is a big topic worthy of multiple blog posts, but let’s start the conversation here. Is your NPS program solid enough to move on to the next big thing? Or is the next big thing already right there, still waiting for you to discover its full value?


Gain a common understanding of NPS and learn best practices for success.

Understand customer journey mapping basics and discuss merits of metrics.

Use customer feedback to inform decision making and link to financials.

Drive actions across the business and define strategies to activate promoters.

Develop a roadmap to integrate NPS2 methodologies in your company.