net promoer score survey online

7 Mistakes in NPS Questions – How NOT to Make Them in Online Survey

We don’t need to introduce the NPS questions anymore, do we? We’re already well familiar with it – it is one of the types of questions we offer in our surveys. It is one of the most chosen methods of measuring customer satisfaction – an indicator that shows the relationship between the rate of brand growth and the level of consumer satisfaction. NPS is based on one question that the brand should ask customers:

How likely is it that you will recommend brand X to your friend?

On our blog you can find out more about the NPS question and why is it worth using it when measuring the level of customer satisfaction. In this article, we will continue to tell about the Net Promoter Score, however, from a completely different angle. We will show you the most common mistakes made when carrying out NPS surveys and how to avoid them.

Learn from the mistakes of… others

Do you think mistakes are only made by beginners? Or only small companies that do not have HR departments or do not employ specialists or external companies? This isn’t true at all! Even giants stumble. We all know that it is best to learn from mistakes. These, however, can be painful… especially when it comes to finances That is why we have prepared a list of the most common mistakes (and ways to avoid them) so that you do not have to make them yourself. Let’s move onto the details:

1. Choose the right moment

Don’t ask too soon! This is one of the most common mistakes made by companies. Let the customer get acquainted with the product/brand first. Give them a chance to build a relationship. You will be more likely to receive a thoughtful assessment, rather than an emotional one.

2. Don’t stop at one question

The NPS question provides an answer to what is happening in your company. An additional open-ended question asked next to it will tell you why. One more CSAT question will explain what has an impact on everything.

Keep in mind that a one-time survey will give you an idea of customer satisfaction, but only at a specific point in time. To obtain more reliable information that allows you to take long-term actions and implement changes, you need to ask questions from time to time. After all, everything changes very dynamically in a company (especially a larger one) – you introduce new products to the market, change promotion methods, prices, etc. Give your customers a chance to provide feedback after each major change. In this case, it will not only involve measuring the level of customer satisfaction with a specific solution but also an indication for the future – whether your company is going in the right direction.

3. Pay attention to where you place the survey

Adding the NPS question automatically, e.g. in an email confirming an order, may allow you to reach a large number of people, but… this is not the best idea. Why? For several reasons, as we mentioned earlier, the consumer should have time to think, establish a relationship with the company, and approach matters from a distance. And this is obvious. You wouldn’t ask about a film during the screening, for instance. Be patient.

4. Not all at once – divide the respondents into groups and send the questionnaires in small portions

That’s how you will have the chance and time to review all the results and draw conclusions. From a practical point of view – it is better to review the survey results of a smaller group of customers every few days over a morning coffee than having to dedicate a specific day in a month to it, which is so hard to find, right? With Startquestion gradual mailing of invitations will be even simpler – our tool allows you to send invitations to 1% of contacts in your database for 100 days. 

At this point, we will give you one more piece of advice – if you want your NPS indicator to be reliable, ask everyone to provide feedback, even the most troublesome customers. You cannot make selections and send surveys only to groups from which you expect positive feedback. If your NPS is high in this situation, then you’re only fooling yourself.

5. Don’t suggest an answer

For you, the knowledge of what the NPS is and how to interpret its results is obvious, for your customers it may not be, but… that’s the point. They have to give an honest answer. That is why it is a mistake to attach instructions to the study or to suggest which grade on the scale qualifies as the promoter and which is the critic. What is an example of such a mistake? Suggesting a response scale with color – marking grades 0 to 6 in red, and 9 and 10 in green.

6. The NPS question is meant to be the main question so don’t place it in a larger survey

Such action deprives NPS of its basic advantage, namely the possibility of quick and easy filling. That is why it is such a reliable tool. The customer wastes no time while you can obtain specific information on the level of their satisfaction. But let’s not go too crazy here. This does not mean that each NPS question must be sent in a separate survey. Be moderate – a short survey with 2 or 3 NPS questions will give you the best chance of acquiring answers from the largest group of respondents.

7. Don’t ask for positive feedback – work for it

This solution may seem simple and tempting, but that’s not the way to go. After all, you measure customer satisfaction. You can’t tell them what to think. Earn positive feedback by increasing the level of your services or product quality. You can encourage your customers to complete the survey… and not give you the highest rating.

Ask NPS questions and take care

To conclude, almost all errors in creating or sending Net Promoter Score surveys result from one issue: companies want to quickly receive data and implement actions, instead of focusing on building a lasting relationship with the customer. Keep in mind one thing: NPS is not just a number! It is a measure to improve the functioning of the company in line with customer expectations.

Don’t forget that the survey is just the beginning. Already during its creation, plan your reactions to individual assessments and possible actions aimed at improving your NPS indicator. Let us remind you again that it’s customer satisfaction that is the key to business success.

Are you unsure of how to start a survey? If you have any doubts related to creating a survey, sending invitations, or analysing the results, visit our Help Centre or contact us by phone or chat available on the website.

Urszula Kamburov-Niepewna
Ula is a Content Manager with extensive experience in journalism and SEO copywriting. She is a specialist in creating content in HR and Marketing research, Customer Experience, and User Experience. She has been associated with Startquestion for five years and currently leads the Content Marketing team there. After work, Ula is an obsessive reader, a huge Harry Potter fan, and a traveler who grabs every opportunity to see a little bit of the world and taste (usually more than a little) good food.