Net Promoter System could easily be one of the most debated (as well as misunderstood and underutilized) methods out there.
Yet, two-thirds of all Fortune 1000 companies are utilizing the system. And after 15 years of working on dozens of customer experience programmes for major European brands, we have yet to find a more practical, effective and actionable approach.
That is - when it’s done right.
The rhetoric of many practitioners focuses on "root cause analysis" and on "closing the loop".
And rightfully so.
Listening to the customer's voice and acting on the knowledge you gain this way, are at the heart of every company's success.
But there is so much more to NPS than meets the eye.
A well-implemented and integrated Net Promoter programme can add value to your business in many different ways you might not be aware of.
So if you happen to be wondering about the "next level" for your own NPS programme, you might find some inspiration in the list below.
1. Build a competitive advantage
A well-structured NPS benchmark study can compare your company's performance to that of your competitors but also uncover the reasons why each company gets lower or higher scores. By carefully analyzing where your competitors create detractors, you can identify the areas where your business can capture market share.
For example, a dental hygiene company used NPS to develop highly tailored competitive strategies (to learn more, check out the point 7 in this 8-point presentation with 10 cases from European industry leaders).
2. Conquer new customers
Closely related to the above is actual customer conquest. If your NPS data is granular enough, you can start targeting specific segments or even account with tailored offers to make customers switch to your business.
Considering Accenture just found that about two out of three consumers are open to this, the right offer can take you a long way.
3. Reduce your cost structure
NPS programmes typically focus on "doing more" for the customer. But identifying the parts of your service offer to which your customer is truly indifferent can also be a source of profit. After all, industry habits and internal priorities may cause you to keep alive practices which make no more competitive sense. These are places where you can cut costs without your customers losing sleep over it.
*Global B2B Prototyping company successfully identified customer issues
4. Increase your marketing ROI
Marketers know that a large part of their budget is wasted, but they often find it difficult to indicate which part it is.
By creating differentiated communication and action plans for promoters, passives, and detractors, you can get the most profitable response out of each audience and work on the overall improvement of your score.
Not to mention that actually knowing what delights your promoters, is a good way to focus for your next campaigns.
Besides this, there are some more areas where you could up your B2B marketing game and increase your marketing ROI.
5. Increase your closing rate
Almost every business creates promoters. Activate them. Set up a promoter programme in which you actually ask them to recommend your business.
Their intervention can get you new prospects to approach and help you close more business (after all, a video of a happy customer is 100x more convincing than that of your most passionate salesperson).
6. Improve your account planning
Too much B2B focus goes to the customer's purchasing department.
By mapping the NPS of various decision makers, influencers and users you can empower your sales teams to develop action plans which affect every stakeholder on your customer side.
These action plans can form the basis of NPS-driven account planning, communication and service/innovation programmes.
An early adopter of NPS, Orange Business Services, leveraged NPS to become the most favored telecom services provider at many of their accounts. They systematically survey all stakeholders in their key accounts and jointly implement an action plan.
7. Sharpen your financial forecasts
If your finance team enriches their forecast data with NPS information by customer, segment and/or account, they can substantially increase the quality of these forecasts.
After all, the chance of the detractors to actively increase their orders in the next year are probably well below those of the promoters doing so.
8. Make better M&A decision
Most due diligence processes look at (historic) company information and "average "customer data.
By conducting a quality Net Promoter study on the customer base of the companies you intend to acquire you can much better determine their value and avoid merging a large group of detractors into your customer base.
9. Optimise organizational learning
Most organizations want to "leverage best practices", but when doing so they typically define these practices based on internal efficiency or abstract KPI's.
Using NPS data as a guideline for determining "best" practice in your business, allows you to focus on those employee and organizational habits that truly make a difference.
10. Streamline your information systems
Promoters only emerge when various touchpoint owners have the information they need to really connect with their customers (and are empowered to do so).
By closely involving your IT teams in your NPS efforts, you can develop a "single customer view" architecture which is really designed around your customers instead of any vendor's perspective on the world.
Take the next step
NPS can create real value across your business — when it’s done right. This article provided a brief summary of some of the common ways we see organizations leveraging this simple but powerful system.
Of course, we realize that the specific context and constraints of your organization may make it less clear-cut. Often many different aspects have to be taken into account to identify exactly those actions that will create the biggest impact on your organization.
Sometimes, having a conversation with someone who is “not in the middle of it” can be the quickest way to see the forest for the trees.
That’s why we’re offering free, no-strings-attached consultations to people responsible for NPS programmes in their organization. During the consultations, we can confidentially discuss your specific goals and challenges and identify the strategic next steps (as well as quick-win actions) to help you take your NPS programme to the next level and create more value for your organization.
Feel free to reach to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +32 3 2486 777 with any question you might have about getting the most out of your NPS programme.
If you want to learn more about NPS and Voice-of-Customer Programs in B2B - check the ultimate guide, which we have created, based on our 15 years experience and real life examples.