Achieve success with NPS part 3 of 7

We interview our specialist Mark Schepers in part 3 of the 7-part blog series about NPS. He explains how, based on your measurement results, you can actually realize improvements. Mark has worked at DELA and Carglass for many years and has extensive experience in measuring customer loyalty with NPS.

The previous part of this blog series was about setting up the NPS email and increasing your response rate. We hope you've received plenty of valuable customer feedback! Now it's up to you to make the leap from measuring to improving. We asked Mark to deal with some of the issues that many customers are getting stuck on.

I can't get from measuring to improving by myself. How do I get others in the organization on board?

'You have to realize,' Mark says, 'that managers, product managers and executives look at the customer journey with an internal view. Help others in the organization to translate customer feedback into tangible improvements. Become the customer's ambassador and help others to look at things from a customer's perspective, in order to create understanding. Why is the customer's experience positive or negative? This understanding can lead to ideas about how things can be improved. I went to the board meeting every month myself. I made sure the management had the latest insights. I made it clear to MT where improvements were needed and I checked whether they were able to achieve them.'

Are we going too fast? Then first read all about NPS here.

'Is mapping out the customer journey the same as mapping out all the customer's moments?'

'I can be brief about that. The answer is no. Many organizations interpret a customer journey as an overview of customer contact moments. Moments in which actual contact takes place, from checking a web page to visiting a shop or receiving an article at your own front door. Just mapping out those aren't enough. There are many times when there's no contact at all. Think of waiting for a confirmation, phone call or delivery. Those moments when nothing happens can be very decisive for the customer experience. In both cases there's a state of mind. A customer can be 'insecure' when he's looking for a product. Or experiencing 'happiness' when it’s received. Or feel 'irritation' with a question that hasn't been answered. A customer journey can therefore be divided into contact, no contact and the feeling it brings. Connect these factors with each other and opportunities for improvement will become visible. That's why we apply the Root Cause method in our NPS survey. Set it up properly to find out what happens during, between and after the customer contact and what it does to the customer experience.'

Want to read more about the Root Cause method? Download the NPS whitepaper.

'Where do I start improving? And how can I be sure that I'm tackling the right problem?'

Keep researching where critical customer reactions are coming from. Involve the product or process specialists and the employees who are in contact with the customer in this research as well. Keep asking questions until you truly get to the root cause and start improving from there. Prevent a symptom from being tackled. The ultimate goal is an improvement that's both good for the customer and good for the company. Test with real customers, for example in a panel session, whether what you think you know is true.'

'It's impossible for us to work on all improvement points at the same time. How do I determine what I should and shouldn't improve?'

'Look for improvements that have a serious impact on the customer experience first, where the necessary effort is small to average. That'll get you the quickest gain. These small steps are often easier to achieve. Many people are surprised by the fact that small improvements can lead to big results in your NPS. Give priority to what you are going to improve. Do you score poorly on a specific component? But only a handful of customers think this is important? Then just leave it be.'

'How do I keep my organization excited about continuous improvement?' How do I create that positive improvement vibe?'

'Don't just focus on what needs to be improved. Make sure you have a good balance. Implementing improvements is a lot easier with an excited team. Has an action got you a better result? Make sure to share it. It's important to pay attention to this. Also make time to share positive customer feedback in the organization and hand out at least as many compliments as questions about critical customer reactions.'

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The advice in this blog will help you to realize improvements in your organization based on the NPS-results. Next week Mark will give you 5 tips for further improving your Net Promoter Score in a video. 

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