7 Alternative Ways to Use NPS

Since opening our proverbial doors in 2014, we’ve been fortunate enough to be supported by a wide array of unique customers, coming from a multitude of industries.

The customer intelligence vertical, specifically Net Promoter, is such an exciting space to be operating in because the system is valuable for nearly any company in existence. What that means is our clients have ranged from small mom and pop retail stores to Fortune 500 corporations, such as IBM.

While NPS, as a methodology, isn’t new (it was first mentioned in 2003 with nearly a decade of research prior to that), it wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that it really became popular as a practice. As a result, we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface on its possible applications.

Aside from its most typical use case, there are several ways that companies and individuals can utilize the NPS framework to their advantage. Here are just a few:

Measure Employee Satisfaction & Sentiment

While this isn’t a super secret alternative use of NPS, it is still in the early stages of growth in terms of being used as the default way to measure employee sentiment and ultimately loyalty.

Employee NPS, or eNPS, as it’s more commonly referred to, frames the Net Promoter question a bit differently, while the scoring scale remains the same:

How likely is it that you would recommend Promoter.io as a place to work?

Another key difference is that when an employee completes his/her survey, their response is anonymized to protect their identity and allow them to speak freely.

Much like a traditional customer-based NPS survey, high response rates along with meaningful open-ended feedback are the biggest reasons why companies are turning to eNPS as their default employee engagement and satisfaction survey of choice.

The days of hounding and pressuring employees to participate in long-form internal surveys or “happy checks” are numbered, as they should be. Most employees only skim through because they are forced, which results in bad/useless data.

Determine Product Market Fit

There are two big misconceptions when it comes to NPS:

  1. It’s only useful when you have 1000’s of customers
  2. It’s only used to measure the loyalty and sentiment of paying customers

Neither of those assumptions are accurate. In fact, they’re just flat out wrong.

The truth is, Net Promoter can be useful and impactful in the earliest of stages, even before your product fully goes to market.

Techstars, a business accelerator with programs all over the world (and client of Promoter.io), uses NPS to measure the impact of the mentors that are advising the companies they invest in. They run their surveys early and often during each session (more on this below).

Product Market Fit

Many of the companies going through the Techstars program will initiate their NPS program while they’re still in session. Some are using it to measure early customer sentiment and others are using it to determine if their ideas have PMF (Product Market Fit).

Another recent example is TaxJar (also a Promoter.io client). While rolling out a newer version of their application to a select group of customers, TaxJar segmented their NPS scores to measure whether the sentiment and satisfaction of customers who had access to their newest version was greater than those on their legacy product.

They were ultimately able to validate their assumptions before rolling out the new product globally.

Using NPS to measure PMF could potentially save your company from making a grave mistake.

Polling / Midterm Progress

In 2016, Promoter rolled out a tool we called “Net Presidential Score” as an alternative way to leverage NPS to poll US voters in the Presidential Election.

The site we created cycled through each eligible candidate asking the following question (for example):

How likely are you to recommend Bernie Sanders for President to a friend or colleague?

Net Presidential Score

Not only did the voters give each candidate a score, they also left the reason why they would or would not recommend a given person. The results were fascinating and turned out to be largely accurate.

Elections are just one tiny example of where NPS can be used as a polling alternative.

Imagine you’re launching a company or new product into an industry with several incumbents. Wouldn’t it be great to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each of those competitive companies before entering the market?

There are a limitless number of options when it comes to using NPS for polls and even general research.

Are your blog readers engaged?

It’s safe to say that most of today’s companies have a blog of some kind. With that blog, they generally have a mailing list they’ll use to promote their latest posts.

For most people who manage these blogs, the success of each post is based on actions — number of clicks, number of shares, number of comments, etc.

Based on these results, you may assume that your content is either doing well or not doing well at all.

The problem is, no matter what answer you arrive at, it’s likely based on superficial data.

To get really good insights, you can utilize NPS to measure the sentiment of your readership:

How likely are you to recommend the Promoter.io blog to a friend or colleague?

What’s great is that not only will you get to see how well you’re doing from a scoring standpoint, but you’ll also get a ton of open-ended feedback regarding what you’re doing right and/or wrong. Often times these insights will help guide the type of content you write moving forward.

And, as an additional bonus, you’ll have identified your biggest advocates along the way. This army of promoters will come in handy to drive even more readers to your future content.

How well did you educate your audience?

Whether you’re a University Professor or the Head of Customer Success running a webinar, engaging your “customers” using NPS after your class is dismissed can be an excellent way to gauge your impact as an educator and gain some valuable feedback.

Techstars, an international startup incubator and Promoter.io client, has been using NPS to measure the impact of their individual educators (i.e.mentors) for some time now as mentioned above.

While not a typical educational program, Techstars runs three-month acceleration programs throughout the year. Each of these sessions involves a group of mentors that help guide the participants (entrepreneurs) in launching their businesses.

At the end of each session, each participant is sent an NPS survey on each individual mentor, which Techstars uses to determine whether they’ll be invited back for the next session.

This is just one small example of how NPS can be used to measure the impact of your educational efforts.  

Measure Your Individual Performance

Who says that Net Promoter can only be used by businesses?

If you’re in the job market, or you’re a consultant or just generally interested in how you’re doing as a professional, why not use an NPS survey to ask your former co-workers, friends, business associates, etc. how likely they’d be to recommend you?

This could be an excellent way to create a personal KPI (key performance indicator), generate personal referrals or get some critical feedback towards self-improvement.

At worst, you’ll get feedback to improve upon. At best, you’ll have a plethora of testimonials and referrals to land that next client or job.

Increase Charitable Giving

If you’re a non-profit, church, or just someone that puts together an event to raise money, it’s important to know how your donors feel about you. In fact, knowing the sentiment of your donors can be tied directly to the amount of fundraising that you actually receive.

Large non-profit organizations, such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society have been turning to Promoter.io for this exact reason.

Using NPS as a non-profit is no different than it is for a for-profit corporation. The question and process remain exactly the same.

If you’re using Promoter as a platform, you can even use our built-in revenue calculator to help you predict if your donations will be increasing or decreasing based on your NPS score.

When it comes time for your next fundraising event, you’ll now be able to turn to your army of promoters to help spread the word and skyrocket your donations and donor base.

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These examples above are just a handful of the many alternative ways you can utilize the Net Promoter framework in other facets of your business or personal life.  

With the advancements being made on tools (such as Promoter), the options for the application are starting to become endless.

Are you using NPS in a unique way? Please share your use case in the comments below. We’d love to hear about it and perhaps feature your story on an upcoming blog post!

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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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