Why NPS is Valuable to Your Customer Success Strategy


Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measurement of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. The score is gathered through a short, 2 question survey that can tell you a lot about how your company is performing. Incorporating NPS into your customer success strategy can help you improve your customer experience and grow your company.

The score and feedback gathered can help you evaluate your current processes and product, as well as make informed decisions about how to adjust and improve.

First, we’ll cover what these 2 simple questions are and how your score is calculated. Then, we will get into how you can use this insight in customer success.

How is NPS calculated & what are the survey questions?

The net promoter system uses a survey in which a customer provides a score between 0-10, and the aggregated customer feedback becomes your Net Promoter Score.

When surveying your customers there are only 2 questions you need to ask…

  1. How likely is it that you would recommend [your company name here] to a friend or colleague? [scale of 0-10]

  2. What is the primary reason for your score? (here is where they can provide feedback, so super important not to forget this question!)

Short and simple, but packed with insights!

To calculate, you take [percentage of promoters - percentage of detractors].

If you want to learn more about NPS and getting started, read our Beginners Guide to NPS.

Use NPS to adjust your customer success strategy

NPS is one way to understand how your customer success strategy is actually working. If you’re just starting out with customer success and are testing different processes and strategies, NPS is a way for you to gather data, receive real-world feedback and course correct where necessary. If your processes and strategy are established, NPS is still a great way to feel the pulse of your customers and ensure you’re still on track for low churn and high upsales.

Within Planhat, we use what we call a CSM Score. This is a “gut-feeling” score of how strong the relationship is with the customer. This score is significant because, in some cases, the strength of the relationship can be a determining factor in the churn risk of the customer. The NPS number can help you to adjust that score, and take action from there.

Our CSM Scores can also feed into health profiles, translating an emotional layer to the normally analog approach to health calculations. For example, a client may be struggling to realize value in your product right now due to internal challenges, but they believe in your company vision and trust your CSMs input so much that they will renew now based on the premise they will better use your products in the coming subscription period. A CSM score, potentially influenced by NPS would show this in a health score.

Tips for strengthening the relationship

  1. All relationships, be they friendships, family or professional are founded and grounded in trust. Professionally trust stems from expectation management, ensuring you deliver on promises. Often a low NPS is an indicator that something sold in the first place is not being delivered so it is critical that you are proactive, acknowledge the gap between expectations and reality and offer solutions to bridge it.

  2. In Customer Success it is easy to spend all your time attending to the most needy users of your product. However, its critical not to forget your client sponsors by religiously scheduling executive business reviews, and also checking in frequently with users who may be less communicative to you, but are more influential at your customer. You can use tags in Planhat to identify your Sponsors, Influencers and End Users and even group them using Personas.

Why you should send the NPS survey out during the adoption phase

Sending the survey out during the adoption phase allows you to segment the data and understand it in context. These are customers that are more established in your platform than the customers in the onboarding phase so their comments and scores will be more reflective of how your product creates value and performs for users.

Take the insights and data gathered to give your team a solid direction on what needs to be adjusted, removed and/or added to your playbook/strategy during the adoption phase/success phase. Use the feedback to help determine where you should be dedicating more resources to, or adjusting your approach.

To gather feedback about the onboarding process, we recommend conducting a separate survey that is specific to the onboarding phase. You can send out this survey at the end of the onboarding phase.

Use it to establish loyalty & improve your product

The customer has taken the time to give you their honest and valuable feedback, so you absolutely must act on it.

Not only does this give your product team input to build off of, it also helps to establish a deeper loyalty. And this is critical not only for early stage startups, but also for more established businesses for their key accounts.

Take the feedback to the product team and inform the customer you have done so. If you can get an estimated timeline from your product team you can provide your customer with this information too!

Keep track of the progress, and keep the customer in the loop until it’s completed - maybe even ask them more more ideas and feedback. Closing this feedback loop tells your customers that you have listened to them and followed through.

Decision maker NPS scores v.s. end user NPS scores

All feedback is valuable feedback. However, feedback that was provided by a decision maker or your champion holds more weight than other end users’ feedback.

This is another way you should segment your NPS data. The decision makers and product champions should be the users you communicate the most with and you need to ensure to close the feedback loop with.

This tight communication will pay off heavily, resulting in a stronger relationship and probably a renewal of their license.

What if the workplace of the future is… here?

What if the future of business is already here? A simple question, with one surprisingly simple answer at Planhat!

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Join our webinar with Donna Weber and Jennifer Cramer where they discuss the importance of prioritizing the human factor of customer onboarding to maximize impact, experience, and faster time to value!

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