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How To Use Net Promoter Score to Improve Retention and Drive Reviews for Your SaaS Product

You know that customer retention is important for any company; even more so for SaaS. If you keep customers around, they keep paying you. Churn rate should be one of the most important metrics for any SaaS company.

Though there are many ways to reduce churn, there is one way that we’ve found to be the most impactful: Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys. Implementing and responding to NPS surveys had a direct 30% decrease in our churn rate.

Through collecting and acting on NPS you will not only retain more customers but also drive new leads and close more deals. It’s a true win-win.

I’m going to teach you how we leverage NPS to pinpoint customer issues, pave our product roadmap and get our fans to write 5-star reviews for us around the web.

What is Net Promoter Score?

Net Promoter Score is collected through a survey which asks participants on how likely they’d be to recommend your product to a friend or colleague. The answers are broken down in to three categories:

net-promoter-scores
Image Source

Detractors (0 to 6): Detractors are unhappy customers who may churn shortly. They account for more than 80 percent of negative word of mouth. It’s important to react quickly to their feedback to keep them as a customer.

Passives (7 or 8): Passives are somewhat satisfied with your product but do not love it. There may be a couple issues holding them back from being a promoter. If a competitor’s product catches their eye they may switch.

Promoters (9 or 10): Promoters are your company’s biggest fans. They are far more likely to recommend your products to others, remain customers and spend more money with your company.

To calculate the actual Net Promoter Score all you need to do is subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. It’s a number that ranges from -100 to 100.

The goal is to increase your Net Promoter Score over time, but it doesn’t matter what your beginning NPS is. The feedback from your customers is what you’re really after.

After users are asked for their score they’re prompted to answer an open ended question of why they chose that score. This information is gold to your company.

Our NPS Collection Process

You can fully automate the NPS survey process with a number of tools including Promoter.io, AskNice.ly or Wootric. While the most common way to run the surveys are through email, certain apps allow alternatives like web and in app popups.

We keep it simple and send out an email NPS survey 45 days after the customer has become a paid user and then again every 6 months. If the customer doesn’t leave a score we have a follow up email that goes out 5 days later.

likely-to-recommend-question

While the score is nice to have, the comment after they score your company is what you’re really after. We’ve found that only around 70% of people who answer the survey leave a comment as well. You can squeeze out more responses by following this guide by Baremetrics, which automates following up with customers who fail to leave a comment.

As the surveys roll in there are three main ways we utilize the information:

1. Pinpoint and overcome customer issues

These surveys are the perfect way to find any problems or issues nagging your customers. Many times you’ll find people complain about something that you’ve already solved. Or they’re looking for a feature that you already provide or plan or providing.

customer-feedback

For example, we already provide a way to deactivate accounts. By simply asking we moved this customer from a passive to a promoter.

Here are some tips that we use to respond to customer issues:

  • Take a personalized approach with each customer. There is no auto reply function that works well and you can gain value out of talking to your customers.
  • Reply to every comment regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.
  • Pay close attention to detractors; they’re ready to leave your company at any moment.

2. Pave our company roadmap

Along with our support section where customers can vote on features, NPS surveys have become essential in deciding the path of our company.

We take note of every suggestion that comes in through the surveys. It doesn’t have to be complicated, simply tally suggestions in a Google Sheets document as they come in. It’s a bit of manual work but well worth it.

nps-suggestions-spreadsheet

This approach lets you find out exactly what your customers would like to see. Chances are that if your current customers want to see a specific feature, your potential customers and leads would like to see it as well.

We use this information to make a product roadmap with loose deadline dates. On top of our Google Sheets document we also tag each user with the suggestion they’d like to see in our CRM platform. The customer is then notified when their suggestion is added to the roadmap, and then also when it’s released. People love knowing they’re being listened to and the notifications delight them.

3. Leverage Promoters

Promoters love your product and don’t care who knows it. There are many ways that you can leverage them:

  • Invite them to refer friends or colleagues
  • Upsell them to a new package
  • Ask for reviews on G2Crowd, TrustRadius, etc
  • Share their encouragement with your company to boost morale

What we realized we need more than anything were positive reviews around the web. When you did a search for our company + reviews not much popped up.

agency-analytics-no-stars
Google results for “Agency Analytics reviews” before leveraging NPS.

We started asking promoters to leave reviews with a very simple request:

We’re in a tough place because online reviews help us grow and add more features, but we really hate asking users. We know your time is valuable.

If you have a moment consider letting people know what you think on G2Crowd: (link to G2Crowd). No pressure, just ignore this if you’d prefer not to :)

After asking our promoters, reviews started rolling in. Not every promoter will leave a review but we received seven glowing reviews after a few months.

agency-analytics-feedback

There are now a few new leads a day who tell us they signed up because of the reviews they saw online. This page is also used as a sales tool to show potential customers why they should go with our software. All because of NPS!

agency-analytics-g2-crowd-demo-request
Demo requests that come from G2Crowd.

Conclusion

Sending out NPS surveys is one of the best things a SaaS company can do to improve metrics across the board. It takes less than an hour to set up and allows you to get candid feedback from your users.

We use it to: answer customer concerns, plan our company roadmap and get rave reviews across the web, but there are hundreds of ways you can leverage these surveys. How are you going to use NPS to improve your SaaS company?

About the Author: Christian Sculthorp is the Marketing Director at AgencyAnalytics. @AgencyAnalytics is an all-in-one reporting platform for SEO agencies with rank tracking, backlink monitoring and more.

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