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How to Get More Customers to Take Your NPS Survey


Net Promoter Score (NPS) programs are powerful tools for understanding and improving customers’ experiences with your brand. However, the data is only useful if it contains a statistically significant sample of your entire customer base.

That’s where response rates come in. Simply put, the higher your response rate, the more data you can collect and the more accurate your results. 

Why is Your NPS Response Rate Important?

Your NPS response rate is crucial because it significantly influences the reliability and accuracy of the score as a measure of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Here are some key reasons why the response rate is important: 
Representative feedback: A higher response rate increases the likelihood that the feedback received is representative of the overall customer base. 

Reduced bias: Low response rates can lead to biased results, as they might only capture the opinions of certain groups of respondents (e.g., extremely satisfied or dissatisfied customers) who choose to respond rather than the entire customer spectrum.

Customer engagement: A good response rate often indicates higher customer engagement levels. Engaged customers are more likely to remain loyal, make repeat purchases, and recommend your brand to others. 

Quality of feedback: With a higher number of responses, companies are able to gather more detailed and varied feedback. This allows for deeper insights into what is working well and what needs improvement.

How to Calculate Your NPS Response Rate

NPS response rates can be calculated by dividing the total number of respondents by the total number of surveys sent and multiplying that number by 100. For example, if you sent your NPS survey to 100 customers and 10 of them completed the survey, the response rate would be 10%. 

One catch here is customers who started the survey but did not complete it. Perhaps you had a two-question survey: the NPS score and an open-ended question asking why they selected the number they did. Some respondents may have selected an NPS score but did not hit the submit button. In that case, you will have to choose how or if they should be included in your calculations. 

Start With Your NPS Goals

Before you go out to find customers to take your NPS survey, make sure you have concrete goals in place. For example, are you focusing on transactional or relational NPS?

Transactional: Transactional NPS surveys focus on how your customers feel after a specific interaction, such as a purchase or customer service call. This type of immediate feedback allows you to quickly make changes to improve targeted aspects of the customer experience. 

Relational: These NPS surveys measure the overall health of your brand and general customer loyalty over time. They are not tied to a unique transaction but rather a holistic view of the customer experience. Relational NPS surveys give you data to inform big-picture changes to the customer journey.

Segmentation should be another focus of your goals. Do all customers hold the same weight when it comes to NPS scores? For instance, if you lump both first-time customers and repeat customers into the same segment, you might not discover that it’s really the repeat customers who are more dissatisfied and thus need more attention. Similarly, surveying more profitable and less profitable customers separately might result in allocating resources differently than surveying them as part of the same segment.

Tips to Increase Your NPS Response Rates

Design Tips

Branding: This includes the design of the email and your sender name. Make sure folks know who the survey is from right off the bat. If people recognize and trust the sender’s name, they are more likely to open the email. 

Simplicity: A straightforward, clean design helps the customer focus on the survey without getting distracted.

Mobile-optimized: According to Cint, 37% of respondents took surveys on their mobile devices in 2020, a number that has only increased since then. Mobile conversion rates have also improved year over year. 

Minimal clicks: Make it as easy as possible for customers to respond. Embedding your survey into an email is one way to do this. Don’t add extra hoops for customers to jump through, like logging into their accounts. 

Content Tips

Brevity: Simple is better when it comes to NPS surveys. This is true for the content of your email or other channel copy, as well as the survey itself. Shorter surveys get more responses. Ideally, your NPS survey should consist of only 2-5 questions, the first being the NPS question itself and an open-ended question to share their reasoning behind the score.

Follow-up: A good third question to ask is if they would like to be contacted for follow-up. This shows you are listening and willing to act on their feedback. 

Sound like yourself: Make sure your voice and tone match your brand. If you’re typically lighthearted and casual, your NPS survey invitation should be, too. 

Subject line: When sending survey invites via email or as a website popup, your headline is the first thing customers will see. It needs to capture their attention quickly so they open the survey instead of ignoring the message altogether. 

Clear expectations: Let customers know what to expect, such as how long it will take and what they’ll get in return. Incentives don’t have to be monetary. For example, many customers are motivated by the idea that their feedback will contribute to product or service improvements. 

Personalization: Studies show that email campaigns with personalized subject lines can increase open rates by more than 20% compared to generic subject lines. Personalization isn’t limited to using your customer’s name. Other ways to tailor your invitation could include a reference to an item they recently purchased or an action they took on your website. 

Distribution Tips

Timing: According to OptinMonster’s research, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to send emails for higher open and engagement rates. 9am - 11am can be a peak time for email engagement; 1pm - 2pm is a close second. In general, B2B emails perform better during the workday, while B2C emails see varied engagement levels at different times throughout the day, including weekends. 

Customer journey: To avoid sending your NPS survey too soon or too late, think through the customer journey. If they have added an item to their cart on your website and you want feedback on the overall purchase experience, be sure to wait until after checkout for your popup to appear. Similarly, don’t wait too long to ask for feedback. Customers are less likely to remember their experience if you contact them several days after interacting with your company. 

Multi-channel: Email isn’t the only way to invite customers to take your NPS survey. In-app can be great, as well as website pop-ups or SMS/text messages. The channels you choose should reflect how your customers typically interact with your business, product, or service. 

Automation: Automation allows you to send surveys after customers complete key milestones with your product or service. Interactions such as completing a purchase or contacting customer service can act as triggers for your automation.

Frequency: Sending a nudge or survey reminder is fine, but don’t do it too often, or customers may feel hassled. It’s best to stick to one or two reminders.   

Monitoring: Track key delivery metrics, including bounce rates and open rates for email distribution. This will help you identify areas that need improvement, such as subject lines with low open rates or CTA buttons with low click-through rates.

Follow-up Tips

Show appreciation: This might seem obvious, but a surprising number of companies forget to thank their customers for their time and participation. Expressing gratitude is a simple way to show your appreciation. 

Close the loop: If your customer requested a follow-up, let them know when to expect it and how they will be contacted. 

Don’t forget: Of course, it’s important to follow up with detractors, but don’t forget your promoters in the process. These are your cheerleaders, and you want to continue to build goodwill. Reach out to thank them for being a valued customer and tell them you appreciate their support. 

Automate: To respond to customers as quickly as possible, consider automating notifications. For example, when a detractor checks the box that they’d like to be contacted to share more about their experience, you can automatically route that information to your customer service team so they can respond promptly.

Experiment To Find What Works Best for You

Experimentation is key to improving response rates. With A/B testing, you can test various aspects of your survey to find what resonates most with your customers. Small changes, such as the time of day the survey is sent, the subject line of an email, or the call to action, can significantly affect response rates. 

Wrapping Up

As you can see, response rates play a significant role in an NPS program. Implementing techniques to increase survey participation will help you receive more accurate and meaningful data.

With more than two decades of experience running NPS surveys, IntelliSurvey stands ready to help you meet your program goals. We welcome the opportunity to work together. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about how our programming and research teams can benefit your NPS programs and other studies. 

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