4 Simple Steps to Boost NPS and Strengthen Customer Relationships


You’ve surveyed your customers and have a ton of NPS data. Now what? Learn how to use that NPS knowledge to engage your base, convert passives into promoters, and grow your business with these 4 simple steps.

Many businesses have adopted the wildly popular Net Promoter Score (NPS) system. If you’re unfamiliar, NPS is a customer loyalty metric you can use to predict growth by gauging how likely your customers are to recommend you to their peers.

NPS segments customers into one of three categories by asking them a simple question: How likely are you to recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague?

The customer answers on a scale from zero to ten and are placed in one of three categories:

  • Detractors = 0–6
  • Passives = 7–8
  • Promoters = 9–10

For a lot companies, that’s where it ends—NPS is just a measuring stick. But when Grasshopper was acquired by Citrix just over a year ago and we were introduced to NPS, in true Grasshopper fashion, we decided to do things a little bit differently.

Isn’t it time we evolve #NetPromoterScore from a barometer into a compass?

We decided to make it our mission to convert our passives to promoters. What happened? 

Of the passives included in our initial experiment, we were able to convert 25% into promoters. But more than that, we now have a small army of loyal, vocal customers active in our Grasshopper community.    

Here’s how we did it:

1. Establish a Baseline

Before we could go about converting passives, we first needed to identify who they were and where we stood in our overall customer engagement. Our goal was to engage the customers who already loved us and turn around those who didn’t love us yet.

To gather our initial NPS scores, we took a two-pronged approach: 

  • In app. Wootric allowed us to gather scores from our customers while they were using our app. Randomly, when customers would sign into their Grasshopper dashboard they were presented with the NPS question.
  • Email. We also used a tool called Qualtrics to email customers at the end of every support interaction.

Our response rate typically hovered around 20–25%, which in general is pretty good no matter what type of survey you are sending.

#NetPromoterScore passives are only promoters who don’t love you…yet!

One benefit we noticed from gathering the scores via email was that people were a little more forthcoming with anecdotal stories about their Grasshopper experience, which gave us even more insight into our customers’ level of satisfaction.

We discovered through our research that we had a ratio of about 3:1 passives to promoters. Now, when looking at your NPS, it’s good to remember that an 8 is considered a passive, but to many people, an 8 is still very good. While this may be a shortcoming of the NPS system, it still gave us a good baseline to start from. Plus, if your product is not exactly sexy—say a virtual phone system—most people aren’t going to be all that jazzed up over it anyway. They want it to do what they need it to do, like a lightbulb, and it’s not always necessarily something they get excited by. But that’s ok. 

2. Set a Goal

Many businesses are fine with simply gathering NPS scores and then using them to gauge their current customer satisfaction—think of this method as a barometer. However, we wanted to use NPS more as a compass, to help us navigate to where we aspired to be in the eyes of our customers.

So we set a goal to engage and convert 25% of the passives who accepted our invitation into our Influitive AdvocateHub (more on this in a minute) into promoters. This was our reach goal, and while it sounded ambitious to us, we wanted to aim high and see where we landed.

3. Research, Research, Research

After we set our goal, my manager and I did a ton of research (check out Promoter.io’s blog for a good start) into what customers who scored 7s and 8s are looking for. Do they want better communication? Do they want to give you suggestions?

Surprisingly, what we found is there’s not a ton of research around this. There are plenty of best practices, but one thing we did discover is that usually when someone rates you a passive, 9 times out of 10 they just want to be heard. They want to make sure you are actually listening to them, not just saying thanks for your feedback and getting brushed along. We all want to have our opinion matter, and our customers are no different.

9 times out of 10, #NetPromoterScore passives just want to be heard.

4. Build the Relationship

We began by inviting both passives and promoters into our AdvocateHub. The reason we included promoters is because we wanted to continue to engage them. So in MailChimp we designed a couple of emails with punchy copy to invite both groups into the Hub and tracked our open rates, click rates, and join rates. 

Once our passives joined the Hub, I began by sending each one a personal message to welcome them and introduce myself. We also created a separate onboarding for them. The reason we did this is because after reviewing our existing challenge strategy, I noticed we had a lot of asks: follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, do this, do that.

So I picked all those types of challenges out and created five new ones designed specifically for passives. These were five quick challenges that wouldn’t overwhelm them right from the start. A few were to inform and orientate them to the Hub, and then we had challenges like: “What’s your favorite candy?” “Do you have a Grasshopper t-shirt? Would you like us to send you one?”

As they progressed they would unlock levels that would slowly introduce them to the stream of regular weekly challenges, but we wanted to make sure the onboarding experience showed them that joining the Hub would be beneficial for them, beneficial for their business, and would create a connection with Grasshopper by having a new line of communication to get their questions and concerns answered.

Two months after they joined the Hub, we sent them a welcome package in the mail with Grasshopper swag, a Starbucks gift card, and a hand-written note from me to let them know how happy we were they joined. A week after that, we scored them again.

The combination of online and offline personalized communication is how we were able to achieve our 25% conversion rate. And that’s exactly why we chose Influitive in the first place—to scale our personalization of word-of-mouth.

So if you’re looking for a way to turn your NPS scores from a barometer to a compass, consider taking the time to make each communication personal. Engage with your customers, listen to what they have to say, and then let them know you appreciate it. Because at the end of the day, NPS is really about relationships, and a thriving business is built on relationships, one customer at a time.