May 4, 2010

Sending a Net Promoter Survey


Hostway Team

By Monique Martin

Understanding what your customers think of your company and products or services is invaluable for any business. If you’ve sent out customer satisfaction surveys in the past, you know the value that insight can provide. Net Promoter surveys are the latest benchmark businesses are using to measure success and find ways to improve.

How to Survey Your Customers

When creating the Net Promoter survey, use radio buttons for the 0-10 scale. Consider adding a second open-ended (text field) question: Why did you score us this way? The follow-up question can provide great insight for actionable steps to increase your customer loyalty.

However you implement the survey, remember these tips:

  • Don’t ask what your customer had for dinner last night. Keep your questions focused and relevant.
  • Make sure the questions are easy to understand.
  • Keep it brief. The best surveys are short. Ask only the essentials.

Is it Accurate?

No matter how short your survey is, not everyone will bother to respond. Getting reliable statistical data can be difficult, especially for small businesses. In lieu of taking a statistics class at the local university, experiment with this sample size calculator to see what size population you need to get reliable results.

The larger your sample, the more accurate your statistics will be. According to Net Promoter, your sample size should be 40 respondents or greater.

Depending on the size of your customer pool, you might try randomizing and dividing your customers into four groups and sending the survey out quarterly (once to each group). This gives you a sense of the pulse of your business and you won’t wear out your welcome.

Whatever your Net Promoter score is, remember that it’s merely a guide for improvement. Don’t rest on your laurels if you score well and don’t let a low score get you down. Remember, the value of a Net Promoter survey isn’t your score. It’s what you do with that information to make your company better that counts.

About the Author

Monique Martin served as chief operating officer for a successful online insurance marketing firm for five years.

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