There are a lot of ways to learn about your customers. You can pick up the phone, send out a survey, invite them to a customer event, or use a well-known method to learn more about who they are.
You’ve enlisted Net Promoter Score for help on your journey. You know that it works, but you want to dive even deeper to understand how you can get higher engagement.
Have you considered experimenting with the open-ended follow-up question?
In classic NPS methodology, the 10 point “how likely“ question is followed by an open-ended “why?” question to elicit valuable feedback and insight on what is driving customer loyalty.
The main requirement is that the question is open ended. From there is where the creativity starts. This follow-up question can be customized but how? And why?
The hard line says you should just ask for the main reason for the score. But each company knows their customers, and may find better success in getting customers to provide detailed comments by adjusting their tone or approach to this question.
Why Customize the Follow-up Question?
The follow-up question is open-ended, and that’s why it’s awesome. You should consider customizing it for three reasons:
- Better engagement– Customization of the follow-up question can lead to a higher percentage of respondents giving you feedback.
- Insert your brand– Your brand is unique, so you can use the follow-up question to share your voice in a way your customers have come to expect.
- Get the info you need— Go beyond “Why?” and elicit specific information that is most useful to you and your company.
Setting up an NPS program? Get the ebook, The Modern Guide to Winning Customers with Net Promoter Score. Leverage customer feedback and drive growth with a real-time, customized approach to NPS.
4 Strategies for the NPS Follow-up Question
1. Use the Standard Question
The standard question is standard because it works. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a standard feedback question with all customers when using NPS. The standard version is fastest to implement and a good place to start and learn.
2. Customize the Question Based on Score
Not all customers have the same experience of your product or service. Promoters will have different suggestions than passives and detractors, and vice versa. What if you segmented your follow-up question based on how someone scored you?
“Customizing the follow-up question based on score — or Promoter, Passive, Detractor — is one of the first things you can do with NPS to demonstrate that you are listening to your customers, “ says Jessica Pfeifer, Co-founder of Wootric. “Even a simple tweak like ‘Care to tell us why? Your feedback will help us to improve.’ will signal to Detractors or Passives that you are aware that they aren’t happy. For Promoters, you could share your excitement even before asking the follow up question ‘We’re thrilled you feel that way. Care to tell us why?’ and then follow up with an invitation to share their remarks on social media. “
3. Insert Your Brand Personality with Language
Your brand has a unique tone, whether it’s super friendly, concise and business-like, or modern and fun. Because the follow-up question is open-ended, you can experiment with inserting your brand by changing up the copy.
Overall, would you describe the service you received from (insert name of customer loyalty rep) as good, bad or fantastic? What exactly stood out as being good or bad about this service?
This follow-up question feels like Zappos. It’s casual, and it’s easy to imagine a Zappos employee using this type of language.
Remember, there are tons of ways to ask the same question:
- What is the most important reason for your score?
- Just curious! Why’d you score us that way?
- Why did you give that score?
- Please explain why you gave us this score.
- Please provide your reasoning for this rating.
You can also boost your brand by leading into the question with your brand tone. Acknowledge a great score with personal thanks. Acknowledge a poor score with empathy.
- Awesome, thank you! Would you tell us why you feel that way?
- Our apologies for not meeting your needs. Care to tell us why?
4. Go beyond “Why?”
Depending on what you want to know, you could deviate from the standard “Why?” question. Some would say this is heresy, but there is no harm in testing and it could serve you well. For example, you could try:
- What can we do to improve your experience?
- How would you describe what we do to a friend?
- How can we improve?
- Can you share any specific feedback about ___?
- What is one thing we could do differently to make you happier?
Getting Higher Response Rates: Is it Working?
The good news is that this is quantitative. You can play around with how you ask the open-ended question and learn. Keep an eye on what percent of survey responders are giving you feedback and see if by customizing the question, more customers are willing to give you the valuable feedback you are seeking.
All types of companies rely on Net Promoter Score, and the standard follow-up question will work just fine. If you’re looking to get more from NPS, try experimenting with the follow-up question. Play with the copy, try segmentation, and work to write a follow-up question that feels true to your brand.
Let us know how it goes.
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