VoC, CSAT, NPS, Listening Posts, And How They Should Be Used.
Very often, I encounter brands using the NPS question in their customer satisfaction survey process, after a service visit or interaction, and they receive very high NPS scores. This is “Transactional NPS” versus “Relationship NPS”.
Transactional NPS is triggered after a customer touchpoint and does give immediate insight into “a” customer experience.
Relationship NPS is derived from a survey sent on regular and predefined intervals and gives insight into the customer’s overall satisfaction, however, it also gives insight into “the” brand experience.
My recommendation is to move to a true CSAT survey approach to measure customer satisfaction with the service experience and move to a true relationship NPS survey to measure the affinity for, and loyalty to, your brand.
High NPS scores should indicate two primary performance outcomes; 1) a higher customer retention rate measured by increasing Lifetime Value, and; 2) Customer referrals whereby new customers are obtained with little to no cost per acquisition.
CSAT is the delivery of a Customer Satisfaction survey at the key touchpoints of interaction – in many cases, a service appointment and/or service call. The CSAT survey should be comprised of 5 to 7 questions that measure the critical attributes of the service experience that directly relate to the successful capture of revenue and therefore, operating income. CX Marketing, Operations, and Finance should collaborate on creating the questions that measure this service experience at the key business transactions, and the satisfaction thereof. Both surveys (CSAT + NPS) should measure the brand’s Value Proposition promise but in the case of CSAT, these questions would measure against the service delivery aspect of the brand promise.
The CSAT questions should be measured on a 5- or 7-point Likert Scale, whereby a monthly mean score can be established and tracked. Ranging from “Extremely Satisfied” to Extremely Dissatisfied”, the CSAT would consist of questions like:
“How satisfied were you with the ease of creating a service appointment?”
“How satisfied were you with your interaction with your customer service representative?”
“How satisfied were you with (our) ability to schedule within your needs?”
“To the best of your knowledge, did our service technician arrive within the promised X-hour window?”
“How satisfied were you with the condition of your (product/property/environment) after our service was performed?”
“How satisfied were you with the overall service experience with our brand?”
“On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being excellent value for the price, and 1 being no value for the price, please rate the value you received for the price you paid for our service.”
(these are examples only, but are directionally accurate)
The CSAT should be performed after every service call. It should also contain a link to a preferred social media site with a polite request to the customer to leave a rating and quick review on the social media site.
CSAT surveys should be scored routinely, with the mean score of each question plotted as a graphical trend over time. A CSAT dashboard should be created to monitor performance trends over time. If there are other one-off measures, such as phone exit surveys, these can be used to also create multivariable index scores on a CX/CSAT dashboard. Finally, key operational and SLA metrics should be added to the dashboard – these may include Time to Answer/Pick Up, Hold Times, First Call Resolution, etc.
Each question on the survey should also contain a “comments” block, and these comments should be mined for keywords or phrases indicating satisfaction or dissatisfaction with key interactions. Over time, these verbatims can be displayed to show directional trends to the positive or negative.
Listening Post Program
Listening posts are the passive observation and measurement of customer comments and reviews in social media, and indicators of sentiment. The VoC dashboard should contain an index trendline on brand sentiment and reviews, coupled with any complaint data. Listening post data can be helpful in two ways – it can serve to validate aided qualitative or quantitative data, and it can also serve as a predictor for Customer Service feedback trends in the CSAT effort.
Community management and responding is assumed as a part of the Listening Post program, and the total social media effort should be considered a part of a robust, holistic Reputation Management program, which I will discuss in another article.
Net Promoter Score
NPS is an (the) empirical measurement of customer’s overall satisfaction with, loyalty to, and affinity for a brand. NPS is a question, and not a survey unto itself, however, an NPS “Survey” consisting of the NPS question can be created and delivered. This question should be delivered on predefined, regular intervals to the entire customer base, and monitored as a part of the VoC dashboard. The NPS “trend” should be monitored along with the CSAT, Listening Post, and Operational/SLA metrics to provide an overall picture of customer satisfaction with your brand.
It is essential that retention metrics and customer lifetime value be correlated to NPS. Otherwise, NPS is simply a measurement of customer service, and there are other, more effective measures of CS. Additionally, you must build in a process to understand true customer referrals, and these must be tracked. NPS must correlate to Recency, Frequency, and Monetary (RFM) values to such KPIs as retention and repurchase. While not a primary acquisition metric, NPS should also correlate to new customer acquisition through existing customer referral – resulting in a low-to-no Cost per Acquisition.
Execution – Automation
While the implementation of a full VoC program may sound daunting, there are CX platforms that provide automated solutions for survey delivery, monitoring, and basic dashboard builds. Additional add-on features such as text mining are available. Explore available solutions such as Qualtrics, Medallia, and Clarabridge. Often, these platforms can be managed by one employee, and if the output of the effort moves LTV and Retention even slightly, the investment in people and platforms can pay for itself quickly. There are also integration opportunities with inbound marketing and sales platforms.
If and/or when I discover a “blended” CSAT and NPS program, my recommendation to my clients is that they move immediately from a transactional NPS approach to full Voice of the Customer approach. This includes the following key actions:
- Development of a CSAT survey that measures customer satisfaction with key service transactions and touchpoints, at the time of service delivery or customer service interaction.
- Delivery of a relationship NPS survey to the entire customer/client base at regular, key intervals throughout the year.
- Establishment of an LP program that monitors brand sentiment and WOM (word of mouth) through social media, and links to a broader Reputation Management strategy while informing the VoC dashboard.
- Development of a VoC Dashboard that measures key CX quality indicators, which link to key CX impact measures, which link to key revenue and/or cost impacts, which ultimately link to margin impact.
- Ongoing monitoring of Customer Lifetime Value and Referral as an outcome of efforts that impact NPS. LTV will also be used to drive customer Cost Per Acquisition modeling and marketing spend for Acquisition and Lead Generation efforts.
Build accountability into the performance management process. Tie key metrics associated with CX, VoC, and NPS to employee performance and incentivize accordingly. The dashboard should show trends against these same KPI’s.