Your Guide to Choosing the Best NPS Software

By Nancy Parra
on 1 October 2018

How to Choose The Best NPS Software For Your Customer Feedback Program

You understand NPS best practices and have a plan in place to create an awesome program that will automate voice of the customer and parlay that into advocacy. You are ready to go from customer conscious to customer powered. That means you need to select an NPS software solution that will help your team execute this great plan and help you hit every best practice along the way. You’ve done a search — and wow! — there are a lot of options out there, so where do you start? Let’s take a quick look at what options might best fit your company.

Types of NPS Software

There are basically four options when it comes to managing NPS:

  1. Basic survey software to collect NPS (Can’t action, lacks optimization for NPS, no automation)
  2. Home-grown NPS/Manual spreadsheets (Difficult, lack features, time and labor intensive)
  3. A tack-on module to a monstrous platform (Onerous, overkill yet still lacks key requirements for NPS)
  4. Specialized NPS solution (Best for actioning, optimized for NPS, lower total cost of ownership)

 

Type Action Automation Simple Optimization Time-Saving Cost Saving Ease of Use
Basic Survey Software
Home-grown Software or
Manual Process
Tack-on Large Platform Software
Specialized NPS Software

Tack-on Modules And Home-Grown Software

Let’s talk about tack-on modules and home-grown software or worse, spreadsheets. While these may appear to be the least expensive, they are also the most time consuming and least effective.

3 Challenges to Home-Grown Software
  1. Response rates will be low. Salesforce and other CRMs lack the ability to embed surveys directly into an email. As a result, you’ll need to ask your customers to follow a link to respond to the survey. Asking customers to follow a link has been shown to dramatically reduce response rates. Rather than seeing 25-35% response rate that specialized NPS software offers, you’ll likely see rates of sub 5%.
  2. Triggering workflows will be difficult. In order to follow up and close the customer feedback loop, you need to ensure response data is fed back into contact records to prompt the next best step. This can be tricky with Salesforce and might cost you more than you think in development and maintenance time. Without workflows flowed into your contacts automatically, it is difficult to ensure timely action to your feedback.
  3. You will need an additional employee from IT or CS.  Someone should ensure that no one’s accidentally sent multiple back-to-back surveys and that emails are sent out on a regular basis. You may also want someone to maintain your software to prevent bottlenecks.

While these options might get you an NPS score, it doesn’t realize the value of true customer feedback automation. You can spend a lot of time and energy uploading/downloading data, also trying to understand the data is so time-consuming and tedious that actioning that information is not a ‘next step,’ but perhaps a next year situation.

Add-on NPS And Specialized NPS Software

That leaves add-on NPS software versus specialized NPS software. Let’s take a closer look and compare these two types of software.

There are a lot of survey companies out there that offer NPS surveys as a “yeah, we do that too” product. They suggest that you buy their software and not only get NPS but larger and longer survey capabilities as well.

Ask yourself, would you use the other surveys? We’ve all heard of survey fatigue and that’s the beauty of the one question Net Promoter Score framework. Why pay for more than what you need?

Besides that, while these software options offer you the ability to send a survey and get a score, they aren’t built from the ground up to action NPS feedback in real time.

NPS software developed with actioning customer feedback in mind have specialized analytics and reporting features. They allow you to efficiently gather, analyze and act on customer feedback in real time. Remember a great customer feedback program is more than gathering surveys. Acting on the surveys takes your program from so-so to delightful.

What Features Do You Need?

Customization

One of the most important features an NPS software should offer is survey customization. Customization will increase your response rates.

Uploading your company’s logo, applying your brand colors, and fonts should be among some of the available customization features impacting the look of your surveys. This way, you can approach the recipients with something they are already familiar with – your brand identity.

Your software choice should allow you to use your domain and personalize your ‘from’ name. Research shows you get better response rates if the survey comes from your CEO or Customer Success Manager.

Once you move on to more advanced campaigns based on customer triggers, segments or “moments that matter” you’ll want to make sure that your survey is tailored to the customer. An ideal survey tool will allow you to change the open-ended question to reflect segmented journeys. You should also be able to customize the messages you send customers depending on their score, and what the next steps are.

Audience Segmentation

As part of creating an NPS plan, you know that surveying your entire list in one swoop is not going to give you the deep insight that NPS is capable of giving you. Segmenting your lists can give you important information. Think about segmentation by product or services, geography, age, gender, or different customer lifecycle stages. You need software that allows you to easily segment your customer list in unlimited ways to discover deep insights into your customer journey.

As we mentioned before, survey fatigue is a real thing. It’s best to survey just a sample of your customers at a time to avoid over-surveying — yet another reason to segment. Good software will allow you to segment data stored in your CRM, help desk, billing and accounting systems, and imported into your customer feedback software as custom fields.

Integration

Most people already use software to manage their customer information and run marketing campaigns. With that in mind, it’s important that you choose software that integrates with your CRM or allows email uploading of CSV files for the most ease of use. Software that syncs with your CRM keeps your segmentation up to date. Since not every CRM (think homegrown and startup) can integrate with NPS software, choose software that allows you to easily update via email and CSV. Finding software that automates your data helps support your internal culture of customer feedback. People enjoy working with software that makes their job easier.

NPS software that integrates with Slack and other internal workflows will help action your feedback. Be sure to think about how your internal staff will work with the software you decide on.

NPS Workflows And Notifications

Look for NPS software that allows you to create workflows that get the right message to the right person at the right time. You should be able to segment your responses and flag departments and specific people when a response comes in. Software that automates your workflows will create internal involvement across departments.

The best NPS software allows you to set up notification triggers for your choice of event. Action a new detractor. Connect with a passive. Ask for a review from a promoter.

Multiple NPS Campaigns

You will want NPS software that allows you to run multiple campaigns. You may want to start off with a survey to discover the loyalty of your entire customer base over a series of days or weeks. Then set up campaigns for different moments of truth in your customer journey, such as thirty days before renewal or sixty days after the first touch. Your business might need transactional surveys or relational surveys or both. It’s important to be able to run multiple campaigns depending on the information you are trying to gather.

Schedule NPS

Another feature that you should look for is the ability to schedule surveys based on where your customers are — both time zone and trigger points.  You’ll also want to be able to send surveys automatically. Pick software that allows you to “set it and forget it.”

When scheduling surveys, good NPS software will ask you to cap the number of surveys sent out each day. It should also ensure that the same person is not over-surveyed if they are on multiple lists.

Multiple Survey Channels

The best NPS software will be able to reach your customers through multiple channels — email, in-app, and SMS (text). Email is the first thing most people think of when starting an NPS program. While it is considered the most non-intrusive way to survey, not all customers are available through email. Advanced software will offer to reach your customers in the channel where they live. In-app NPS surveys are contextually relevant and get high response rates. But if you don’t have an app, SMS might be the channel that is best for your customers. While some consider SMS (Text) to be invasive, it has been found to give higher response rates and lower response time.

Ideally, your NPS software will offer all three ways to reach your customers.

Dashboards on Every Screen

To keep your customer feedback at the forefront of your team’s mind, your software should show NPS feedback on any screen. Large dashboards in boardrooms or reception areas should easily show your aggregated score and your score across time as well as current comments. Customize your dashboards depending on user or team to show the right information to the right people. Have workers in the field or on the street? Your software should be able to reach them on their tablets or phones.

Analytics, Reports, And Trends

Most NPS software will allow you to get a report on how many people responded to your survey, how many surveys were unopened, and how many unsubscribes and bounces. But specialized NPS software will also show you, through text analysis, what keywords show up the most in your comments. It should filter and report on how segments compare and other details that help you collect insights and action them. Make sure your software can filter depending on what information you are looking for as well as show you trends in unexpected areas.

APIs

APIs (Application Programming Interface) can provide a software interface if you need to customize NPS software to your systems. For example, if you have a customer support chat on your website, an NPS survey could be triggered once a customer closes the chat. APIs allow for various automations and can enhance your program. If customization is important to your program, look for NPS software that offers APIs.

Getting The Right Fit For Your Company

To help you select the right NPS software for your company’s goals, think about the following:

  • How much time do your employees have to manage the program?
  • Does the software integrate with your systems? Is there an ease of use?
  • What is the size of your customer base? Can the software easily handle it?
  • Does the software allow you to action your NPS through workflows, and dashboards on all screens including mobile?
  • Can you drip your surveys to ensure you are surveying every customer over time and on every day?
  • Can you communicate with your customers where they live: email, in-app, or SMS?

The best NPS software is built from the ground up to help you action your customer feedback. There are many solutions out there but only the best ones help you engage customers where they live, help you take the next best action to respond to a survey and leverage your customer advocacy for growth.

Want to see how AskNicely helps with your NPS program?

Get a Demo today!

 

How to Choose The Best NPS Software For Your Customer Feedback Program

You understand NPS best practices and have a plan in place to create an awesome program that will automate voice of the customer and parlay that into advocacy. You are ready to go from customer conscious to customer powered. That means you need to select an NPS software solution that will help your team execute this great plan and help you hit every best practice along the way. You’ve done a search — and wow! — there are a lot of options out there, so where do you start? Let’s take a quick look at what options might best fit your company.

Types of NPS Software

There are basically four options when it comes to managing NPS:

  1. Basic survey software to collect NPS (Can’t action, lacks optimization for NPS, no automation)
  2. Home-grown NPS/Manual spreadsheets (Difficult, lack features, time and labor intensive)
  3. A tack-on module to a monstrous platform (Onerous, overkill yet still lacks key requirements for NPS)
  4. Specialized NPS solution (Best for actioning, optimized for NPS, lower total cost of ownership)

 

Type Action Automation Simple Optimization Time-Saving Cost Saving Ease of Use
Basic Survey Software
Home-grown Software or
Manual Process
Tack-on Large Platform Software
Specialized NPS Software

Tack-on Modules And Home-Grown Software

Let’s talk about tack-on modules and home-grown software or worse, spreadsheets. While these may appear to be the least expensive, they are also the most time consuming and least effective.

3 Challenges to Home-Grown Software
  1. Response rates will be low. Salesforce and other CRMs lack the ability to embed surveys directly into an email. As a result, you’ll need to ask your customers to follow a link to respond to the survey. Asking customers to follow a link has been shown to dramatically reduce response rates. Rather than seeing 25-35% response rate that specialized NPS software offers, you’ll likely see rates of sub 5%.
  2. Triggering workflows will be difficult. In order to follow up and close the customer feedback loop, you need to ensure response data is fed back into contact records to prompt the next best step. This can be tricky with Salesforce and might cost you more than you think in development and maintenance time. Without workflows flowed into your contacts automatically, it is difficult to ensure timely action to your feedback.
  3. You will need an additional employee from IT or CS.  Someone should ensure that no one’s accidentally sent multiple back-to-back surveys and that emails are sent out on a regular basis. You may also want someone to maintain your software to prevent bottlenecks.

While these options might get you an NPS score, it doesn’t realize the value of true customer feedback automation. You can spend a lot of time and energy uploading/downloading data, also trying to understand the data is so time-consuming and tedious that actioning that information is not a ‘next step,’ but perhaps a next year situation.

Add-on NPS And Specialized NPS Software

That leaves add-on NPS software versus specialized NPS software. Let’s take a closer look and compare these two types of software.

There are a lot of survey companies out there that offer NPS surveys as a “yeah, we do that too” product. They suggest that you buy their software and not only get NPS but larger and longer survey capabilities as well.

Ask yourself, would you use the other surveys? We’ve all heard of survey fatigue and that’s the beauty of the one question Net Promoter Score framework. Why pay for more than what you need?

Besides that, while these software options offer you the ability to send a survey and get a score, they aren’t built from the ground up to action NPS feedback in real time.

NPS software developed with actioning customer feedback in mind have specialized analytics and reporting features. They allow you to efficiently gather, analyze and act on customer feedback in real time. Remember a great customer feedback program is more than gathering surveys. Acting on the surveys takes your program from so-so to delightful.

What Features Do You Need?

Customization

One of the most important features an NPS software should offer is survey customization. Customization will increase your response rates.

Uploading your company’s logo, applying your brand colors, and fonts should be among some of the available customization features impacting the look of your surveys. This way, you can approach the recipients with something they are already familiar with – your brand identity.

Your software choice should allow you to use your domain and personalize your ‘from’ name. Research shows you get better response rates if the survey comes from your CEO or Customer Success Manager.

Once you move on to more advanced campaigns based on customer triggers, segments or “moments that matter” you’ll want to make sure that your survey is tailored to the customer. An ideal survey tool will allow you to change the open-ended question to reflect segmented journeys. You should also be able to customize the messages you send customers depending on their score, and what the next steps are.

Audience Segmentation

As part of creating an NPS plan, you know that surveying your entire list in one swoop is not going to give you the deep insight that NPS is capable of giving you. Segmenting your lists can give you important information. Think about segmentation by product or services, geography, age, gender, or different customer lifecycle stages. You need software that allows you to easily segment your customer list in unlimited ways to discover deep insights into your customer journey.

As we mentioned before, survey fatigue is a real thing. It’s best to survey just a sample of your customers at a time to avoid over-surveying — yet another reason to segment. Good software will allow you to segment data stored in your CRM, help desk, billing and accounting systems, and imported into your customer feedback software as custom fields.

Integration

Most people already use software to manage their customer information and run marketing campaigns. With that in mind, it’s important that you choose software that integrates with your CRM or allows email uploading of CSV files for the most ease of use. Software that syncs with your CRM keeps your segmentation up to date. Since not every CRM (think homegrown and startup) can integrate with NPS software, choose software that allows you to easily update via email and CSV. Finding software that automates your data helps support your internal culture of customer feedback. People enjoy working with software that makes their job easier.

NPS software that integrates with Slack and other internal workflows will help action your feedback. Be sure to think about how your internal staff will work with the software you decide on.

NPS Workflows And Notifications

Look for NPS software that allows you to create workflows that get the right message to the right person at the right time. You should be able to segment your responses and flag departments and specific people when a response comes in. Software that automates your workflows will create internal involvement across departments.

The best NPS software allows you to set up notification triggers for your choice of event. Action a new detractor. Connect with a passive. Ask for a review from a promoter.

Multiple NPS Campaigns

You will want NPS software that allows you to run multiple campaigns. You may want to start off with a survey to discover the loyalty of your entire customer base over a series of days or weeks. Then set up campaigns for different moments of truth in your customer journey, such as thirty days before renewal or sixty days after the first touch. Your business might need transactional surveys or relational surveys or both. It’s important to be able to run multiple campaigns depending on the information you are trying to gather.

Schedule NPS

Another feature that you should look for is the ability to schedule surveys based on where your customers are — both time zone and trigger points.  You’ll also want to be able to send surveys automatically. Pick software that allows you to “set it and forget it.”

When scheduling surveys, good NPS software will ask you to cap the number of surveys sent out each day. It should also ensure that the same person is not over-surveyed if they are on multiple lists.

Multiple Survey Channels

The best NPS software will be able to reach your customers through multiple channels — email, in-app, and SMS (text). Email is the first thing most people think of when starting an NPS program. While it is considered the most non-intrusive way to survey, not all customers are available through email. Advanced software will offer to reach your customers in the channel where they live. In-app NPS surveys are contextually relevant and get high response rates. But if you don’t have an app, SMS might be the channel that is best for your customers. While some consider SMS (Text) to be invasive, it has been found to give higher response rates and lower response time.

Ideally, your NPS software will offer all three ways to reach your customers.

Dashboards on Every Screen

To keep your customer feedback at the forefront of your team’s mind, your software should show NPS feedback on any screen. Large dashboards in boardrooms or reception areas should easily show your aggregated score and your score across time as well as current comments. Customize your dashboards depending on user or team to show the right information to the right people. Have workers in the field or on the street? Your software should be able to reach them on their tablets or phones.

Analytics, Reports, And Trends

Most NPS software will allow you to get a report on how many people responded to your survey, how many surveys were unopened, and how many unsubscribes and bounces. But specialized NPS software will also show you, through text analysis, what keywords show up the most in your comments. It should filter and report on how segments compare and other details that help you collect insights and action them. Make sure your software can filter depending on what information you are looking for as well as show you trends in unexpected areas.

APIs

APIs (Application Programming Interface) can provide a software interface if you need to customize NPS software to your systems. For example, if you have a customer support chat on your website, an NPS survey could be triggered once a customer closes the chat. APIs allow for various automations and can enhance your program. If customization is important to your program, look for NPS software that offers APIs.

Getting The Right Fit For Your Company

To help you select the right NPS software for your company’s goals, think about the following:

  • How much time do your employees have to manage the program?
  • Does the software integrate with your systems? Is there an ease of use?
  • What is the size of your customer base? Can the software easily handle it?
  • Does the software allow you to action your NPS through workflows, and dashboards on all screens including mobile?
  • Can you drip your surveys to ensure you are surveying every customer over time and on every day?
  • Can you communicate with your customers where they live: email, in-app, or SMS?

The best NPS software is built from the ground up to help you action your customer feedback. There are many solutions out there but only the best ones help you engage customers where they live, help you take the next best action to respond to a survey and leverage your customer advocacy for growth.

Want to see how AskNicely helps with your NPS program?

Get a Demo today!

 


About the author

Nancy Parra

Nancy Parra, Content Manager at AskNicely, is the author of several best-selling books. When she's not thinking up new content, she's at home writing murder mysteries and making homemade candy.

Other posts by Nancy Parra

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