I’m sure you’ve noticed the shift: software is eating the world.

It doesn’t take more than a few minutes on your morning commute to notice everyone glued to their devices.

And the benefit to consumers is obvious — we’re living in an on-demand world. You can get everything from transportation to a hotel room to snack within seconds.

But there’s something happening on the business side of things as all of this is happening.

Customer expectations are radically changing. Customers don’t just want instant access to the businesses they shop and buy from, they expect it. And customers don’t just want to have a personalized experience with each business they buy from or work with, they expect it.

As a result, it’s more important than ever for businesses to be able to measure (and impact) customer happiness and satisfaction


Enter NPS: The One Number You Need To Grow

Since its introduction in 2003 by Bain & Company, Net Promoter Score (NPS) has become the market standard for measuring customer satisfaction in SaaS, and asks customers how likely they are to recommend your product/service to a friend.

  • Echosign co-founder and CEO Jason Lemkin, who now works with SaaS companies as a VC, said that he likes NPS becomes it keeps startups honest and acts as the voice of the customer.
  • Bill Macaitis, the current CMO at Slack and former CMO at Zendesk said he’s not satisfied when someone signs up and becomes a paying customer. He cares about whether or not new users will recommend Slack to their friends and colleagues.
  • Atlassian President Jay Simons has said that NPS is the most important leading indicator of future growth.
  • HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah even uses NPS now to measure employee happiness.


How To Use NPS At Your Company

There are countless ways to use NPS at your company but here are three ideas to help you get started:

Daily Customer NPS. One of the best things we’ve seen companies do (especially early stage startups) is ask NPS weekly to a very small set of customers. This is good for two reasons. The number of responses is smaller and thus more actionable (vs getting hundreds or thousands of responses if you ask monthly or quarterly). This means you can get feedback every single week. The voice of the customer is always there if you’re talking to them weekly.

Transactional NPS. This is a way to use NPS to ask various cohorts of customers about a specific interaction with your company. Here you can use NPS to get a pulse on different parts of your business. For example, maybe you have a training program for new customers. You can send an NPS survey to every new customer that has attended the training program and track the results over time. Or you could simply send an NPS survey after a customer or prospect interacts with sales and support.

NPS for Sales. NPS can also be a great indicator of upgrades. If your customers love you (aka are promoters) these are accounts that you should target for your next upgrade or cross-sell campaign.


What’s A Good NPS Score?

This is the most common question that comes up whenever talking about NPS.

And like anything with numbers and hard data, we tend to get too caught up in them.

NPS is tough to benchmark since very few companies in a given industry are out there actively sharing their scores. Former HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe recently shared his thoughts on NPS benchmarks:

“In my experience, B2B tech companies have an NPS of around 15-20.  And I know companies that have had a low NPS that grew a lot and companies that had a high NPS that did not.  NPS is not a huge factor in the growth formula in most cases, though a higher NPS helps for sure.”

But in reality when it comes it NPS, it’s not about the score.

At Drift, we use NPS as a method of talking to our customers and understanding how we can do better — and the score comes second and we benchmark over time.

The real gold with NPS comes with the text responses and qualitative feedback, and how your team can use those responses to increase customer happiness and grow your business.