8 Actionable Tips to Improve Your Net Promoter Score® Survey Response Rate

Dec 02, 2019

6 mins read

Tanuj Diwan


In its first year of operations, In 1886, Coca-Cola managed to sell an average of nine bottles per day. Today, the brand sells an average of 1.4 billion beverage servings every day.

What does it have to do with your Net Promoter Score® Survey response rate, you ask?

As a brand that dabbles in Net Promoter Score® surveys, we have a considerable amount of understanding of what to expect from the first few surveys.

It is ambitious to expect anything above 80% for the first survey. In fact, if you get anything north of 40%, consider yourself to have done a good job. It does not mean anything less is bad either.

The fact is, getting a high NPS® Survey response rate in the first two to three surveys is hard.

Like Coca-Cola’s initial days, your first few surveys might have a very mediocre response rate. And it’s perfectly alright. NPS® response rates take time to improve.

Also, it takes time and experience to learn the right way of sending surveys. Your customers should also get warmed up the idea of providing genuine feedback through surveys.

That brings us to the question that every marketer using Net Promoter Score® has.

What does it take to improve NPS® Survey Response Rates?

This blog aims to cover that in detail. Here are some actionable tips you can try to improve your NPS® Survey response rate.

#1. Segment the audience

Every marketer worth his salt knows that targeted ads fetch the best results. The same rule applies to NPS surveys as well. The survey should target a specific segment of users/customers

NPS® Survey Response Rates


#2. Identify the right channel (email, mobile app or SMS)

Most commonly, NPS® Survey response rate is run through email. But, if your business requires, you can also try other channels like mobile app or SMS.

If your product is a mobile app and users interact with it primarily than through email, it is logical to send the survey through an in-app notification. The same applies to SMS as well.

Amazon has a practice of following up every single order with a feedback mail, which is an effective way to scale with email. The feedback specifically mentions the order details and an option to give star ratings.

What is interesting is that the whole email template is designed as a button. When the user clicks on the star rating, they are redirected to Amazon’s feedback system where the star rating, as well as a text review, can be provided.

#3. Write a noteworthy subject line (A/B tests)

If your response rates so far have been poor, it could probably because your users never opened the mail, let alone do the survey. Like in email marketing,

while sending NPS® response rates surveys through email, the subject line is a deciding factor that can make or break your response rates.

To pump the response rates, ensure that you write a noteworthy subject line that makes the user take notice and open the mail.

Some examples include:

  1. Survey from Acme Co
  2. “Have 30 seconds? Help Acme Co serve you better!”
  3. John, what do you think?
  4. John, we would love to hear from you
  5. Tell us what you feel

Remember that there is no single subject line that could fetch maximum responses. You can find the best one by running A/B testing.

#4. Personalize the mail body

Would you respond to an email that treats you like a no one or to a mail that addresses you by name personally?

Obviously the latter, right? Emails that include the first name of the recipient in their subject line are bound to have a higher clickthrough rate than those that don’t.

So, to persuade your users to take the survey, personalize the mail body. Include a greeting that addresses the user by their name and also provides contextual information as to why this mail is being sent to them.

Is this related to the last transaction or is it pertaining to the relationship over a period of time? Provide contextual information so that the user can provide the right feedback without feeling confused.

#5. Keep it short

When you want to know in detail what your customers feel about your business, it could be tempting to create long surveys that capture maximum information.

Be informed that long surveys can backfire. One of the best practices while sending Net Promoter Score® response rates surveys is to not let them drown in ‘survey fatigue’ — that sunk feeling while answering long and unending survey questions

If you want users to respond to the survey make a promise that it is a quick and short survey. Also, stick to that promise. You can also hint the same in the subject line — Take our quick survey.

#6. Time it right

Like social media or even email, even your Net Promoter Score® surveys should be timed right. Don’t jump the gun and send the survey a few hours after they have bought from you.

Give it some time for the user to use to product, get used to it and gauge its utility. Depending on the product or service that you are offering, the sweet spot to send the survey could be from a week to a month.

#7. Be mobile-friendly

56% of emails get read on iPhones or in Gmail found a Litmus study of emails. What does it mean for your NPS® response rates surveys? They should be mobile-friendly as well.

Users should be able to record their feedback through their mobile devices as well. You can either configure it as an in-app survey or send a feedback form that goes to an external mobile-friendly site where the feedback can be provided.

#8. Personalize the thank-you-note

Net Promoter Score® surveys do not end collecting Customer feedback. If you want your users to respond to your future surveys as well, give them the assurance that their current feedback will be acted upon.

That intention can be easily communicated through the thank-you-note that pops up after the user submits the feedback.

In fact, you can create customized responses for promoters, passives, and detractors.

For each category of customers — promoters passives and detractors, the thank-you note can be personalized for a specific objective. The image below shows how that can be achieved:

NPS® Survey Response Rates


Closing in…

A long time ago, the first time we send our NPS® survey, things didn’t go as planned. The response rate was nowhere closer to our expectations. Our Net Promoter Score® expectations vs the reality were two miles apart.

With time and through continuous learning we were able to pump up our response rates. All the learnings we underwent through trial and error are crystallized and packaged in this blog. Implement them and let us know how it turned out for you.

Customer Experience Trends 2020

Tanuj Diwan

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