From NPS to Ah-Ha! How Agree.com Found Success Through Net Promoter

When Agree.com, a SaaS tool that simplifies contracts for event-based contractors, decided to start measuring their NPS, their goal was to simply make sure that they were meeting the expectations of their customers.

What they didn’t realize initially was that the value of the NPS process was going to be so much greater than they expected.

Universally, most companies that work with us at Promoter have a similar initial goal as Agree when they first come on board.

They start NPS as a passive exercise in measuring operational effectiveness.

There is nothing wrong with that objective as an initial motivation, however, as we’ve written about on numerous occasions, the value of NPS goes well beyond surface level discoveries.

A properly structured and well-executed NPS campaign will:

  • Increase customer retention
  • Increase referrals and organic revenue
  • Improve financial forecasting
  • Normalize customer data to drive product decisions
  • Identify ideal customer personas for improved targeting
  • Improve key customer messaging for both user experience and outbound marketing
  • Identify top buying decision drivers for sales pipeline efficiency
  • Unearth new revenue opportunities
  • And the list goes on …

As you can see, it’s a pretty expansive list of substantial benefits and it impacts every team/department within an organization.

The point of this being, every company has their own unique reasons for beginning to measure NPS, but almost always, they end getting way more from it than they ever expected.

The same is true for Agree.com.

Agree.com

What started as an exercise in customer exploration, ended up bringing about several significant and measurable organizational benefits.

This is their story.

Surveying EVERY Customer

Nearly every SaaS company has both paying and non-paying customers. In Agree’s case, they operate on what’s called a “freemium” model.

If you’re unfamiliar with that term, it’s a model mostly made famous by Dropbox, where a customer is able to use a “scaled down” version of a product without paying.

With Agree, they offer customers the opportunity to send a few contracts per month for free. The goal with freemium is to encourage the customer to upgrade to a paid plan by giving them just a taste of the product, leaving them wanting more.

Making organizational changes based on the feedback of non-paying customers is generally not a good idea, however, their feedback is still valuable and can help improve conversion rates.

And this is precisely what the team at Agree has been able to do.

By including non-paying (freemium) customers in their NPS campaign, Agree was hoping to get a better understanding of what was preventing these prospects from upgrading.

What they discovered was that, because their product largely catered to photographers, other event-based contractors such as florists, DJ’s, videographers, etc. felt that their product wasn’t a fit for them.

This was due primarily to the language that Agree had been using to communicate more specifically to their core customer, photographers.

Agree was able to simply broaden their marketing copy and change a few “photographer specific” terms within their product to appeal to these other verticals more globally.

Now, if you visit their homepage, you’ll see Agree has prominently listed the expanded groups they cater to.

Screen+Shot+2017-08-24+at+1.30.41+PM

How Positive Feedback Led to Increased Pricing

When I mentioned that increasing organic revenue was one of the benefits of NPS, this can come in several forms. The most common being word-of-mouth referrals from your proactive promoters.

With Agree, they were able to drive an increase in organic revenue with both promoter outreach (more on this later) as well as leveraging promoter feedback to increase their pricing.

The team at Agree had been considering a price increase before sending out their first NPS survey, but they were able to confidently execute on it after hearing from customers.

Using the tagging feature within Promoter, Agree was able to categorize and rank themes within their feedback. For example, both “price” and “customer service” were categories in which they wanted to track.

Once tagging each piece of feedback was complete, Promoter’s trend analysis feature allowed them to see a complete picture of the top positive and negative trends among their customers.

Noticing that “price” as a category was one of their biggest positive trends, they explored some of the ways their customers were describing their pricing.

Words such as “very affordable” and “inexpensive” were indicators to the team that they may be leaving money on the table.

After a few internal discussions, they landed on a new pricing structure, which is currently being rolled out.

Agree.com pricing

Prioritizing the Roadmap

Obviously, not all of the feedback that Agree received was positive.

Exploring their negative trends led to an interesting conclusion as well.

Like every company, Agree has a product roadmap — a prioritized list of updates and new features that are planned to be built in the months ahead.

On that roadmap were two updates that weren’t very high on the priority list, according to their own internal objectives.

  1. The ability to save contract templates
  2. The ability to require multiple signatures on a contract

Thanks to some critical feedback from their customers, these two items were moved to the head of the line.

It’s often times easy for companies to chase after what they believe is important to the customer. Many times those assumptions are incorrect, especially when decided upon in a vacuum.

Negative trends are just as important for validation as positive trends.

The truth was, the team at Agree already knew that these two upgrades were needed, but until they were able to validate that through trend analysis and direct feedback, it wasn’t a priority.

Again, NPS can help any company normalize customer feedback so that only the most important updates (according to the customer) can drive product decisions.

Putting Promoters to Work

We’ve shared this before, but just in case you’ve missed it … on average, only 20% of your promoters will actively refer you without being asked to do so.

Which means that 80% of your promoters are awaiting your instructions.

80% of your promoters are awaiting your instructions. Give them something to do. Click To Tweet

Your job is to give them something to do, which is exactly what Agree does.

A few of the things that they ask of their promoters:

  1. Share a trackable link within specialized groups/communities. For example, there are several niche photography groups on Facebook. Agree provides their promoters with a link and asks them to share it within the group.
  2. Invite promoters to their affiliate program. It goes without saying, but without a doubt, the best affiliates are those that use your product themselves. NPS and affiliate programs are akin to the relationship that peanut butter has with jelly.
  3. Asked for Testimonials. So far, this simple ask has driven over 60 testimonials/quotes that they use on their site and throughout their marketing efforts.

These are just a few of the ways that Agree leverages their promoters, but honestly, the possibilities are endless.

If you’re interested in other ways, check out 6 ways to Leverage Your Promoters.

Finding an Ah-Ha moment

Going back to some of the critical feedback Agree received from their detractors and passives, they noticed within their trends that there were several comments similar to “slow to improve” or “missing features”.

On the surface, they could have taken those at face value and assumed that meant that their development team needed to “move faster” and “build more features”.

However, their discovery was much simpler than that.

It was their marketing that was driving this negative sentiment, not their product.

Prior to this discovery, the team would mention upcoming features or upgrades within their marketing, usually followed by, “coming soon”.

What Agree realized is that there were customers who would buy the product in anticipation of these upgrades happening sooner than planned.

When the updates weren’t done in the time frame that the customer imagined, it left them feeling like Agree was working too slow or was missing necessary features.

As a result, Agree has now moved away from making promises of immediate fixes or features. Instead, they have begun to set more realistic expectations.

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Agree is a great example of a company that has benefited from shifting their perspective of NPS as a passive exercise to that of a proactive and essential process.

Cody Rogers, Head of Product at Agree.com stated,

We’re building a product for people. We can’t do it well unless they’re telling us (often) how we’re doing. Getting this feedback makes us feel like we’re in tune with who we’re building for.”

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Chad Keck

As a product lead and executive for numerous successful ventures (Rackspace, HP Cloud, AppFog), Chad founded Promoter.io to help bring the actionable insights provided by Net Promoter to all businesses. He is a native Texan with a passion for helping other entrepreneurs.

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