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How and why we use the NPS survey to improve client experience

Craig McDermott

Posted by Craig McDermott

25 June 2018

At Reddico, we’ve always been clear that building open and honest relationships within the team and with our clients is key to ensuring we can have the most meaningful, positive impact. As we grow, it becomes more important we have a way to make sure the feedback loop stays open. That’s where the Net Promoter Score (NPS) comes in.

We have close relationships with our clients and we regularly talk via calls, meetings and email, but we choose to use the NPS as our way of gaining a snapshot of how well we’re doing our job.

I want to use this post to do three things:

  • Summarise why we chose to use the NPS as our method of feedback
  • Explain how we've made it central to the thinking of the whole team
  • Show how it benefits our clients

What is the NPS?

You can find a very detailed rundown of exactly what NPS is, the history and usage, at Wikipedia. In a nutshell, it's a single question that requires a 0-10 response and any additional feedback that the responder feels might be useful. It's a clear, quantitative way of understanding the loyalty and general happiness of clients.

In our case, the NPS gives us a top-level overview of how our clients think we’re performing as an agency. We ask all clients to answer a straightforward question – how likely would you be to recommend us? Simply give a score of 0-10, followed by as much detail as you’d like.


Within the NPS system, the scores people give mean they fall into one of three categories:

  • 1-6: Detractors. They’re generally unhappy and have no real reason to stay, given any other opportunity.
  • 7-8: Passives. These clients might not have any real issues or concerns, but they’ve also got no real reason to stay if an attractive opportunity appears elsewhere.
  • 9-10: Promoters. They’re advocates for the business, thanks to the best and most successful relationships, and often refer new relationships.

When clients are in 9 or 10 territory, there is a strong relationship. It means the client trusts our recommendations and we can push forward quickly. This is where we want everyone to be, as it shows we’re making the right impact and delivering the best results.

How are the scores calculated?

The overall score for a business is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. 

We don't tend to compare our scores against our competition. It's not that important to us to say we have the best NPS score in the marketing sector, or the best NPS score in the South East.

Instead, we focus on trying to ensure we keep all clients in the range which produces the best and most successful relationships. That’s the promoters. Clients in this 9-10 range are those on which we can have the biggest impact.

How we use the NPS score

In short, we find it the best way to get useful feedback without taking up a large amount of your time. It takes two seconds to leave a score and you can spend as much or as little time as you like on additional comments.

But how often the NPS survey should be completed? At what stage of the relationship should it be sent? There are different schools of thought.

We have chosen to send an NPS survey to every client, every month. This enables us to integrate the responses that we get into our daily, weekly and monthly processes. We’re constantly learning how we can work better together.

What do we do with the scores and feedback we receive?

If you’ve ever wondered why you’re getting these survey requests, here’s how all of those responses are reviewed and are a central focus of the team's work:

Scores are made transparent

We encourage the team to work together to solve problems. We want to create a transparent and open environment, where all information is readily available, shared and discussed. For this reason, all scores are visible to everyone in the business. We have screens up around the office which show overall scores and new scores coming in. It’s a real motivator.

Monthly meetings

Each month the entire team is involved in a meeting where we review all scores and feedback. Based on what you’ve told us, we work together to add more value and make more impact.

Yearly reward

In 2018, the NPS score got serious. We now take an average score of all our clients and if it’s in the right range at the end of the year, the whole team enjoys a long weekend in Europe. For this year our target is 75+, but I'm sure this will continue increasing every year.

The benefits to our clients

The benefits of the NPS survey are enjoyed both ways. By completing a score our clients have the opportunity to:

  •     Feedback on great work that has been done and deserves to be celebrated
  •     Raise opportunities for us to improve how we work and communicate

NPS has been in a beta phase (of sorts) over the last 12 months, but the feedback we have received has already enabled us to improve how we provide updates and quickly deal with any issues.

In summary

As a company, so much of our success relies on the strength of our relationships with our clients. Providing opportunities for honest and regular feedback feels like a no-brainer.

If you happen to be a client of ours, or (maybe) you're thinking about becoming one, hopefully this post has given you a good answer to the question "why do they ask me this every month?" We encourage you to be open and honest when you respond.