July 24, 2020

How to unpack customer insights with surveys and NPS

minute read

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey is one of the most widely-adopted tools for measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty—but it only scratches the surface of genuine customer understanding. Here’s why augmenting your traditional NPS analysis with insights from strategically-executed customer surveys can help you learn much more about your customers.

Customer surveys provide businesses with a variety of benefits, from informing persona development to improving the quality of your audience segments for digital campaigns.

The most common type of customer survey is NPS. While proven to correlate with revenue growth, NPS survey includes just one question: “On a scale of 1–10, how likely are you to recommend [brand name] to a friend or colleague?”

The final score, achieved by subtracting the number of detractors (customers who rated 0–6) from the number of promoters (customers who rated 9–10) indicates the general satisfaction of your customers. Although NPS is effective for tracking general business health, it is just one of many omnichannel metrics that need to be measured for a genuine understanding of your customers, and it doesn’t tell you the reasons behind the ratings.

To get the most out of your NPS surveys, you need to include additional questions that take a deeper dive into customer preferences, behaviors, and attitudes. By linking the data in the augmented NPS surveys to individual customer profiles within a Customer Data Platform (CDP), you can:

  • Improve the quality of your data.
  • Discover more nuanced customer insights.
  • Improve personalization and segmentation.
  • Refine your customer personas and messaging.
  • Inform your acquisition and growth strategies.

This blog will walk you through some of the insights you can glean from a well-executed customer survey powered by a CDP, as well as some of the ways in which you can act on these insights and improve performance.

Unpacking customer preferences, behaviors, and attitudes by augmenting NPS Surveys

1. How does your NPS differ by sales channel?

Measuring NPS by sales channel can help you understand the continuity of the customer experience you offer across channels.

For example, you might notice that ecommerce-only customers rate very low NPS scores compared to omnichannel or retail-only customers. If this is the case, consider asking questions that will help you better understand the customers’ ecommerce experiences and the pain points that are leading to low scores.

2. How likely are customers to return products based on their NPS score?

It’s also helpful to understand the likelihood of returns in different NPS segments. Typically, you’d expect your dissatisfied customers to be making most of the returns, but what if that’s not the case for your business?

If you notice that only a small percentage of returners give low NPS scores, then you’ll need to do additional research to understand the reasons behind the majority of returns.

You may look deeper at your customer data and find, for example, that your ecommerce shoppers are buying multiple sizes of the same item to try on at home, and then returning the sizes that didn’t fit. This increasingly common practice is becoming increasingly costly as well. If this is the case for your business, you might consider implementing a proactive outreach and engagement strategy to help customers narrow downsizing options before purchasing.

When at a loss for why your return rates are differing by NPS segments, it’s probably time for a strategic survey with questions that will provide the answer.

3. What is the relative lifetime value (LTV) of promoters vs. detractors?

When measuring the relative value of promoters vs. detractors, look at the predictive lifetime value, the average order value, and the average number of items per order. You might expect promoters to have higher lifetime values, a higher number of total orders, and a higher number of items per order, but this might not always be the case.

For example, if you notice that promoters tend to buy fewer, higher-value items throughout their lifetime with your brand, then think about their buying motivations in contrast with those of detractors. Promoters might be buying items for their quality and durability, whereas detractors might be impulse buyers who jump at the chance to purchase during a promotion or sale. The next step could be to test this hypothesis using survey questions tailored to each group and then take action to optimize engagement with both groups based on the survey answers.

4. What is the level of product satisfaction by NPS score?

Product satisfaction is another important insight to help you understand the difference in buying motivations and behaviors between promoters and detractors.

If detractors tend to be highly dissatisfied with the products they purchased, that could point to an issue with the product itself—perhaps it wears out too easily or it doesn’t live up to the messaging and creative used to market it online. However, if the majority of detractors are still highly satisfied with the product, then there may be other factors contributing to low NPS scores. You’ll need to collect additional information regarding the customers’ experiences and perceptions about product quality, reliability, and price.

5. Which products and categories are most popular for promoter segments?

Understanding which products and categories attract the most satisfied customers can help you identify your “hero” products for high-powered acquisition and retention.

For example, if you notice that your promoter segment purchases significantly more from the footwear category than from other categories, then footwear may be the best product category to feature in your advertising. The next step is to understand why footwear is such a great product category for you and use those insights in your promotions. It will attract prospects who are more likely to be loyal, long-term customers.

6. Why do promoter segments repurchase items? Why do detractors repurchase items?

Understanding repurchasing factors for promoters and detractors can help pinpoint buying motivations for each and provide valuable insight for turning one-time buyers into loyal customers.

For example, promoters might answer survey questions telling you they are more inclined to repurchase items in a new style. In this case, you might implement up-sell and cross-sell campaigns that feature different styles from the same product category of their initial purchase in order to boost the likelihood of a second conversion.

On the other hand, if detractors say they’re most likely to repurchase an item when it’s become worn out, you could consider setting up a subscription service for high-volume, everyday products to streamline their experience and boost their satisfaction with your brand.

7. How do perceptions of product quality, reliability, and price differ by NPS score?

Finally, survey questions that explore the ways in which customers perceive your brand and its products can reap useful insights.

For example, you might notice that both promoters and detractors view your products as being high-quality, reliable, useful, and unique, but there’s a stark difference in the perception of price. In this case, you’ll want to tune your product ads to focus on features, not price, and only consider marketing to detractor segments when you’re having a sale or promotion.

Complex customer insights are made simple with a CDP

Every retailer wants to know its customers better. Surveys help you start a conversation with your customers, as they answer key questions about their experiences with your brand while sparking new questions.

Advanced customer analytics capabilities are key to survival in today’s retail world—but small to mid-sized brands or those without extensive IT resources will struggle to ramp up their analytics without help from the right people, processes, and platforms.

When you build and send surveys within a CDP like Lexer, every form response is collected and unified with the other data in the customer’s profile. Having all of your customer data unified into customer profiles in an easy-to-use platform makes it possible for those who aren’t analytics specialists to achieve the same results as those who are. These newfound capabilities and insights can help you identify high-value audiences, orchestrate and optimize personalized campaigns, and drive higher value traffic to your online and offline stores.

Interested in learning more about how Lexer’s solution can help you genuinely understand and engage customers? Use the calendar below to book a meeting with one of our retail experts.

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Elizabeth Burnam
Content Marketing Specialist
Elizabeth Burnam is a content marketer and a poet at heart. She has a degree in Professional Writing and experience developing high-impact marketing assets for a broad range of industries.Outside of work, she enjoys reading, painting, people-watching, and exploring the natural wonders of Vermont.