16 Ways to Improve Your Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Improve NPS Score

Our panel of experts share their advice on how you can boost your contact centre’s Net Promoter Score (NPS).

How to Improve Your Net Promoter Score (NPS)

1. Introduce NPS Champions

It’s important to recognise that customer satisfaction is the responsibility of the entire organisation, not just customer contact teams.

So, if your contact centre is measuring NPS, the team may not be fully responsible for the score they receive.

For example, if Accounts have been rude to a customer, or a field engineer hasn’t shown up, you could still receive a poor score, even if it’s not your fault.

The best thing to do is to introduce NPS Champions to other divisions to implement the process improvements that your NPS programme shows are needed.

Guy Letts

Bearing this in mind, the best thing to do is to introduce NPS Champions to other divisions to implement the process improvements that your NPS programme shows are needed.

If your scores are low because of rude payment chasing, then it’s the responsibility of the NPS Champion in Accounts to implement the processes and training to stop this happening.

2. Tell the Team That a Perfect Score Isn’t the Objective

If you don’t have the organisational ‘clout’ (or a supportive line manager who will advocate for you) to implement this change, then another valid approach is to reframe the problem.

As a contact centre manager, you need to communicate to your team that a ‘perfect’ score isn’t the objective – there’s no sense in setting targets you can’t influence.

Guy Letts

Guy Letts

Instead, just do the best job that you can for every single customer when you interact with them, but keep an eye on the trend of your score. Even if you can’t perfect it, you can stop it sliding backwards.

Also, it’s important not to lose sleep over phony competitor benchmarks. Give your team the confidence to provide the best service that’s in their power to deliver and never stop advocating for change elsewhere in the organisation.

Thanks to Guy Letts at CustomerSure

3. Follow Up Fast

Prompt follow-up with customers after they’ve given feedback can help contact centres drive increases NPS Score.

The practice, called closing the loop, works for three reasons:

  • It demonstrates your commitment to the customer experience
  • It resolves individual problems
  • It gives you greater insight into the issues that drag down your customer loyalty

Your closed-loop process can vary by customer. How fast you respond, who follows up and even the means of contacting the customer can depend on the type of feedback received, as well as characteristics of the customer or account.

Richard Burns

Richard Burns

Often, simply hearing that feedback was received improves a customer’s perception of your company. You might even assign a manager or an executive to reach out.

Use follow-up calls to learn more about customer issues. Adding insights from closed-loop conversations can help you pinpoint the root causes of recurring problems so you can fix them at the source.

Thanks to Richard Burns at NICE

4. Make Time for Refresher Training

Ensure that your advisors are fully skilled and have their skills refreshed on a regular basis.

All too often, one of the first casualties in the battle between the plan and reality is offline time for training – the immediate service level is seen as much more important than the long-term impact on the customer and the NPS score.

All too often, one of the first casualties in the battle between the plan and reality is offline time for training.

David Preece

When you make a commitment to train, coach, upskill or re-skill an advisor, or provide feedback following a Quality Assurance (QA) assessment, do everything that you can to make sure that session takes place.

One way to make more time for training is to use an intraday management tool, which can give you the ability to make sure that these sessions are booked in during ‘quiet times’ throughout your day. This gives you the best chance of avoiding cancellation and re-booking.

5. Listen to the Voice of the Customer

Many contact centres have structures or skilling plans that are designed to suit themselves and not the needs of the customer.  Ensure that your centre is geared up to answer the needs of your customers to increase NPS scores.

To do this, try performing deep analysis on your call records. Think about how many calls going into advisors in Group A are subsequently transferred into Groups B or C.  How many result in escalations or complaints?  Do some call listening and consider what the main drivers for these transfers and escalations are.

Then, look to multiskill around this analysis. Remove the need for transfers and multi-handling and concentrate on handling customer transactions once and only once.

6. Avoid Working in Silos and Consider the Impact of Average Handling Time

A big negative for NPS is when customers feel that they have to deal with many people or departments to get a query resolved.

On many an occasion, a customer’s query will have several threads to it, all of which need to be resolved or actioned in some way.

David Preece

David Preece

Empower your frontline advisors to handle queries outside their own department’s main remit and provide them with access to whatever systems they need. This greatly enhances their chances of providing the customer with a ‘one-and-done’ resolution to their call.

Also, look at your Average Handling Time (AHT) targets – are they conducive to promoting NPS?  Are advisors allowed sufficient time and space to properly resolve queries and problems?  Consider changing advisor targets from time-based metrics to quality-based measurements, such as First Contact Resolution (FCR).

Thanks to David Preece at QStory

7. Get These Three Basics Right

Simon Thorpe

Simon Thorpe

Over the past 19 years, Bright has conducted thousands of operational benchmarking studies across a number of different contact centres.

When looking into their top performers, Bright noticed a commonality between the top performers. This commonality was that they each had a strong understanding of how to:

  • Measure operational performance
  • Collect and act on employee engagement data
  • Put together a strong Voice of Customer research

For more on how to do these three basics well, have a look at the following video.

Thanks to Simon Thorpe at Bright

For more on the basics of NPS, read our article: What Is Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

8. Perfect Your Greetings and Closings

It sounds obvious, but how consistent is your team with their hellos and goodbyes? The greeting is your customer’s first experience with your centre, so make sure the call starts on the right note – keep it informal, ask them how their day is going, be interested in them as a person and show how you value their business.

Enabling an advisor to see a customer’s history without switching screens makes for smoother handling of a call without the customer having to repeat themselves.

Encouraging self-awareness in your advisors is important as it enables them to know when a call is going wrong and how to get it back on track. Having dealt with the call or query, make sure your advisors finish each call on a positive – remember that’s the impression that your customer will leave with.

9. Create Feedback Communities

Your promoters may be happy with your brand or service, but it’s worth asking them what you could do differently – or better.

Creating panels and feedback communities can help you identify where you can improve in the short term and even help you develop your product roadmap for the long term.

Creating panels and feedback communities can help you identify where you can improve in the short term and even help you develop your product roadmap for the long term.

Colin Hay

You can also use optional customer service surveys on your calls to make sure you don’t just stick to the same formula, without realising that you are no longer making the grade.

Maybe your customers feel that your advisors are too formal or casual, too chatty or too abrupt – checking feedback and metrics regularly makes sure you get it right.

10. Encourage Customer Recommendations

It’s a given that recommendation is one of the best ways to promote or sell a product or service. But how easy do you make it for your customers to share their experience?

Encouraging customers to post positive reviews on social media can be an excellent way to spread the word. You could even turn your “passives” into promoters by offering incentives or discounts to share their stories, building an online community that encourages customers to leave comments.

Ensuring that you have skilled advisors to operate across these different channels can also be a good way to interact with customers and make them feel good about posting comments or sharing photos.

11. Don’t Ignore Detractors

Detractors can be valuable for feedback, as finding out why they are unlikely to recommend or promote your brand or service can be more useful than knowing the positives.

Identifying whether it’s poor customer service at point of purchase, or when something goes wrong, is valuable intelligence. After all, you can’t fix what you don’t know about.

12. Don’t Ignore Passives

Also, don’t ignore your passives. While they don’t necessarily influence your score up or down, it’s worth finding out what might make them better disposed to your company.

Colin Hay

Colin Hay

Often price sensitive, they are not loyal to any brand. However, it may be that you can engage them in discussion and show them that you are more than just a product or service. This is where the customer experience can tip the balance in your favour.

If your advisors can connect with these customers, they will be on the way to becoming your best advocates.

Thanks to Colin Hay at Puzzel

13. Aim to Understand the Variables That Cause Changes in NPS

Analysing your data to understand customer-sentiment drivers is fairly standard practice, but what drivers exist outside of your contact centre?

Pete Dunn

Pete Dunn

Understanding the push and pull within your branch and field teams and the impact your marketing campaigns and media have on your business are key to understanding what else is potentially affecting your NPS.

But remember, don’t get too focused on NPS. NPS is a great metric for understanding customer journeys but it doesn’t always fare too well in predicting customer loyalty or work well as a score for a single interaction.

Scoring customer effort and satisfaction alongside NPS allows for a better understanding of your customers.

Thanks to Pete Dunn at The Forum 

14. Focus on Advisor Morale

Without emotional investment in their work, even the best advisors are going to have a difficult time maintaining exemplary service, which can see your NPS slip.

A driven and upbeat workforce should make a high NPS that much more attainable, and giving advisors a role in their own evaluation is an effective motivator.

Enda Kenneally

Enda Kenneally

So, allowing the team to review themselves alongside their superiors demonstrates that the individual’s opinion is valued and that their development matters, as well as allowing senior employees to build a rapport with their teams.

Similarly, reward schemes like an ‘employee of the month’ programme, or competitions that encourage excellent NPS, are public evidence of pride in good performance and an incentive to raise or maintain standards of work. These schemes provide continued encouragement for advisors to provide the best service they can, which in turn goes towards raising your NPS.

Thanks to Enda Kenneally at West Unified Communications

15. Make Exceeding Customer Expectations a Key Customer Outcome

The secret to making exceeding customer expectations part of your call centre’s DNA is to focus on exceeding expectations, rather than focusing on the NPS itself.

To do this, you need to look at the NPS as something that measures the difference between the expectations a customer has and the experience they receive.

NPS measures surprises. If you miss expectations, you create a negative surprise, and you create a positive surprise if you exceed them.

Frank Sherlock

Put another way, NPS measures surprises. If you miss expectations, you create a negative surprise, and you create a positive surprise if you exceed them.

So, prompt advisors to deliver positive surprises and go the extra mile, rather than concentrating on compliance or reducing the call duration. This will exceed customers’ expectations and help you achieve better NPS scores.

16. Review Your Scripts and Ensure That Common Sense Can Be Applied

Sometimes an advisor’s strict adherence to a script can bypass common sense and cause anything but customer delight.

So, giving advisors the freedom to act with common sense and not stick rigidly to a script, regardless of the circumstances, can deliver better NPS scores.

For example, if a customer who has not had their problem resolved is asked: ‘Is there anything else I can help you with today’, it is likely to be met with a negative response. Unsurprisingly, this lack of common sense is likely to increase dissatisfaction as the customer hasn’t been helped yet.

Frank Sherlock

By analysing every interaction, an interaction analytics platform can identify the impact of rigid scripts on satisfaction and brief advisors to avoid saying or doing things that deliver a negative experience.

To help improve NPS an analytics system can also evaluate what works best at improving your NPS and give your advisors real-time guidance to rescue the call from delivering an experience that misses expectations.

Thanks to Frank Sherlock at CallMiner

Author: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 14th May 2018 - Last modified: 14th Jun 2024
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