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Don't Underestimate the Power of Passives

Recently, I was discussing the Net Promoter Score® Survey with a friend. They were familiar with the survey and had participated in several over the years but had not taken the time to understand how the score is calculated and the way the results are used.

I went on to share a few details and because I’m a marketing creative, I prefer a quick explainer video about NPS® over more text. View by selecting the graphic below:

After a brief NPS® overview, my friend surprised me with this response, “Well, I guess I have to change my answer in order to matter.”

When I asked why she responded that way, she explained she wanted her opinion to matter in the results and if she chooses a 7 or 8, her voice isn’t heard. She would be considered a passive and felt that number didn’t count. It wasn’t even included in the calculation of the NPS® score.

She couldn't be further from the truth.

Passives have an impact and shouldn’t be ignored or take a back seat to detractors when it comes to action taken after the survey.

Strength In Numbers

A company with a high net promoter score is perceived as high customer loyalty and should be growing. A company with more detractors than promoters? Well, you clearly have some work to do. Having a higher percentage of passives than either of the other two doesn’t give you much insight into how they feel about your company except that they don’t seem to really care either way.

But, that’s something and has it’s own set of action items. Not having strong feelings about a company directly links to client retention – or client risk. And that number could be higher than you think.

For example, if 45% of respondents are promoters and 22% are detractors (an NPS score of 23), that leaves 33% unaccounted for. By focusing on this 33% of passive responders, you’ll increase client retention and may even create promoters in the process.

Client Retention

Passives don’t have strong feelings about your company and therefore have a high likelihood of leaving if they are presented with a better price or service from a competitor, even if it isn’t that much better. It’s important for companies to spend time moving passives to promoters and it might be easier than you think. The first step is to reach out via phone, thank them for investing the time into your company by taking the survey and ask them what would it take to be a 9 or 10?

Some ideas include offering a special discount or gift for being a customer, engaging on social media, or keeping them up-to-date on the latest news or offerings. Basically, making them feel important and increasing visibility into the value you bring that differentiates you from your competitor.

By engaging the customer, you can change the way they feel about your company. The goal is to move a “passive” from someone who doesn’t really care and might leave for the next offer that comes along, to a promoter who shares their positive experiences with friends.

Butler Street regularly conducts NPS® surveys for companies across multiple industries. By providing actionable insights following the survey and creating a roadmap for success, NPS® leaders experience 2x market growth. In the print and digital solutions industry? Surveys are now being scheduled and those that qualify are recognized as 2020 Best of Print & Digital® Award winner. If you’re ready to differentiate your company from the competition, improve client retention and experience growth, contact us to learn more.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.

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