NPS Set Up

kchan38 Member Posts: 5 Newcomer
Hey All -

I'm fascinated by this community of brilliant people. 

With that said, I'm starting with a close to 2 year old start up and they're beginning to invest in cx/customer success. Because they have a bunch of existing accounts and my question was/is how are you monitoring the health of these relationships? That's where I could use your help.

How are you all sending out NPS and other customer satisfaction surveys? I imagine you'll say a software like churn zero which is okay, but do you all by chance have any other ways you've shared those surveys with clients? i.e Survey monkey?


  • Evan Klein
    Evan Klein Member Posts: 12 Navigator
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    There are LOTS of ways to invite customers to complete a survey - including survey software tools (there are dozens and dozens, CS tools (like ChurnZero, Gainsight, etc.), in-app tools (like Pendo), partnering with a VoC expert (like Satrix), posting a link somewhere (like on your website, in signature lines, newsletter, etc.), phone surveys (leveraging a call center or automated post call survey), having CS, or acct people simply ask in person or on a call, etc. 

    Before making a decision on approach, I strongly recommend taking into consideration 1) what's the best way to reach your customers, 2) when is the best time to invite their feedback, and 3) what are the best questions to ask (and how should they be asked) to get the most valuable and actionable input, 4) who are the *right* contacts to invite, and 5) what will you do with the insights gleaned? 

    Some people believe surveys are 'easy' but there are a lot of ways a survey program can frustrate customers, mislead executives, and actually harm the very relationships you were looking to strengthen by launching the program in the first place. 

  • Marc Phillips
    Marc Phillips Member Posts: 13 Contributor
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    Also, as you go down the NPS rabbit hole, keep in mind that the choices you make (channel, content, design, timing) can dramatically impact the scores you get. It's worth experimenting to see how scores changes with methodologies/details before making decisions based on the responses.
  • Ed Powers
    Ed Powers Member Posts: 186 Expert
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    Some great comments here. 

    I would add that "health" includes customer satisfaction as well as beliefs and behaviors that lead to their decisions to renew, churn, expand or contract. I recommend you study why customers make the decisions they do, and look for upstream factors (including satisfaction) that may be predictive of them. Collect data and test your hypotheses, then build a predictive model based on data, not "gut feel."

    And of course, analyze verbatim feedback, drive continuous improvement (informed by the predictive model), and close the loop with customers on what was changed based on their feedback--that keeps them responding to future surveys. 

    Happy to discuss more any time. 

  • Børge Solberg
    Børge Solberg Member Posts: 9 Contributor
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    Great answers above. I really recommend watching this webinar by Kristi Faltorusso and Clientsuccess on NPS. 
  • ianwelles
    ianwelles Member Posts: 17 Navigator
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    Related to this NPS setup question I am curious what others consider the threshold number of customers and customer contacts is enough to yield meaningful response data to an NPS survey.

    We recently sent out our first NPS survey to about 400 contacts at 170 customers.  We got 14 responses.  I don't feel like this is really a statistically relevant sample size to judge how our team is performing. 

    The positive is that with so few responses we could start a conversation with each respondent.  The promoters became candidate for referrals and case studies.  The non-responders, passives, and detractors went straight into a reengagement and success planning programme.

  • MattSmith
    MattSmith Member Posts: 7 Navigator
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    From what I've seen in the past, try and keep the survey as "in product" as possible. My company uses Wootric.

    By that I mean, make it a small popup in your product, rather than an email blast to X number of people. That way even if the response % is low (and it will be), you can collect the responses with minimal effort and then act on the comments/scores. You can also set it up to survey people every X number of days.

    If you're just starting you should try and use a cheap or even free tool, because the bigger tools are very expensive and might give you too much when all you really want is "do you like our tool, rate us 1-10".

    The most important thing is to think about the customer journey, and WHEN they should be receiving these surveys. Sending is straight after purchase will give you a high score (great) but might not be useful (because everyone is happy after getting something new).

    My suggestion would be

    • survey after onboarding (if your product has an onboarding) - send to everyone
    • survey during natural lifecycle (6 months into product usage if 12 month contract) - send to everyone
    • prompt every 90 days if no response
    • If they respond, stop prompting for that user
    • restart cycle after renewal - 90 days after renewal, stop is they respond
  • Evan Klein
    Evan Klein Member Posts: 12 Navigator
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    In-app surveying can offer some helpful feedback, mostly product feature / functionality / ease of use related. However, the limitations of having a 1 or 2 question survey mean you'll likely miss out on important insights related to the service / support experience, perceptions about price / value / ROI, key drivers of overall satisfaction and frustration, etc. Most of our SaaS clients gather some feedback in-app, ➡️ in addition to ⬅️ fielding a "Relationship" survey via email, typically every 6 months.

    Also, surveying only in-app runs the risk of excluding important contacts who don't use the software / application. You'll get user feedback in-app but may miss out on feedback from budget holders / decision makers / champions.

    If you're getting very low response rates for your online surveys, it typically indicates that something is wrong - with the way the surveys are sent, the communication used, the relationships with customers, the design of the survey, etc. etc.

    Finally, I'd also advise against using a free or very inexpensive survey tool. Customers can see that you're using the free version of SurveyMonkey (for example) and it can send a message that you're not truly invested in VoC. You may not need a $30k survey software license, but there are fantastic tools for just $5k to $10k per year that have a ton of functionality (for example, see

  • Kienan
    Kienan Member Posts: 3 Navigator
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    @ianwelles With NPS and CSAT responses, I've always hovered around 25-30% response rate. You might reconsider the channel and what is triggering the NPS send. Could tie it to a scheduled cadence or tie it to a particular interaction like a QBR.

  • Kienan
    Kienan Member Posts: 3 Navigator
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    @kchan38 If your startup has limited budget or a smaller customer base, I'd consider Delighted to manage NPS. Easy to use and light weight. Also integrates with a lot of the typical tools.

    Using SurveyMonkey for CSAT is my go-to but it can get expensive for a startup if you have a lot of seats.

    Your CRM may have health scores built in. If it doesn't, Totango is a great customer success-centric CRM for startups.