NPS Surveys (Pt. 3) Effectively Using Negative Customer Feedback

April 8, 2016 Jason Stephenson

nps surveys

This is the third part of a 3 part series on Net Promoter ScoreSM (NPS®) and why it’s important for your small business. Read the introduction here.

The most important objective of NPS surveys is to turn your detractors into promoters of your business. Nothing sells your services or products like existing customers who are happy with your business.

In part 1 of this series I discussed what NPS surveys are and why they matter. Then went on to talk a little about how you can effectively use positive customer feedback that you receive from your customers. Now let’s get into how you can use negative feedback to not only make things right with that specific customer, but also coach your employees to make sure those negative situations happen as rarely as possible.

Overall, there are much more customers who will be scored through your NPS survey as "not likely to recommend" over "promoter."

These customers can be broken down into two buckets:

  • 0–6 = Detractors—unhappy customers who can hurt your brand through negative word-of-mouth
  • 7–8 = Passives—satisfied but indifferent customers who could be swayed by the competition

How should I use the negative Feedback?
Maybe you're tracking your customer feedback, maybe you're not (hopefully you are!!) - regardless one of the biggest challenges SMB owners face is determining what to actually do with that feedback. A couple examples of how to best use the negative feedback from your customers are:

1) Respond to every customer

As unhappy as they may be, your customer took time out of their day to respond to your NPS survey. Whether it’s an actionable request or not - the least you can do is give them the courtesy of a personal response. Sometimes you will share their enthusiasm. In others, you should promise to do better (and mean it).

Every so often you may even receive a response with more feedback than you thought you needed. Although sometimes the extra feedback isn’t what you want to hear, you should value this feedback and use it to improve your business.


2) Use the feedback as a coaching opportunity

If you receive a score between 0 and 8 from one of your customers and it has to do with the customer service they received from one of your employees, use this feedback as a coaching opportunity. This is a great way for them to understand what went wrong and be able to make changes so it doesn’t happen again.

You may even want to go as far as including various objectives around NPS surveys in your annual appraisals and bonus schemes, if applicable.

Take Action and Grow
If you truly want to see any value from the NPS surveys, you need to actually read the feedback that you receive and take action. Doing so will help you stay ahead of your competition and grow your business.

Ready to started with NPS surveys at your business?
Frederick uses the Net Promoter Score methodology to help you understand and improve customer satisfaction. Find out which customers are "Promoters", "Passives" and "Detractors", then learn how to improve!

  • Frederick automatically calculates your Net Promoter Score based on feedback responses.
  • Detailed analytics always keep you up to date on how you're doing.
  • Keep staff accountable by filtering results by service and staff member.
  • Setting up Net Promoter Tracking takes just a moment, then runs automatically.

NPS®, Net Promoter® & Net Promoter® Score are registered trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld.

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