Simply stated, your net promoter score tells you how many of your field service customers would recommend your company and the service you provide to others. To calculate your NPS, you simply send a 1-question survey to your customers, asking them, “How likely is it that you would recommend (fill in the name of your company, or specific service) to a friend or colleague?” Respondents grade your company (or product) on a scale of 1 to 10, where “10” indicates “extremely likely,” and “1” indicates “not at all likely.”
Based upon customer responses, you divide them into 3 groups:
1. Promoters: these are respondents who give you a score of 9 or 10, indicating they are very likely to recommend you to others;
2. Passives: these customers give you a rating of 7 or 8—they are basically satisfied, but could also abandon you for one of your competitors; and
3. Detractors: you are at risk of losing these customers, who give you a score of 6 or less—they are the ones most likely to “detract” your company, or your products, to others.
To calculate your net promoter score, subtract the percentage of “detractor” respondents from the percentage of “promoter” respondents. For example, if 50% of your customers are promoters and 15% are detractors, the calculation would be 50 – 15 = 35—your net promoter score is 35.
Obviously, it’s helpful to know your net promoter score, since it gives you a good sense of how healthy your business is. For example, 80% of your business referrals come from promoters (Net Promoter System, 2013). At the same time, detractors account for about 80% of all your negative word-of-mouth. But simply having this information won’t help you improve your business. The trick is to create effective strategies based on this information.
When you send out your survey, you can include a comments section to ask customers what they specifically like about your business or products, and how this ties into their evaluation. As you review their responses, look for common themes among both promoters and detractors. For example, if you own a repair service company, you might notice that a large percentage of detractors say that your workers are slacking on the job, or that they’re rude. Promoters, on the other hand, might say that your employees follow directions well and are responsive to their needs.
If your workers taking too much time to resolve issues is an issue among detractors, you need to create strategies to fix the problem. For example, you could implement a retraining program, spend more time reviewing customer reviews, or, if necessary, remove field service reps who are not doing their job. If you find that workers are listening to what customers want and following their directions carefully, you could find ways to acknowledge and reward their performance to ensure their continued strong performance.
To find out if the changes you’ve made are gaining traction, you can reissue your net promoter survey periodically. If the strategies you created are working, you should see an increasingly higher net promoter score, with a larger percentage of promoters, and a smaller percentage of detractors.