Category Archives: Transparency

top blog posts of 2017

Our 10 Best Performing Blog Posts From 2017

As we approach the end of 2017 (too quickly I might add), I’m finding myself looking back at the year and admiring the progress we made at Promoter over the past 12 months.

In addition to expanding our team, moving into a new office and adding 100’s of amazing new clients, we also put out a fair amount of new content.

We covered topics that have ranged from our mistakes in marketing to the wild success our customers are seeing from their NPS efforts.

If you’ve missed our emails or are someone that recently signed up, worry not, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top 10 most popular articles we shared in 2017:

The 45 Tools We Use to Run Promoter.io

saas toolsDid you know that the average company uses 37 different tools to run their business? And larger organizations use an average of 90!

We use 45 tools to run Promoter. We share each of them in this post and even let you in on our favorites.

How to Calculate (And Understand) Your Net Promoter Score

Have you ever wondered why passives aren’t included in the Net Promoter equation? It’s ok if you don’t know because it’s rarely discussed.

While this post covers a pretty basic NPS topic — the score, it’s a great primer for those just getting started or good refresher those experts out there.  

The Important Difference Between Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty

The difference between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty is as significant as the unconditional love you receive from a dog versus a cat.

We see companies focusing on the wrong one ALL the time.

To get this right, you need to understand the difference between the two. Read this post.

Uber Has a Major Customer Relationship Problem

In spite of the many controversies that Uber has faced in 2017, they still have a ton of customers that transact with them on a regular basis.

BUT … customer relationships are so much greater than just the transaction that occurs between the customer and the company.  

Customer relationships are so much greater than the transaction that occurs. Click To Tweet

Uber has a major relationship problem with their customers and this post explains why.

Stranger NPS Things: Customer Success Mistakes from the Upside Down

We’re all big fans of Stranger Things at Promoter, so of course we found a way to incorporate our love for series into a post.

However, you don’t need to be a Stranger Things fan to appreciate the two important NPS mistakes we cover in this post.

7 Alternative Ways to Use NPS

Most people don’t consider the many applications beyond customer intelligence that NPS can be used to measure.

The truth is that NPS can be applied in many different ways, from measuring blog readership to tracking personal performance.

How LiveChat Used Customer Loyalty to Grow to Almost 19k Customers

It isn’t every day that you come across a company that is growing like a weed without spending any money on outbound sales or marketing like Promoter.io client, LiveChat.

In addition to SEO, branding and content, Net Promoter is one of the cornerstones of LiveChat’s marketing strategy which has led them to over 19,000 clients and counting, with nearly 40% of that revenue coming directly from customer referrals alone.

This post tells you how.

Why Marketing Campaigns Fail

Why Marketing FailsDuring the Presidential election in 2016, we tested the limits of NPS with something we called, Net Presidential Score.

Our general idea was to create an alternative polling method by using Net Promoter to measure the voter’s sentiment of each Presidential candidate. The OTHER idea was to create a viral marketing campaign for Promoter.

The experiment was a success in terms of voting and traffic, but in terms of marketing success, it was a big fat dud. This behind-the-scenes article tells you why.

How to Clone Your Best Customers with Attribute Analysis

What if I told you that you could clone your best customers?

The ones that have been the most profitable, loved your product the most and referred more new business to you than anyone else.  

That would be amazing, right?

Well, that’s exactly what this post tells you how to do.  

The Critical Importance of Reminder Surveys

You may assume that if a customer doesn’t respond to your NPS survey, it’s because they’re not interested in providing feedback.

In some cases, that definitely can be true. But, in many cases, it’s because they either missed the email or were too busy to respond at the time and simply forgot.

This post, supported by data from over 25 million surveys says what you should do. You don’t want to miss it.

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So, there you have it. Our 10 best posts from the past 12 months.

What would you like to see us cover in 2018? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

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.

Website

blue or red pill

Customer Illusion or Customer Reality? Which Pill Will You Take (Red or Blue)?

Choosing an NPS or Customer Success platform can feel like choosing between the red and blue pill in the movie Matrix.

Choose the blue one and you’ll go about your business, never being fully aware of what’s possible. Choose the red one and you’ll get to see just how far your results can go.

red-or-blue-pill-matrix-neo-morpheus

While my reference to the pills is just a science fiction analogy, it’s truly reflective of the important decision you face when choosing the right partner for your NPS and general customer engagement efforts. It could mean the difference between blissful ignorance of illusion and a (sometimes painful) truth of reality. However, it is a reality that can be influenced.

When it comes to your business, you can’t afford to be wrong about the real true sentiment of your customers.

We often get asked what makes Promoter different than the other NPS, customer intelligence or customer success solutions. Or rather, why should someone choose us?

It’s a fair question since there are now several dozen options in the market. Also, it’s easy to see how one might assume that since the Net Promoter System is built around a simple, two-question survey, there can’t be very drastic differences in the solutions that support it.

While it’s true that Net Promoter is a rather simple methodology in terms of implementation, the results (and value) you can get from it can vary tremendously based on the execution.

When asked what makes us different, there are a variety of ways that we can answer that.

We could tell you about the proprietary advanced features that we offer, or the increased response rates our customers see versus the competition.

We could show you the returns our customers are seeing from their reduction in churn and increase in organic revenue. Or, we could talk about how quickly we respond to customer support needs. Or, how competitively our product is priced.

All of those things are viable competitive differences and reasons why you may want to choose Promoter as your NPS solution of choice.

But, truth be told, none of those are the reasons why we believe you should trust in us over the alternatives.

What truly makes us unique and different is our philosophy.

We have often said that we are the team and product you turn to when you’re ready to take NPS seriously.

And, we don’t take that position lightly.

To us, taking NPS seriously doesn’t mean upgrading to a tool with a bunch of fancy new features that drive little to no additional value. It also doesn’t mean moving to a tool where every step is automated so you don’t really need to spend much time engaging with your customers.

To us it means, being ready to systematically shift the importance of the voice of your customer from a passive exercise to a way of doing business.

In other words, becoming a customer-first organization at your core.

Why is that important?

Well, we believe that NPS, when executed properly, can and will represent the single biggest growth opportunity that exists within your business.

When executed properly, NPS will represent the single biggest growth opportunity that exists within your business. Click To Tweet

That belief, in itself, doesn’t necessarily make us unique, but the approach we take and prescribe to our customers on achieving success with NPS is what separates us from the rest.

Sometimes that approach makes us unpopular and sometimes we lose a potential new customer who is deadset on doing it their own way.

While that’s unfortunate, we feel that it’s important to stand behind our convictions and what we know to be true, even when that means turning away a potential new customer.

Not because we’re stubborn, but because it’s what’s best for our customers. We know what works and why — backed up by tens of millions of customer engagements across countless industries.

At the end of the day, we are committed to driving maximum results for our clients, not chasing valueless features just to show off a longer features list than the competition.

You see, Promoter is in the unique position that we haven’t taken on a huge influx of venture capital to sustain our company.

What that means is that we aren’t beholden to rapid growth at any cost.

To our customers, that means that we hire employees methodically, only bringing on those that have the greatest impact on their results. It also means that each feature we release will drive greater results for you rather than greater returns for investors.

As our customer, you can be assured that the platform and best practice guidance we provide is built purely on driving the highest level of success for you. That is our number one goal.

This purpose-driven approach to Net Promoter comes from years of research and hands-on experience working alongside industry-leading companies such as IBM, Jet.com and Rackspace, and with the help of the creator of the Net Promoter methodology himself, Fred Reichheld (who is our investor and close advisor).

In other words, we’re NPS geeks and proud of it.

Quite frankly, we pride ourselves on being the leading voice on the subject and being an overall advocate of the methodology as a whole. Regardless of whether you’re our customer or not, we’re always happy to lend our advice.

As our customer, here is what you can expect:

  • A simple solution: There is no reason to complicate the Net Promoter process with unnecessary features that don’t bring value to your efforts. Each feature we release is purposefully designed to make you more successful. Some require effort, but those are built to reinforce the behavior that drives measurable results, plain and simple.
  • A tool that matches your needs: There is no such thing as an effective one-size-fits-all approach to NPS, so why would a Net Promoter solution offer you one? We’ve built Promoter to fit your unique needs and customer lifecycle, because … well, you’re unique.
  • A no-gimmick approach: There are certainly a lot of gimmicks and tricks to “optimizing” (AKA gaming) your results, which we take no part in because your success means more to us than that. We offer a no-nonsense approach that’s based on proven techniques and principles.
  • A team of experts: We don’t offer you just a tool to send surveys, we offer you our entire team of customer experience experts as an extension of your own. This isn’t just some empty statement either. We’re in the weeds on a daily basis with any customer that needs us.

It’s one thing to tell you what makes us different from the other options you have to choose from, it’s an entirely different thing to show you.

Starting this Thursday, December 7th, at 1 P.M. CST, the Promoter team will be hosting a live weekly webinar called, Harnessing the Power of Promoter. Each week we’ll be walking you through our entire platform, offering you our best practice advice and answering any questions you have.

We invite you join us this Thursday to take the ‘red pill’ and allow us to show you just how far your results can go with Promoter.

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.

Website

saas tools

The 45 Tools We Use to Run Promoter.io

According to the data gathered by Siftery, a tool that tracks and suggests software used by businesses, top companies today use an average of 37 different tools or software platforms to run their day-to-day operations.

Whoa!

That is an amazing fact to consider, especially when compared to how few tools businesses used just a handful of years ago.

According to @Siftery, top companies use 37 different tools to run their day-to-day operations. Click To Tweet

The reality is, it takes a lot of products and services to run a growing startup, let alone a large organization (which use an average of nearly 90 different tools according to Siftery).

Honestly, it’s kind of hard to imagine what it was like to run a business before the convenience of SaaS products, or even before just software for that matter.

With the need for so many services, it’s often times that many of these products are fighting against each other for the same budgets.

In order to stay within the stack, you need to provide unquestionable value at a bare minimum.

But even then, you’re still up against all of the other tools in the arsenal when budgets don’t grow as fast as the teams around them (or worse, get cut) because value isn’t the only deciding factor.

Customers need to see the value in your product AND maintain a high sentiment towards your brand to justify a coveted and protected position within their toolset.

This doesn’t just begin and end with the decision maker either. This permeates down to everyone who uses your product, including the general users (who have more influence than you think).

If you can deliver on your value proposition, as well as ensure your customers continue to have a high sentiment and loyalty towards your brand (by … ahem, measuring and acting on your NPS data), you will assuredly surpass your indirect competition and avoid unnecessary churn.  

As a software company ourselves, we make every operational, product, marketing, and sales decision around this belief. And, we support our growth with tools that do the same.

With that in mind, here are 45 tools that we use (and proudly advocate) to run and grow Promoter.io:

Accounting & Finance

Baremetrics

Baremetrics makes sense of all our Stripe and manual invoice data into easily consumable metrics for our SaaS business (MRR, ARR, LTV, Churn, etc). We also use their “Recover” feature for dunning management so it’s a breeze for customers to keep their payment methods up-to-date. Don’t run a business without this kind of dashboard.

Expensify

Expensify removes almost all the most painful parts of submitting expense requests. Gone are the days of expense report hell. Yeehaw!

Flightpath Finance

While Baremetrics (more on this tool below) gives us the proper metrics from Stripe, Flightpath makes sense of it all into a long-term model that we can use to inform strategic decisions from hiring to product investment.

Freshbooks

I hate QuickBooks invoices so we use Freshbooks for this exclusively. Sure you can make simple invoices in a number of ways but tracking them can become a pain, and Freshbooks makes them beautiful in the process. Your larger enterprise (or international) customers will appreciate it.

Quickbooks

While I’m not a fan of their invoices, you have to keep the books somewhere. QuickBooks works well enough and is deeply integrated with many other tools, so we’ve stuck with them.

Stripe

Our go-to payment processor. It’s simple to use and is very secure … almost to a fault. Which is good in their case.

Customer Support

Grasshopper

You have to have that 800 number, right? While we don’t receive a ton of calls, we love having our phone number out there to engage with customers and prospects who prefer this method of contact. Business tends to happen a lot faster through the phone as well, which is never a bad thing. Grasshopper makes it a breeze to handle these calls and route them appropriately, or take a message when necessary.

Groove

While there is some overlap with tools like Intercom, we have found that it doesn’t fully replace a true purpose built customer support solution, which is where Groove really shines. When we need to handle cases that aren’t quickly resolved, we move them to Groove.

Inspectlet

This tool can selectively record the sessions of our users and has come in handy on many an occasion for resolving user support issues and for improving user experience.  

Intercom

Our primary tool for daily customer support and interaction, used to help customers while they’re in the app, address immediate concerns and push out effective notifications. We also push our NPS data into Intercom (here’s how you can do the same), which arms us with our customer’s sentiment ahead of our interactions.   

LiveChat

A much more fluid “live chat” service compared to others who have recently built solutions in this space. We use this for certain customers and touch points where true real-time interaction makes all the difference.

Promoter.io

I think this goes without saying. But yes, our own product is an absolutely essential tool to the success of our business that we use on a daily basis. :)

Development

AWS

Infrastructure

(The incredibly detailed description above was provided by my Co-Founder & CTO, if you hadn’t already guessed.)

Bugsnag

We use Bugsnag for our application exception logging, error tracking and performance metrics.

Encrypt.me (formerly Cloak)

Security is paramount in all we do, down to our individual connections. Encrypt.me (formerly Cloak) has been a great provider with very reliable speeds.

Dome9

Active protection, access and policy management for all of our infrastructure.

Email on Acid

When you send millions of emails per month to countless email clients, this is a must. Test and render your emails across the most popular clients, apps, and devices.

GitHub

We use Github for our source code management and to perform code reviews.

Loggly

App logging.

(This guy, I tell you.)

Namecheap

A great domain management platform with “cheap” rates, for when you need to register every possible variation of your brand or product name :)

Rackspace

Rackspace is a highly reliable managed hosting/cloud provider who we use to host failover services outside of AWS along with some other non-performance impacting pieces of infrastructure. Best not to keep all of your eggs in one basket, dare I say.

SendGrid

Email relay

(Yep, CTO again. They’re a really good email relay.)

Operations

Adobe Creative Cloud

Let’s be honest. When you get that creative spark, MS paint (R.I.P.) is just not going to cut it. That’s why we rely on the best-of-breed suite of tools that Adobe has to offer, most notably Illustrator and Photoshop.

Carta (formerly eShares)

Excellent cap table and digital certificate management, plus a reliable 409A valuation service. We love it and our investors/advisors do too.

Flow

Simple yet extremely powerful task and project management. Great team support as well.

Google Apps

For when you don’t need the full power of Microsoft Office, or easier collaboration :)

Gusto

Gusto is hands down one of our favorite services. They make payroll, benefits, taxes and reporting an absolute breeze and the team is always super helpful. If you are still doing payroll in house or through a larger firm, give them a look. You won’t regret it.

HelloFax

They’ve made faxing fun again, sort of. :)

Microsoft Office 365

The world grinds to a halt sometimes without true Microsoft Excel. Google Sheets works okay for a lot of use cases, but when it doesn’t, it’s painful.

Segment

Analytics wrapper

Slack

As a semi-remote team, Slack helps provide powerful team communication/collaboration that keeps everyone on the same page and productive all day long (as long as you don’t have any gif/giphy integrations that is).

productivity

Visible

Visible makes updating our investors far easier (and more beautiful). Easily capture key performance data and share your story with your stakeholders all in one platform.

Zapier

Simply put, Zapier is the most powerful platform for connecting our different systems and data together. This single tool powers the the bulk of our back-end workflows and business logic.

Sales & Marketing

Adroll

Retargeting is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to capture new revenue. And, Adroll is the best tool for doing it (and also our favorite). It’s easy to use, works across multiple channels and has robust options as you advance your campaigns. It’s a staple in our marketing arsenal.

Buffer

Maintaining an active social presence can be an absolute grind, but well worth the effort. Any tool that makes this job easier, we’ll happily pay for. That’s especially true for Buffer. Not only does it free up our time by scheduling our sharing just once per week, but it gives us better results when doing so.

Calendly

Every year, the average business person spends the equivalent of 2 days going back and forth attempting to find a day and time that works for meetings. Actually, I just made that up, but it’s probably not far off. Calendly solves that pain. It’s a shareable calendar that allows our customers and prospects to pick the time that works best for them (without the hassle).

In fact, while I have you, if you want a demo of Promoter, book a time here. :)

Clearbit

Clearbit provides “integrated intelligence for every stage of your sales & marketing workflow”, and let me tell you, it’s quite magical. The data we’re able to surface helps us understand our customers and prospects better so we can deliver a superior level of service along with driving up conversion rates.

ConvertKit

In spite of what anyone tries to tell you, email is still, hands-down, the most effective way to communicate with your customers in mass (also the best method for NPS, but this isn’t the time or place for that discussion). ConvertKit has got us covered in this department. From weekly newsletters to intelligent on-boarding sequences, this tool has quickly become a must-have.

GoSquared

Actionable analytics from our marketing site and our app which helps us increase conversion from prospects or even for certain features/usage within our app.

Join.me

Join.me lets our team reliably hold meetings with audio conference lines globally and reliable screen sharing. On a weekly basis, we have dozens of meetings from any given country. There are a lot of fancy features in web conferencing applications, but Join.me has a simple scheduling link to Gmail so our team doesn’t run into any conflicts. Oh, and they’ve got one of the best product jingles ever

Pipedrive

A great sales focused CRM which helps us keep our sales and onboarding pipelines organized. The direct sync with Gmail also makes it easy for the team to see all the conversations with prospects in one place.

Sumo

When content is a such a huge part of your marketing strategy (which it is for us), it’s critical that you have the right tool to properly promote it. That tool is Sumo. It’s like the swiss army knife of content promotion — lead-gen, sharing, tracking, etc. It’s a must have x10.

Unbounce

With paid acquisition, it’s important to remember that your primary landing page copy won’t necessarily work to convert every audience equally. That’s where Unbounce comes in for us. Creating unique landing pages that match both the audience and the messaging we’re using within our ads has been essential to increasing our conversations and reducing our cost per acquisition (CPA).

WebinarNinja

Webinars can be a highly effective tool for educating both prospects and current customers when done right, but the tools in this arena have left a lot to be desired in recent years. Trust us, we’ve tried many. WebinarNinja is a fine-tuned and streamlined service built to do this one thing really well, and it’s reinvigorated our efforts around providing great content through this channel.

Wistia

Powerful video hosting platform with valuable analytics that helps us improve our video content.

Do you know of any good tools or services that we should absolutely check out? Let us know in the comments below!

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.

Website

How 1 Email Helped Us Increase MRR By 32%

I was running a few minutes late from a product demo to pick up my son from school last week when it hit me… all I need to do is invent some more time in my day and everything will work out just as planned.

Or maybe it would be easier just to find ways to be more efficient with my time. Which lead me to discover a time saving trick that has worked wonders for us recently.

You might be thinking the 1 email that I attribute our growth to is an NPS survey email, but that’s not it. A lot of people use NPS and don’t find massive growth with NPS alone.

I have personally been using this technique for the last 3 months to grow or monthly recurring revenue by over 32% (we are transparent with our metrics so you can verify these numbers for yourself). And this is a routine that only takes a few minutes out of every day.

The technique is to mashup the ideas of DRIP email campaigns with NPS survey follow-ups. The 1 email that I attribute our growth to is the personalized follow-up email.

Continue reading

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.

Website