Using Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure customer loyalty for your app

A few months ago, JP shared advice about measuring the success of your app integration. That was all about looking at rates of customer acquisition, tracking and analyzing clicks, and gathering feedback via reviews and support. But, it’s also important to measure the loyalty of your customers. Will your customers stay with you through the long haul? Why? What can you do to make them stick? How do you track and measure their sentiment?

What is a Net Promoter Score (NPS), anyway?

“What is the likelihood that you would recommend <XYZ> to a friend or colleague?”

You’ve all probably been asked that question numerous times — on a website, in an email, in an app, and other places. Companies use this question, or a variation of it, to assess customer sentiment and loyalty for their product or brand. Not just “do they like my product/service” — but “do they like it so much that they will recommend it to others?” The answer, called a Net Promoter Score, reflects how likely your customers are to “promote” your brand.

A bit of history: NPS was formulated by Fred Reichheld and the team at Bain & Company using data supplied by Satmetrix. According to the History of Net Promoter, they felt that conventional customer-satisfaction surveys weren’t getting the job done. Not only did traditional surveys take too long to reach decision makers; they didn’t provide data on individual customers nor “drive behavior change.” After testing various questions and scrutinizing how answers reflected actual consumer behavior, they found that “high scores on this question correlated strongly with repurchases, referrals, and other actions that contribute to a company’s growth.” They dubbed the above recommendation question the “Ultimate Question” and used it to calculate their Net Promoter Score, or NPS.

How do you measure your NPS?

Respondents to an NPS survey question usually are asked to choose a numeric answer between 0-to-10, with 0 being “Not at all Likely” (to recommend the product or service to a friend or colleague) and 10 being “Extremely Likely.” And, equally important, that question is almost always followed by a request for comments that will provide more insight: “Why did you choose that score?”

  • Those who respond within the 0-to-6 range are called “detractors.” They could spread negative opinions about a company, possibly resulting in lost business and employee discouragement.
  • Those who respond within the 7-to-8 range are called “passives.” This might look like a decent score, but these customers are just “OK” with the product/service; they could be persuaded to jump ship if they found something better.
  • Finally, those who respond within the 9-to-10 range are called “promoters.” They’re very happy with the company and product, and might even tell others about it. The promoters are where the majority of your referrals come from (as much as 80%).

Once you have the ratings (and explanations) in hand, the equation to calculate NPS is simple: take the percentage of promoters and subtract the percentage of detractors; that’s your NPS. It could range from as low as -100 to +100.

Why NPS matters

The NPS can be a vital tool for gauging how your customers think about you and your business. It can help direct the steps you take to address concerns and improve sentiment. Our teams here at Intuit regularly measure NPS across all customer segments, including our accountants, small business customers, partners, and the developer community.

You could even say that regularly measuring customer NPS is part of Intuit’s DNA. If you’ve developed a QuickBooks app integration using our developer tools and APIs, you’ve likely been asked that question by the Intuit Developer team, too. Besides popups that occasionally appear on our website, twice a year we ask you, our developer community, to share your opinions with us via an NPS survey. We use the scores and comments you share to shape our product roadmap and programs and services. And, we watch the trend in the score to measure how we’re doing, if we’re improving, and if and how we need to change course.

What were the top-level takeaways from our most recent fall survey? Intuit Developers place a high value on our app ecosystem overall and the potential customer access that it affords. You also appreciate the recent improvements to our developer documentation (although there is still lots more to do there). But, you also expect more timely and consistent technical support from us, more regular and timely communications (especially of technical issues), and can be frustrated by inconsistent marketing support or limited partnership opportunities. As we work on improving these areas over the coming months, we’ll reach out to many of you individually to test and iterate on our ideas.

Forging the future with NPS

Measuring NPS is a valuable component of any customer-focused strategy to drive business success. The information not only helps you refine and focus your product roadmap, but it also gives you a regular gut-check on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Are you interested in learning more? Stay tuned for our upcoming post on ways you can use the NPS score to grow and retain your customers, and turn them into ambassadors for your business.

Until then, no need to wait until our NPS survey to let us know how we’re doing. Contact us today with your feedback, insights, and any questions.





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