Blog, Net Promoter Score NPS

How to use NPS as a startup

Simon Robic
Head of Product & Marketing at Screeb

What is Net Promoter Score?

NPS is often described as a key indicator in a lot of industries. By its ability to measure the level of loyalty of your customers, it’s seen as a north star metric for thousands of companies and we can understand why: who doesn’t want to know if their customers will remain customers and what would make them stay or leave?

It’s made of one simple question: “on a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends?” If your respond is between 0 and 6, you’re a detractor and could have a negative impact on the brand.

If you respond 7 or 8, you’re neutral. And if your response is 9 or 10, you’re a promoter, aka the holy graal for most companies in the world.

So questions about NPS are often raised in startups. Should we track it? When is the right moment to start collecting it? How can we use responses to change anything? Will it have a real impact on our business?

If you want to have answers to those questions and understand how NPS could be a powerful tool for your startup, this is for you.

The key metrics for every startups

As a startup, you should be focused on a few but key topics: finding your product market fit, grow your revenues and avoid churn.

By finding your product market fit, you want to prove the value your product and features can generate for your users. You want to be sure that people understand what you are doing and that they are convinced your product is made for them. And you want to make everything for them not to regret this decision.

Once you’ve done that, you want to onboard as many customers as possible, to grow your revenues and have a big impact. That’s the goal of every startup: to grow as soon as possible (start up 🚀).

But acquiring customers is not enough: you want them to stay. If most of the customers you’re acquiring are leaving a few months later, you have to start everything again.

So Product Market Fit + High Growth + Low Churn are the key topics every startups must focus on.

And good news: the Net Promoter Score is a great tool to work on those 3 topics at the same time! Because by identifying what makes some of your users unhappy, you’ll be able to identify ways of improving your product, retain those users and convince even more people to come. By understanding what people love or hate in your product, and why they would be eager to recommend it to friends or colleagues, you’ll know what to say in your sales pitch.

And by asking those questions to your customers on a regular basis, you’ll be able to detect expansion opportunities at happy customers and churn risk at angry ones.

So the NPS for a startup is one of the most efficient tool to improve your product, predict your growth and avoid churn.

How NPS can help your startup?

Tracking your NPS is not a matter of just knowing the level of satisfaction or loyalty of your users. It’s a tool you must use, not just contemplate.

By using it, you’ll unlock some key benefits for your startup:

  1. It will help you better define your roadmap. When detractors explain precisely what they don’t like in your product and when promoters tell you what they prefer, it becomes pretty easy to identify what you can improve and what you should insist on. And if you also collect which customers are saying what, you can use this information to ponderate feedback and prioritize requests more precisely based on the importance of those customers in your portfolio.
  2. If you link your NPS data to your usage analytics, you’ll be able to identify patterns that make people unhappy and others that transform your users into promoters. Fix the firsts and replicate the latests to increase your product-led growth.
  3. If you track NPS over time (and not only once or twice a year) you’ll detect customers that are becoming unhappy early, and so you’ll be able to detect churn before it happens. That’s probably one of the most powerful aspect of NPS for startups!

So, how to use Net Promoter Score as a startup?

The remaining question is: how to collect NPS as a startup in the most efficient way? And the answer is quite simple: by using what is at the heart of your startup. Your product.

Forget about sending yet another email to your users. You already send them marketing, product or support emails and you are not the only ones to do so. That’s why NPS surveys by email only have a 12% response rate in average, and most of the time only from really angry or really happy customers. That’s not enough and too biased to really understand your users.

Integrate your NPS survey right in your users’ journey. Their answers will be more accurate because they’ll give them in the context of using your product. Adapt your survey style to the one of your product to maximise your chance of providing a great experience to your users.

Personalise the questions, with the name of your user and/or with the name and picture of the person in your company that is asking the question. The more personal it will look like, the best response rate you’ll get.

Ask follow up questions based on the score they give you. For instance, for score from 0 to 6 you can ask what was missing or disappointing in their experience with your product. From 7 to 8, what you could improve since they’re neutral.

And for scores from 9 to 10, you can ask what they value the most in your product.

That way, you’ll collect actionable answers, and not just a score.

Also, track who is answering what. In Screeb, you can attach the ID of your users to your surveys when they answer. It enables you to know who answered what and use this information to contact your customer if an action has to be done.

And to act quicker, you should automatically push the answers to the rest of your stack, like your support solution, your roadmap tool or any other software you may use. This way, you’ll find the responses right where you’ll act on them.

Some common mistakes to avoid

  • Don’t break your UX! That should be a golden rule in every startup, but we say it again: don’t break your UX by asking for NPS with a popup in the middle of the screen, blocking your users in what they came to do. Use a widget, well integrated in your users’ journey and respecting the identity of your brand.
  • Don’t only ask for a score. If you only ask your users to give you a score, you’ll never be able to understand why they gave that score. Always do follow ups and adapt questions to the score. Below 6 : ask what was missing or disappointing in their experience. 7 or 8, ask how you can improve their experience. 9 or 10, ask which features the value the most. That’s how you’ll truly understand what’s behind the score. (You can use our NPS template if you want to do that in two clicks!)
  • Don’t keep results for yourself. Be transparent: share results with other teams and work on automating push of scores and explanations right in every teams stack for everyone to be able to act as soon as your users answer.

How else can I measure my customer experience besides NPS?

NPS is only ONE metric you should follow to understand your users, but it’s not the only one. Product Market Fit, Customer Effort Score, Customer Satisfaction, Intent to Renew, Trustworthiness, Perceived Reliability… You have A LOT of other ways to gauge your users’ satisfaction and the quality of their experience.

👉 Try Screeb and our 30+ templates today to track NPS and more!

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