How the contact center can influence the NPS

What is NPS?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the measure of customer loyalty and satisfaction calculated by measuring the likelihood of customers recommending your product or service to others.  The Net promoter Score index ranges between -100 and +100. It is calculated as the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors. 

As Deloitte in their article titled, “Measuring human relationships and experiences” rightly pointed out, “the NPS measure helps identify customers who are a retention risk as well as those who could be enterprise advocates. It’s also an easy way to benchmark an organization against a competitor.

Customers who give low ratings between 0 to 6 are categorized as ‘detractors’. Simply put, detractors are dissatisfied with the service and not likely to recommend/promote it. Those giving ratings between 7 and 8 are referred to as ‘Neutrals’. It means they are sufficiently satisfied but may or may not recommend/promote it. And finally, the customers who give a high rating of 9 or 10 are called ‘Promoters’. They will recommend the service forward since they are happily satisfied with it.

How relevant is NPS?

The efficacy of NPS as a measure of customer satisfaction is an ongoing debate. Deloitte highlights that while it “can be of value in getting a read on stakeholder loyalty and how the enterprise stacks up against competitors, it falls short when it comes to understanding stakeholder’s emotional connection or feelings in general. Also, the verdict is still out as to how much this rating is truly tied to business outcomes.” 
Despite the debate, it remains a metric that large companies widely use. It is still used to measure the performance of contact center agents and managers for their compensation. However, more often, the factors that might have direct or indirect effects on NPS are not considered. For NPS to serve as an effective measure of the performance of the contact center, it cannot be studied in isolation.

A deeper look at NPS

In many cases, the NPS is a black box for organizations because they do not know what happened during the last customer interaction(s). Xdroid’s VoiceAnalytics offers an integrated approach to NPS. 

With Xdroid VoiceAnalytics you have the opportunity to identify the factors that contribute to NPS, through its integrated NPS module. This module allows the contact center to have an in-depth understanding of the impact of different actions taken by the agents. But it also provides insight into factors that are outside the scope of the contact center. Xdroid has worked with several customers to develop the module and found elements with a high impact and even those with a lesser impact. 

Recently, we were asked to do a quick study by one of our clients. The study revealed several factors that were sometimes consistent with common beliefs, but sometimes surprising.  We thought these elements are interesting enough to share however we want to be careful as the number of NPS feedbacks was limited and the study did not take into account multidimensional dependencies. Hence, we haven’t yet quantified the results of the study. We have however highlighted certain patterns and initial findings from the study. 

1. The Product

The first high-impact factor comes down to the basics. It’s the performance of the very product or solution that the company offers. The quality of the product has a huge role to play. The agents can only push the product so much. If the product is not up to the mark, and if the customers are dissatisfied with it, there’s not much that the agents can do to change their perception. 

The company needs to prioritize the quality of the product before the quality of customer service and NPS. For instance, if the product is not good enough, the customers will obviously be unhappy with the service. They will be less patient about the wait time. They will also call more often, probably about the same issue. So product satisfaction should be put first.

In another study with an insurance-based customer, we found that changes in the policy and support procedures had a far greater influence.

2. The IVR Wait Time

The Interactive Voice Response system is an essential part of customer service. It’s the customers’ interaction with the automated phone system that collects all the information that agents need to help them. Customers appreciate it if this process of data collection is done swiftly with only the required questions because everybody hates waiting, especially with the IVR.

As you can see in the graph below the number of detractors increase with longer waiting times, particularly in the first 6 seconds and then after 19 seconds.  The same is true for the decrease in the number of promoters though that decrease seems to flatten a bit.  Overall there is a clear trend that suggests that longer waiting times negatively influence the NPS.

3. Quick Recognition

Agents that swiftly recognize the IVR menu that has been chosen by the customers increase the NPS. Statements like “Good morning, I see that you are calling for a repair issue. Is that correct? How can we help you?” are helpful. Customers do not like and should not be expected to repeat their concerns, given how they have chosen the path and provided the relevant data in the IVR just a few seconds ago. It is only logical. Customers appreciate a well-informed hands-on agent, who doesn’t ask them to repeat information. 

4. Exchange of pleasantries and following protocols v. Making it Personal

It is believed that exchanging pleasantries and positive affirmations with the customer, helps an agent own the conversation. However, contrary to what one might assume, our study shows that it has a weaker correlation with NPS than the factors mentioned above. While such pleasantries may have contributed to Neutral and positive NPS, they were also present with detractor calls. 

Nevertheless, when agents respond to customers and add a personal touch to the interaction, we found that that really matters. Phrases like “Let me see what I can do.”, “I’m going to fix it right away!”, “I can guarantee you, it will be fixed tomorrow by 5 PM” resonate with the customer and boost the NPS. 

This implies that agents need confidence that comes with training and experience to execute it properly to have a positive effect on the customer.

5. Average Call Handle Time

A common assumption when it comes to the Average Call Handle Time is that the shorter the call the better the NPS score will be. However, we found that customers that had a call significantly longer than the AHT (Average Handle Time) correlated strongly with Promoters and Neutrals, suggesting that customers appreciate the attention given to them and a fix to their concerns. 

They like it when agents are willing to take the time, support them and actually solve their problem, instead of ending the call in a hurry. It should be noted that this correlation is highly dependent on the call type. 

How to effectively use NPS

The above findings were derived from samples over a relatively short period. To draw more scientific conclusions, one must conduct the study over a more extended period with a larger sample of calls. Nevertheless, some of the outcomes were quite revealing to our client, and it was the first time they analysed the relation between the NPS values and what is being said in conversations.

  1. NPS is a useful metric to measure customer satisfaction, however, the above- results proved that incentivizing the agents on NPS is not fair. Especially, if elements that cannot be influenced by agents and their team leaders are taken into account.  Product issues and IVR waiting times are just 2 factors the agents can’t control. 
  2. Customers respond positively to the personalization of the conversation. When agents mention the reason for the call, it makes the caller i.e. customer feel heard and appreciated. Such elements require training efforts and this is why the Xdroid Speech Analytics solution provides not only a wide range of analytical capabilities but also facilitates training and development programmes.
  3. Use and utilize the information you have. For example, if the caller has identified and mentioned the reason for the call during the IVR, the agents shouldn’t ask the caller to identify themselves or repeat their issue. Agents should have access to all the information they have from the IVR and know how to use it properly to help customers.

It must be noted that there are also many other aspects in a call that are important or even more important than the NPS and where this can have a significant impact on the customer deciding to buy or not to churn.

Xdroid is committed to helping you increase the productivity of the contact center with our advanced analytics solutions. We believe a holistic picture of your customer interactions will give you a deeper understanding of your customer satisfaction levels and help you take effective customer retention actions and build long-term customer loyalty. 

With our real-time AgentAssist solution, we have even been able to improve the NPS by providing in-call guidance and recommendations. You can further analyze and generate valuable insights from all of the calls in just a few clicks on the integrated NPS dashboard with Xdroid’s offline  VoiceAnalytics. Additionally, you can expand the analysis to the larger customer journey i.e., chats and interactions across other digital platforms with Xdroid’s omnichannel solution, Interaction Analytics.

So check out Xdroid’s VoiceAnalytics to find out how and ask for a demo today! 

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