Net Promoter Score (NPS): the KPI to assess customer experience (CX) and improve satisfaction

Retaining a customer means gaining a valuable ambassador for your business; for an eCommerce business it is also a double gain from loyalty and savings on acquisition costs.

The Net Promoter Score (abbreviated NPS) is a parameter used to measure customer satisfaction with a brand.
This first definition already differentiates it from the Customer Satisfaction Score (or CSAT), which is a metric related to individual touchpoints throughout the customer journey

The NPS therefore takes into account different moments of a customer’s interaction with the brand; the whole funnel leading up to their purchase experience (CX or Customer Experience), the interaction with our interface (UX or User Experience), the result of the purchase and any opinions about the product and everything related to it, such as customer service, shipping, delivery, follow up.

It is therefore clear that this is a fundamental metric or business self-improvement; indeed, if we are talking about eCommerce, we could say that it is a crucial element. Let’s see why, and how MBK Fincom has managed to implement its business practices to raise the NPS to extremely satisfactory levels (well above the minimum positive and above the average of competitors).

Calculation of the Net Promoter Score

Since it relates to the satisfaction of the individual customer, it is natural that the only direct way to find out their impressions is to ask them.

It consists of submitting a two-minute survey to the customer; The questions are all focused on satisfaction and appreciation, but what makes the difference is a final question, which goes roughly like this:

“On a 1-10 scale, how likely would you be to recommend BRAND to friends, colleagues or business partners?”

The entire NPS calculation is based on this fundamental question; customers are divided into three bands according to their score

  • 1 to 6 are Detractors, i.e. customers who not only do not recommend the company, but could potentially leave negative reviews and opinions;
  • 7 to 8 are Passives, i.e. customers who do not have a negative opinion, but would not recommend the company either, and are therefore not taken into account in the calculation;
  • 9 to 10 are Promoters: satisfied customers who would highly recommend the brand’s services, and qualify as ambassadors of the company’s values.

To get the value we need, we simply subtract the Detractors from the percentage value of Promoters; the range of scores goes from -100 to 100 (two values not found in reality). Based on several market analyses, we can say that any value below 0 is the more negative the more we move away from it, from 0 to 50 we have a good score, from 50 to 75 we are talking about consolidated companies (probably historic multinational companies), from 75 upwards it is almost a utopia.

This applies to the standard system, suggested in the literature and used by most players. However, there are companies that adopt similar but not identical calculation strategies; for example, in contravention of the practice, they deliberately limit the survey audience or decide to adopt a different numerical classification. It follows that any type of comparison will not only be more complicated, but will invalidate any type of sector study or useful survey.

net promoter score NPS MBK Produceshop
The customer’s opinion is central to the analysis of CX

Factors to consider

Taking a survey, as many people know, is not a simple or immediate operation.

When filling in the survey, although the last question is the most important, we must also take into account the possible reaction of our customers to the others.

Therefore, always evaluate three basic characteristics:

  • timing of the survey – at what point in the journey, or how long afterwards, to submit it; if too close it may be ignored, if too far away it may have dampened any enthusiasm;
  • Survey channels – no one wants to receive dozens of messages on WhatsApp, or SMS, confirming their satisfaction. A well-structured e-mail, with a dedicated link (and here UX writing, which we will talk about in the future, is everything) is definitely the best way to ask for an opinion;
  • Survey simplicity – reading a long list of abstruse or complex questions, or, on the contrary, ungrammatical and hasty, will not lead to any positive result. Concentrate and empathise with the reader, and remember that you have to accompany them towards the most positive opinion possible. Not only that, but often an unsuccessful purchase can turn into a positive result if you make it clear to the customer that you care about their opinion.

When reading the results (but also when submitting the survey) remember to localise: different cultures have different approaches to assessments, thus varying the success of an NPS calculation by quite a few points. Especially if we’re talking about international eCommerce, as ProduceShop has long understood, don’t just translate; readapt contents and meanings according to the audience, after careful investigation not only of the market but also of sociology.

Targets

As a benchmark index, it would seem that the main objective is to stand out from the competitors. While this is a constant goal of every business, one of the aims of the NPS is to get companies to work on Customer Experience (CX).

By comparing ourselves with the NPS of our competitors, we will initially be able to get an idea of the general situation in the market; by studying their results we will then be able to improve in all those aspects that distinguish us negatively. But the most important reading we should make is the qualitative one of the results coming from our customers; a fundamental trick is to leave at least one open question in the survey submitted, to give the customer interviewed the opportunity to explain WHAT really represents a problem for him. If quantitative data gives a measure of the situation, the only way to act on our strategies is to work on qualitative data; a concrete reflection, which is not just numbers, is the best indicator in data analysis.

It would be advisable to anticipate a correct discernment of the product field at each analysis. In fact, it is not necessary to take only the absolute value resulting from the calculation; rather, analyse this in relation to the corporate strategy and the reference market, to avoid pitiless comparisons which, on an objective level, do not return any current image.

In fact, if the quantitative data give a measure of the situation, the only way to act on our strategies is to work on the qualitative ones; a concrete reflection, which is not just numbers, is the best indicator in data analysis.
Only in this way, and by giving a regular and reasoned cadence to the surveys, can we ensure that we meet consistent quality standards: it is not enough to bring home one good result, or a short period of positive reviews. The real challenge is to stay up-to-date to always meet the best requirements.

Increasing your Net Promoter Score requires thorough data analysis

Some useful actions to increase the Net Promoter Score

While there are no scientific methods or magic formulas for raising the rate, there are several steps you can take at the corporate level that could contribute to the improvement of the NPS.

We asked Ronny Soana, COO of MBK Fincom and ProduceShop, for a brief vademecum to ensure customers’ loyalty.

Collecting and analysing data is the first step; without proper analysis, optimisation becomes a blind walk that leads nowhere. Gathering the different opinions you can understand the general sentiment of your customers and analyse it; even if it’s not easy to see, it moves according to periodic trends, not only linked to the product or category, but to entire market movements. Working on these trends means choosing the appropriate keywords that from time to time allow you to rewrite and re-tell yourself as a company and as an eCommerce company

Personal (or better “personified”) contact with customers is an excellent weapon for working on performance; thanking a Promoter for their opinion or review, asking a Passive for recommendations or even turning a Detractor into a useful resource are small actions that, from time to time, change your NPS upwards. If you then engage the help of your entire business team, over time you will find all the critical issues and answers you need to stabilise on an optimal score. There’s also one last tidbit that only a few people assess but which, thanks to our in-house apps, we’ve taken as a standard measure for CX assessment: cart abandonment.

The shopping cart abandonment rate

By calculating the exact moment at which some customers abandon their shopping carts, we can understand a lot about their behaviour; moreover, by averaging the moments of abandonment, the quantities and the value of the cart, we can assess the criticalities that lead to the phenomenon over time.

In addition, a fundamental distinction must be made in the notion of return customers; these depend essentially on the type of eCommerce and product sold. Clearly, if you buy food and clothes online, you will have a very high frequency of return to the site; talking about products such as furniture and DIY (especially if they are of high quality and not subject to ruin, we would add), the rate of return to the site is lower.

On the other hand, if you buy coffee pods every fortnight, how many times a year do you buy back a sofa or a compressor?

Whether it’s prices, problems with UX, friendliness, or even shipping or payment methods, the important thing is to listen and correct.

Recoverable shopping baskets are many more than many eCommerce managers consider, and retaining a customer you’ve risked losing is a doubly valuable acquisition gain. And not just for the cost savings.”

In conclusion: Real importance of the Net Promoter Score

Although it is an important factor, don’t forget to consider the limits of the NPS.
A dissatisfied customer is more likely to testify than a satisfied one; try to inspire a desire to talk, lead the user into dialogue; listen to him, and make him understand that his every opinion counts for you.

Above all, don’t focus so much on the numerical value of the rate, but on the periodic trend; a business that works is established over time, not for a moment.

Sources:
  • Corporate PR
  • ProduceShop Development Dept.
  • HR Dept. ProduceShop (https://mbkfincom.com)
  • Eurostat.eu
  • Customer Guru
  • E-Commerce Nation
  • Monkey Learn Academy
  • Qualtrics
  • Trading Economics
  • Il Sole 24Ore
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