5 Tips to Use NPS Surveys to Find and Empower Advocates

Jessica Malnik Jessica Malnik · 5 min read

Promoters from NPS surveys are way more than just numbers on your spreadsheet. Treat them like VIPs and it will impact the bottom line in a big way.

At its most basic level, Net Promoter Score is a one question survey. But it is so much more useful than it might first appear. To measure NPS, we ask customers “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend this brand / service / product to a friend or colleague?

A quick briefing for those new to NPS: customers responding 0-6 are your detractors. The 7-8s are neutrals. And, the 9s and 10s are your promoters or advocates. Promoters are far more likely to recommend your product to other people, and they are much less likely to churn in the future.

To calculate your NPS score, subtract the percent of respondents identifying as detractors from the promoters. Any score above 50 is considered really good. Best in class companies like Apple are known to have NPS scores above 70.

This is the 30 second explanation of NPS. If you want to get into the nuances about how to expand the survey and when and how often to survey your customers, this NPS guide has some great pointers.

When most companies implement a NPS metric across their support team or ideally company wide, they tend to focus all of their team on bringing up their overall company NPS score and reaching out to detractors.

While reaching out to detractors is essential, you can’t ignore your promoters.

(Pro Tip – One easy way to keep track of all of your promoters is to link your NPS surveys responses to either your CRM or even a Google spreadsheet.)

These promoters love your brand and are going out of their way to tell others about it. The least you can do is acknowledge them and say thank you.

Here are 5 ways you can empower your promoters to become better advocates for your brand.

NPS Surveys Free giftsSending Swag and Free Stuff

This is the most common way to empower advocates, but it is also the least effective and can be seen as a cop-out.

A lot of companies think they can send their surplus branded t-shirts with their giant logo plastered in the front to their superfans and call it a day.

This approach is generic and overly corporate. By not sending them a personalized note or even better some sort of personalization in the actual swag, it comes across as inauthentic and could even be turning off some of your superfans.

However, there are also a bunch of companies that do this really well. One standout example that I personally experienced a few years ago was from Spotify. I’ve been a loyal paying subscriber since 2011. I occasionally tweet about using them. They replied to one of my tweets and then sent me a DM wanting to send me something.

Low and behold, a few days later I wound up with a brand new Chromecast, which integrates with Spotify. It is only a $30 gadget, but that interaction stuck with me and I still tell this story to this day.Beta Access NPS Surveys

Beta Access to New Features

Now, you don’t have to give advocates’ gifts. In fact, I’ve often found that showing that you care, giving them special attention and listening to their feedback can go a long way. One of the best ways I’ve seen this done is through giving them more access to your product team and access to new features before they get released to the public.

These people are likely the most invested in your product, and are the prime candidates to want to spend the time checking out new features and giving feedback on them.

The best part – they are helping you design a better product for free. All you have to do is listen and give them access to beta test features.

NPS surveys TestimonialsTestimonials and Case Studies

When you do NPS surveys, you should be working closely with your sales and marketing teams. They should have a process in place to reach out to all of your promoters for testimonials and case studies.

One easy way to systematize this process is to hook up your survey software with your project management software (such as Asana or Trello) through Zapier. You can track the process from start to finish.

Content Ideas For Your Blog and Social Media Channels

The real magic happens when your marketing and customer support teams collaborate. You can find some amazing content ideas from your NPS promoters.

  • Is one of your customers using the product in an unexpected way and generating impressive results? Interview them and write a blog post about it. Or better yet, see if they’d be interested in writing a guest post.
  • Q&As and customer feature stories on your blog
  • Expert roundup posts interviewing a bunch of customers
  • Is one of your customers charismatic and great on camera? Why not have them takeover your Instagram or Snapchat account for a day?
  • Facebook, Instagram or Youtube Live Q&As or Panels with customers

One brand that does a great job with this is Zendesk. They aren’t exactly the brand that you’d think would be crushing it on Snapchat. But they’ve found a clever way to tap into a segment of their customer base by sharing customer stories and tips (along with giving away swag) on Snapchat. They even go to some of their biggest clients’ offices and interview support employees as part of these Snapchat stories.

Special Access or Privileges in your Community

This is another tip that can work well – like sending free stuff- but it can also backfire. If you have a support forum, branded meetups or any online or offline community efforts, you can give special access or privileges to any promoters in the community. Two of the most common examples is to create a special group for power users or to give them moderator privileges.

Both of these tactics can work incredibly well, but they can also have disastrous consequences.

For example if you create a special power user group, you may find that all of these people start interacting in there and stop commenting in the larger community. This means your support community might turn into a ghost town.

In the case of giving moderator access, one of the most common mistake is thinking that just because someone is a power user, they will make a great moderator. Moderating is an art form. You need someone who really understands the community, what you are trying to achieve with it and has great people skills. These three things are way more important than if they post often in the forum.

Promoters are more than just a number

In conclusion, NPS surveys are way more than just another numbers in your company’s dashboard. There are tons of actionable insights and relationships that can be made from diving into your NPS surveys data.

You can learn a ton from identifying and building real relationships with your promoters. Your promoters are your superfans. When you go out of your way and treat them like VIPs and not just numbers on a spreadsheet, it will impact the bottom line in a big way.

As I shared with the five examples above, this doesn’t have to require a ton of time or money. Often times, the most effective ways to build relationships and empower promoters is to simply acknowledge and listen to them.

How did you like this blog?


Jessica Malnik Jessica Malnik

 Jessica is a writer, community builder and content strategist. By day, she is the community manager at The Dynamite Circle, a community for location independent entrepreneurs. She also curates remote jobs at Dynamite Jobs.  

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