How to respond to a weak or falling NPS®*?
by Jennifer Taylor on 15 December 2016 , updated on 6 January 2023
The NPS®* or Net Promoter Score is an indicator used by companies across all sectors to assess customer satisfaction and loyalty. But analysing the results and knowing how to react according to the score you achieve is not always intuitive, especially if you discover a low or falling NPS…
What is a good NPS score? When to worry?
There is no good NPS®* per se. Depending on your sector of activity, the country or region in which you operate, and many other factors, your NPS®* score can vary twofold. Annual benchmarks can give you an indication of the score generally achieved by your competitors, but it should under no circumstances serve as your goal.
The NPS®* is, instead, an indicator which should be tracked internally, over time. Your goal should be to improve it continuously, regardless of the score obtained in your first customer survey.
A declining score, or more precisely an increase in the number of detractors or decrease of the amount of promoters should be more alarming than the number in itself.
The score should nevertheless remain positive; a negative score meaning a greater number of detractors than promoters.
How should you react to a falling NPS®*?
If your NPS®* score has fallen significantly, these checks may be carried out:
1. Analyse the number or promoters and detractors
Start by monitoring changes in the percentage of your promoters and detractors. As the Net Promoter Score is obtained from a simple substraction between promoters and detractors, you will achieve the same NPS®* score whether you have 60% of promoters and 35% of detractors (NPS = 25) or 35% of detractors and 27% of promoters (NPS=25). As long as your overall score is positive, a falling NPS®* score may not be that alarming!
2. Check the frequency of your NPS®* surveys
Have you surveyed enough customers and with sufficient frequency so that your results are accurate? We recommend systematically evaluating your customers’ satisfaction (and thus their NPS®*) after a purchase in order to achieve better representativeness of the results.
It should also be noted that a customer who leaves a low NPS®* score is less likely to abandon your store for the competition than a customer who has not responded at all.
3. Engage in competitive intelligence
Have your competitors developed new services? Opened new stores? Implemented a new communication strategy? Competitive intelligence will help you determine whether your competitors may be responsible for your customers’ falling loyalty rates or whether it is instead an internal problem.
4. Analyse customer feedback
If your NPS®* question is accompanied by an open-ended question, analysing your customers’ feedback should help you determine the main reasons for their dissatisfaction and to quickly implement action plans to improve the customer experience.
Depending on each customers’ category (promoter, detractor, passive customer), their feedback will contain different information :
Promoters: score between 8 and 10
Promoters are the customers the most likely to be loyal and to recommend your brand to their friends and family. In their comments, they inform you of your strengths and highlight everything that sets you apart from your competitors.
“I love this place, I always want to buy everything I see. The store is beautiful and the staff is very friendly and product savvy.”
Your passive customers have mixed feeling towards your store. They are globally satisfied by their experience with your brand but upset about a few details they will generally write about in their comments.
“Nice store but quite small so not all items are available.”
Your detractors are customers who are very disappointed with their experience with your brand and who risk abandoning you for the competition. Their comments provide valuable insights into areas which urgently need improvement.
“No one bothered to greet me. The shop assistants were busy chatting instead of paying attention to their customers.”
What are the main reasons for a falling Net Promoter Score?
A declining NPS®* score can be due to a multitude of reasons.
If you notice a sharp increase in the number of detractors, it may be that the basic services expected by customers have not been properly performed. Greeting customers at the door, organizing the store so that products can be easily found, making sur the premises are clean and the staff friendly are just a few examples.
A decline in the number of promoters could be due to the same reasons or to a decrease in the “customer experience” gap that separates you from your competitors. If your competitors are also developing new services, you will once again have to innovate to stand out!
To find out the specific reasons for the decline in your NPS®*, the best way is to simply ask your customers!
* NPS is a registered trademark, and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.