Net Promoter® Software Buyer’s Guide

Net Promoter® Software Buyer’s Guide

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Adam Ramshaw
Adam Ramshaw has been helping companies to improve their Net Promoter® and Customer Feedback systems for more than 15 years. He is on a mission to stamp out ineffective processes and bad surveys.
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You’ve read about it and convinced senior management that Net Promoter is the way to go. You know you will need a change management process to make it work long term. You also know that you will need some type of NPS software system to collect the survey responses. What does that software need to be able to do?

Use an NPS® specific system

There are plenty of low cost, and even free, survey systems you could easily use but that probably isn’t a good idea. While they are great at collecting the data you will need to spend a lot of time customising them to perform the closed loop process that you will want to implement.

By the very nature of the implementation process your list of wants for the system will grow longer and longer and that custom work will take longer and longer to complete. Much better to use a system that has already been designed to run a Net Promoter process that gives you all the functions you need on day one. Your focus can then be on collecting and using the information, not re-designing your survey management software.

Also, the system should be NPS aware, by which I mean it must understand how Net Promoter is calculated. Otherwise you will spend your time redesigning reports to take account of the way that the score is calculated not using the information to make changes in your business.

Outsource It

It may look like just a simple survey that your in-house development team can create in a week and that’s true, you can build the base system in a week. The problem comes when you want to make any type of change to the system: adding a report, changing a survey, etc. Then you get in behind the dreaded development schedule and are forever waiting to get that typo fixed on page two of the survey. For your own sanity I suggest you find an external vendor to make this happen.

Net Promoter Software Features

If you want good value from your Net Promoter software make sure that it has these key features:

Automatic sending (Mandatory)

You system should be able to automatically send survey invites and process the responses into live reports without daily human intervention. Performing  routine functions is not exciting for your staff. Even with great self-discipline, data loads will get missed, reports will not get generated, and slowly but surely things will start to break. Automating the process as much as possible eliminates these issues.

For transactional feedback systems this is a critical long term success factor.

Live Reporting (Mandatory)

You should be able to logon in the morning and see what happened yesterday, an hour ago or even 30 seconds ago. Then you need to be able to drill into interesting reports, slice and dice the data on different live variables to get an understanding of what is really happening in your business.

The ability to segment and filter your data across many different customer variables will help drive your ability to turn data into information into action.

Service Recovery Automation (Mandatory)

Service recovery automation is the ability for your Net Promoter system to alert staff so they can initiate an outbound customer conversation to resolve customer issues. This can be done in two ways:

  1. Adding a question to your survey to ask customers if they want to be contacted.
  2. Targeting low scores to recover your least happy customers.

Your system should send an email or other alert to a relevant staff member with details of the customer and their response. When staff act on these issues quickly and resolve customer problems in minutes, not days, it will drive up employee engagement and customer loyalty.

Service Recovery Workflow management (Recommended)

Systems that have workflow management included enable staff to coordinate their response to customers and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Excellent Security (Mandatory)

You are entrusting a lot of important data to your vendor, not just the usual customer name and email address that you send to your email service provider. Filter segment information and transaction details may all be included in your upload in order to enable effective live reporting.

Ask specific security questions of your vendor. For instance, ask them where the data is hosted. It should be in a secure facility with the right security protocols in place.

Multiple survey delivery approaches (Mandatory)

Your customers live in a multi-channel world and so should your customer feedback process. To ensure that you can put your survey in front of customers in the channel that they most want to use, you should at least have the following channels:

  1. Email link to web survey
  2. Mobile, tablet and desktop optimised survey
  3. SMS web link
  4. SMS send and respond
  5. Website popup
  6. Outbound / inbound contact centre
  7. Face to face tablet based data collection
  8. Self-directed kiosk operation

Flexible data input and extraction (Recommended)

Getting your data into and out of the system will be the key to long term automation and acceptance so you need lots of options here:

  1. Automated (secure) file upload: to allow overnight batch upload from key business systems.
  2. Flexible API data input enabling you to immediately initiate a survey at the end of a web or contact centre touchpoint.
  3. Flexible API data export so you have the option to push data to your corporate CRM system (, Oracle CRM, etc.) and link the customer’s feedback with their business records.
  4. Flexible API input to allow you to poke survey responses from other systems into the integrated Net Promoter reporting system.
  5. Flexible file types giving you the ability to upload and download Excel, CSV, XML as required.

Easy to set up (Recommended)

Momentum in the early stages of the project will be very important so you need to be able to be and running with the process in just a few weeks. Select Net Promoter software that can be configured, tested and running within 4 weeks.

If possible use a software as a services (SaaS) platform. SaaS means that you don’t need as much support from your IT resources. There will be no hardware or software to specify, purchase, install, test, etc. Also your SaaS vendor will probably have already sorted out the security support you need (see above).

Ability to share data widely (Mandatory)

Some organisation say that sharing data widely and transparently is a core plank of success for their Net Promoter programs. The system you choose must be able to share that data across the entire organisation, securely and easily.

  1. Big display screens in contact centres, executive suites and lunch rooms, with rolling scores and comments for everyone to see.
  2. Intranet links with live, rolling scores and comments.
  3. Automated email reports to key staff on how their areas are performing.

These, in my opinion, are the big functionality items for your Net Promoter system. Are there any that you think I’ve missed?

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