NPS feedback - negative feedback that has nothing to do with your product

Brian O'Keeffe
Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 181 Expert
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One of the most common NPS detractor scenarios is feedback that is all about a local issue: configuration, security or other local choices the vendor has no control over. I have seen things like "won't allow me to edit" (the admin limited this user) or "where is the full menu?" (at some point the view was limited) or worse, "slow" or "we are forced to use you, and hate it" and of course these all come with low scores that I hate having to include i our totals. Most often these are users, not administrators. (n my previous experience we never surveyed users, only administrators and did not have this problem.)

How do you handle it? Or what advice do you have? I would love to hear it. Our administrator NPS is always much higher than our user survey scores.


  • EdPorter
    EdPorter Member Posts: 7 Navigator
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    Ultimately, you want to do exactly what you said...NPS by group (admin vs users). So reporting at that level is good. You want the comments like this because this should drive your onboarding and feedback back to your clients (admins). Additionally, these are great onboarding tips to help during that process.

    I like surveying users, but perhaps NPS isn't the best question for surveying your end users since they aren't making the buying decision. Do you survey NPS on each ticket closed or do you NPS randomly?

    Jay Nathan
  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 181 Expert
    First Anniversary Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Comment

    Thanks, Ed. It was in place before I started. I have a chance to possibly change it.

    We survey every admin and every user once a year. The NPS surveys are identical. That is probably the problem. I might create a very different survey for users. In addition every ticket owner gets a survey when the ticket is closed. One that is crafted to focus on UI and issues we want feedback about and offer a way to provide feedback that is focused locally, that we can feed to our administrators but is separated from UI.

  • rahul_choudhary
    rahul_choudhary Member Posts: 10 Navigator
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    I agree with @EdPorter

    Surveying Users and Admins differently is definitely the best solution. You can have NPS survey for Admins and Product related feedback for Users.

    EdPorterBrian O'Keeffe
  • Evan Klein
    Evan Klein Member Posts: 12 Navigator
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    I agree that keeping the surveys (questions and analysis) separate may make the most sense in your case. For our B2B clients, we sometimes 'carve out' users and prepare a separate analysis focusing on their sentiment / frustrations / expectations as they are often quite different than admins / budget holders / influencers.

    I would absolutely continue to invite their feedback as it's common for users share their dissatisfaction with their superiors and their views can enhance or taint the perception of those who may have more influence over the decision to renew or churn.

    We like NPS in B2B (when it's properly used) but I also agree that it may not be the best metric for your users. Overall satisfaction with the company or product may be a better KPI to track. Users often don't have as much opportunity to recommend business software as decision makers or champions might, and they could artificially lower your NPS if they take the question too literally.

    I'm happy to discuss further if you'd like. Feel free to message me.


    Brian O'KeeffeSteve Bernstein
  • pkelly38
    pkelly38 Member Posts: 5 Navigator
    First Comment Name Dropper

    Full disclosure, never been a fan of NPS in the B2B world. Largely because the people you want to ask the question to are not the people getting asked. And I can't tell you how many times I called a customer who scored us a 1 and then told me over the phone they thought that was a great score. B2C makes sense - here is a product would you recommend it to someone.

    Our program consisted of essentially CSat surveys uniquely designed for Implementation, Support and CSM. This way we would get role specific feedback that we could address. For me the single most critical part of doing the survey is that you have a plan to follow-up and you do it. Great scores go onto a list for potential references and testimonials and get followed up by CSMs, and bad scores get immediately referred back to the CSM and account manager and their managers so that follow will happen.

    Everything said about segmentation is absolutely correct and therefore means a strong partnership with marketing and sales ops to be able to quickly identify the populations correctly to execute. I understand the pressure from marketing to be able to promote a good NPS number or an increase in NPS number. So we worked on trying to get NPS feedback from the executive sponsor/buyer. The challenge here is that they are not as likely to take the time to open the email/ reply to the survey.

    Happy to talk more if you like.


    CodyAmy Long
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited July 2023

    Hi @Brian O'Keeffe . Are you able to build a business case to separate these out? There are very strong reasons why a combined NPS isn't useful. The strongest reason is what you're seeing--NPS is being affected by a different customer segment.

    Creating a business case to present to your exec team can help change that -- and become beneficial for them too.