How we did our first Net Promoter Score, and why you should too!

We recently completed our first Net Promoter Score (NPS). It’s something we’ve all seen before, a simple email or pop-up that asks “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this product to a friend or colleague?”, then “why?” in some form. We’d been considering doing an NPS for a couple months, since reading this article, and paying special attention to any that came our way.

A lot of NPS scores go through email. But after seeing Wootric’s NPS on Buffer, we were immediately drawn in by the simple, clean design. With a few lines of code, Wootric adds a pop-up to the bottom of users’ screens. It was easy for us to install and unobtrusive for our customers.

Why?

There are a ton of articles on the benefits (and drawbacks) of NPS. The main reasons we wanted to try one were the ability to gather feedback from a larger audience, and to quantify “happiness”.

It’s hard at any time to know how happy your customer base is as a whole. On an average day, most of the direct customer interaction our team has is through support. You probably know this about support, but it’s pretty rare that people take the time to write in just to say “great job!”. It does happen, and makes our day, but it’s not common. The users who need the most help are those we hear the loudest, so by reaching out to a larger audience we were able to gain more perspective on how people see ReadMe. The great thing about the NPS is that we get this in the form of a number, and can work on improving it as time goes on.

The best side effect of doing an NPS was that we got a lot of positive feedback! Reading it made us happier and more motivated to keep doing what we do.

How?

  1. Choose an NPS provider. After thinking we might be able to do it in house, we eventually decided that the most efficient way to complete an NPS would be through a provider. In general, this can be over email or through a pop-up on your site/mobile app. Wootric won us over with it’s clean design and we had it installed in a few minutes.

  1. Modify the follow up question. After choosing a number, users are asked to give feedback on why they would or wouldn’t recommend your product. The default question was, “Care to tell us why?”. After noticing a low response rate we tried other questions that might motivate a larger response. We settled on, “What’s the most important reason for your score? Your feedback will help us improve.” for users who rated us below 6, and just “What’s the most important reason for your score?” for 6+. With this question, nearly 35% of respondents chose to tell us why, up from 20%.

  2. Save your data for later! While I didn’t discover this until later, the most useful part of an NPS can be integrating it into your daily workflow. Using Zapier’s Wootric to Intercom and Google Sheets integrations, we can now see user’s most recent score in our support system and share feedback more effectively with our team. Plus, no code required!

  3. Watch and Wait. Turn it on and leave it (at least overnight). Trust me. This is my first NPS, but I have a pet theory that just like support – people who are upset are the most likely to respond. To save yourself the heartache, wait a bit to let more users respond. We saw our overall score increase by nearly 20 points as we went from only a few responses to a more representative sample. Celebrate with a little desk party.

  1. FOLLOW UP. We’re SO thankful for every one who took the time to give us feedback. It helps us make ReadMe better and we really couldn’t do it without the help of our users. To show how much it matters to us, we followed up with every single user by hand (technically, keyboard). This is especially important for the feedback that’s hard to take, we know we’ve disappointed people, and we want them to know what we’re doing to make it up to them.

Wootric provides a simple dashboard of user feedback, including email addresses and a nice “completed” button to track who you’ve contacted.

It’s worth putting time into crafting responses. For individual problems we did what we could to alleviate the problem right away or gave any information that might be helpful. For more complicated requests we highlighted them in our spreadsheet and asked for more information. We’ll take them into consideration as we plan our next feature development phase.

We broke down our responses by Detractors (0-6), Passives (7-8), and Promoters (9-10). In general, they looked something like this:

Promoters + Passives:

Detractors:

Most importantly, for anyone who was unhappy or who mentioned something unusual, we made sure to ask specifically for more information and what we can do better.

  1. Get more feedback! A good number of the users we reached out to responded with even more feedback! They often put time into detailing exactly what they needed, which is extremely valuable as we move forward. In addition, many of the users who had been the most upset appreciated that we reached out and some even had a change of heart.

Almost every message started like this:

And a lot of our users got to know us a little better:

  1. Act on it.

What does the score mean?

There’s a lot of debate about the best ways to interpret an NPS. Some general guidelines can be found here. Some suggestions say that over 0 is good, over 30 great, and beyond that excellent. The best comparison is supposed to be against others in your industry. Since we don’t plan on doing NPS testing on our competitors, the raw score isn’t all that important to us. If you’re curious, after two weeks we’re floating between 28-30. We’re happy with that score for now, and it’s higher than we were expecting, but our goal is to improve the score each time rather than to hit a specific number.

Next steps

Keep listening and talking! We hope that opening up this line of communication helps us reach more of our customers, and we want to keep hearing from them! In the next few days we’ll talk all the great feedback into consideration and adjust our plans as necessary. We want to show our users that we’re doing our best to keep improving. When that happens, we’ll hope to see our score improve as well.

In the next months, we’ll reach out to users in all categories for more in-depth user interviews. Since we’re new to this, we haven’t tried to utilize promoters yet, but other companies have had success having “promoters” promote them on social media or Product Hunt. In the future we may reach out to some of the users who enjoy ReadMe the most to test new features or help us with big launches.

We’ll do another survey! Wootric lets you choose how often people can be asked. For now, ours is set at 90 days. We think that should be a good amount of time to improve ReadMe and our customer service. When that happens we’ll use the feedback again to evaluate what we’ve been doing in both product and customer experience, and always keep trying to get better.

Overall, the NPS score made us happier and more aware of what customers need and want. If you’ve been sitting on trying a Net Promoter Score, do it today!

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