Your Business Model Should Guide Survey Incentives

Your Business Model Should Guide Survey Incentives

NPS BASICS AND BEYOND
Your Business Model Should Guide Survey Incentives
Incentives for NPS Survey Participation

Your Business Model
Should Guide Survey Incentives

key takeaway

NPS survey response incentives are controversial. We offer context to help you decide what’s right for you and your customers.

Best Practice

The familiar principle “First Do No Harm” should be applied when it comes to offering incentives to customers to participate in your NPS surveys, or other customer feedback surveys. Will customers be offended? Will incentives skew your results? Could the time, effort and cost involved be better directed elsewhere? The answer often varies depending on business type.

Regardless of business model, keep in mind:

  • Incentives of any kind introduce bias.
  • Some incentives are more likely to offend than others.
  • The resources required to run an incentive program can be significant.

In a B2B model, the use of incentives to encourage survey participation by your customers should be unnecessary. Respondents understand that your VOC program is an ongoing dialog, with you listening and making continuous improvements based on what customers say. There is a clear benefit to participation. When this perception of mutual benefit is lacking, you may feel offering an incentive is the best short-term option.

Keep in mind however that many of your contacts in a B2B context are not allowed to accept anything that might be considered a gift. Even where that is not the case, the idea of any kind of monetary offering is likely to offend especially at the senior management level. We recommend a commitment of a charitable contribution as the preferred motivator for B2B customers.

Encouraging consumers in a B2C model to participate in surveys is more challenging. Again, a self-benefit is the best motivator. That being said, consumer response rates tend to be low and you may struggle to achieve adequate response without some kind of incentive.

Your choice of incentive should be guided by both the demographics of your audience and the value of the product or service you provide. For instance, a $5 coupon offered to a college student purchasing coffee at the campus Starbucks makes sense. For higher value products or services, a sweepstakes offer is a better option. Technology prizes such as tablets have been shown to be particularly enticing.

go beyond basic nps survey execution

Customer survey feedback has standalone value, of course, but for visionary NPS programs, the deeper value comes from its utility for calibrating an AI-driven understanding of the customer experience. Treat your feedback execution as a critical element for building your complete data set, but don’t make the mistake of stopping once you have data from direct customer feedback. To get there, download our guide, take our comprehensive training course, or read about the future of NPS.

REPORT

The Complete Guide to NPS Basics and Beyond

TRAINING

Leading an Outcome- Oriented
CX Program

REPORT

The New NPS
Manifesto

REPORT

The Complete Guide to NPS Basics and Beyond

TRAINING

Leading an Outcome- Oriented
CX Program

REPORT

The New NPS Manifesto

ABOUT OCX COGNITION

OCX Cognition delivers the future of NPS. We ensure customer experience success by combining technology and data science with programmatic consulting. In our Insights section, we present a comprehensive and evolving collection of resources based on our research and expertise, collected for CX leaders committed to delivering business outcomes.

Your Business Model Should Guide Survey Incentives

Demonstrate Your Commitment to Action to Boost Responses

NPS BASICS AND BEYOND
Demonstrate Your Commitment to Action to Boost Responses
Improving B2B Response Rates

Demonstrate Your Commitment
to Action to Boost Responses

key takeaway

To improve B2B NPS survey response rates in the medium term, demonstrate that you act on the input. In the short term, direct marketing and other techniques have been shown to help.

Best Practice

B2B NPS survey processes differ somewhat from B2C and higher response rates are common. We believe that response rates above 40% are achievable and are likely to provide highly reliable results.

First, let’s consider your very largest customers. If, for example, you are in the situation where 40 customers provide half your revenue, it is realistic to target a 100% response rate. We recommend getting several decision-makers and influencers to provide answers in each large account. Having an executive sponsor on the customer side can help in two ways: First, the sponsor can encourage his or her colleagues to participate. Second, committing to provide the sponsor with results and an improvement plan can motivate your own colleagues to complete the work.

Here are some techniques we have found particularly useful for improving response rates for survey invitations sent by email:
 

  • Prior to sending relationship surveys to your clients, it’s effective for the account owner to outreach personally, reinforcing the mission of your program, the value of candid feedback and improvements already made. We’ve seen that arming account owners with talking points works well and eliminates the introduction of bias, such as discussion of what the score means or asking for a specific score.
  • Embed the initial rating question in the outbound email. Research by our own team members and third parties suggests that this improves response rates by a factor of 2.5x to 3x. Clicking on the rating number should take the respondent to a web page with the remaining questions. When that page opens, the rating should already be filled in.
  • Make the invitation as personal as possible. At its most basic, this means starting with ‘Dear Mary’’ and not ‘Dear Customer,’ bearing in mind that using first names only is not acceptable in some cultures.
  • Remind people of the improvements you drove using the last survey results and promise to make the same effort again this time.
  • Use what behavioral economists call “nudge” techniques with your reminder email, suggesting that responses are commonly given. For example: “We have already received over two hundred improvement suggestions from other logistics professionals. Please add your voice to theirs so we can make the improvements that really matter to you.”
  • Work on the quality of your contact list. If a person never answers, ask them why or remove them from the list. Another sign of a poor list is a bounce rate over 5%.
  • Finally, establishing protocols for spacing surveys sent to an individual contact can go a long way in avoiding survey fatigue amongst your customer base resulting in better participation levels.

go beyond basic nps survey execution

Customer survey feedback has standalone value, of course, but for visionary NPS programs, the deeper value comes from its utility for calibrating an AI-driven understanding of the customer experience. Treat your feedback execution as a critical element for building your complete data set, but don’t make the mistake of stopping once you have data from direct customer feedback. To get there, download our guide, take our comprehensive training course, or read about the future of NPS.

REPORT

The Complete Guide to NPS Basics and Beyond

TRAINING

Leading an Outcome- Oriented
CX Program

REPORT

The New NPS
Manifesto

REPORT

The Complete Guide to NPS Basics and Beyond

TRAINING

Leading an Outcome- Oriented
CX Program

REPORT

The New NPS Manifesto

ABOUT OCX COGNITION

OCX Cognition delivers the future of NPS. We ensure customer experience success by combining technology and data science with programmatic consulting. In our Insights section, we present a comprehensive and evolving collection of resources based on our research and expertise, collected for CX leaders committed to delivering business outcomes.

Your Business Model Should Guide Survey Incentives

How Soon Is Too Soon?

NPS BASICS AND BEYOND
How Soon Is Too Soon?
Survey Toxicity

How Soon Is Too Soon?

key takeaway

In any NPS program, reaching out to an individual contact too frequently can result in survey fatigue. Rules to avoid what is often called survey toxicity are crucial to maintaining the ongoing nature of your dialog with customers.

Best Practice

Survey toxicity is most likely to occur in B2B where the universe of contacts is more limited than in B2C. A lack of protocol typically results in decreasing response rates. Fortunately, most survey tools can automate the survey send rules you put in place.

We recommend the following:

  • An individual should not be sent a relationship survey more frequently than every 6 months.
  • An individual should not be sent a triggered transactional survey more frequently than every 90 days.
  • The frequency of always-on transactional feedback is self-controlled by the customer
  • Should a relationship and transactional survey overlap, priority should be given to the relationship survey outreach.

Remember, the way you survey customers is part of the customer experience. Demonstrate your respect for customers by carefully considering the amount of time you ask them to spend providing feedback.

go beyond basic nps survey execution

Customer survey feedback has standalone value, of course, but for visionary NPS programs, the deeper value comes from its utility for calibrating an AI-driven understanding of the customer experience. Treat your feedback execution as a critical element for building your complete data set, but don’t make the mistake of stopping once you have data from direct customer feedback. To get there, download our guide, take our comprehensive training course, or read about the future of NPS.

REPORT

The Complete Guide to NPS Basics and Beyond

TRAINING

Leading an Outcome- Oriented
CX Program

REPORT

The New NPS
Manifesto

REPORT

The Complete Guide to NPS Basics and Beyond

TRAINING

Leading an Outcome- Oriented
CX Program

REPORT

The New NPS Manifesto

ABOUT OCX COGNITION

OCX Cognition delivers the future of NPS. We ensure customer experience success by combining technology and data science with programmatic consulting. In our Insights section, we present a comprehensive and evolving collection of resources based on our research and expertise, collected for CX leaders committed to delivering business outcomes.

Your Business Model Should Guide Survey Incentives

Great NPS Surveys, Poor Data: What Went Wrong?

NPS BASICS AND BEYOND
Great NPS Surveys, Poor Data: What Went Wrong?
Data Quality Standards

Great NPS Surveys, Poor Data: 
What Went Wrong?

key takeaway

A great NPS survey design is of little value if feedback collection is not properly executed. Establish protocols for data quality and modes for collection to ensure your organization will have the necessary level of confidence to direct decision making.

Best Practice

The time to being thinking about NPS survey data quality is before your surveys are live. Here is our checklist for monitoring data quality.

  • NPS Validity
    The validity of your survey-based Net Promoter Scores is based on an accurate implementation of the recommend question and correct calculation of the score. Likelihood to Recommend needs to be the first question presented; the scale needs to be an 11-point, 0-10 scale; 0 is on the left to avoid a positive bias. Correct NPS calculation is as follows: % of Promoters minus % of Detractors; presuming a category for non-respondents in order to include them in the calculation should never be done and invalidates your score.
  • Timeliness of Data Capture
    Data should be measured at the appropriate point in the customer journey, which for relationship data collection means the respondent has actually experienced the full journey. Additionally, make sure no major inaccuracies or biases are introduced due to timing choices, e.g. sending a relationship survey right before a planned price increase in the hopes of receiving a better score.
  • Comparable Data Sets
    Period to period comparisons should be based on substantially comparable data sets as much as possible.
  • Representative Respondents
    Respondent profiles and quantities need to accurately reflect the underlying business and likely linkage to overall financial performance. Response needs to be of sufficient level, though not necessarily statistically significant, to create confidence in scores. While statistical significance is not required, a reasonable threshold for participation needs to be set by segment and region.

When it comes to determining the right mode for feedback collection, it’s about striking the right balance across several factors such as cost, potential for bias, type of feedback being requested and audience preference. Some modes such as phone interviews are costly, susceptible to bias and inefficient for most audiences. Email on the other hand is inexpensive and without bias, but not appropriate for in the moment transactional feedback or relationship feedback for certain audiences. Digital mechanisms are recommended, and we expect the trend towards the use of mobile apps, kiosks and tablets to continue due to low cost, lack of bias and ease for respondents.

Ideally one mode which enables ease of outreach on your end and ease of response by your customers is feasible. Should you find a need to employ multiple modes to achieve a representative sample, it is critical that the survey questions and scales are consistent regardless of mode.

The question then becomes whether or not to weight results by mode. For business customers, where volume is generally low, we do not recommend weighting by mode for simplicity’s sake. However, in the case of consumers, where volumes are high, we recommend weighting by mode to normalize data within segments or regions if there is a material mix of modes. Note that this recommendation assumes adequate sample size with no other difference in the sample composition, and a statistically significant difference in scores.

go beyond basic nps survey execution

Customer survey feedback has standalone value, of course, but for visionary NPS programs, the deeper value comes from its utility for calibrating an AI-driven understanding of the customer experience. Treat your feedback execution as a critical element for building your complete data set, but don’t make the mistake of stopping once you have data from direct customer feedback. To get there, download our guide, take our comprehensive training course, or read about the future of NPS.

REPORT

The Complete Guide to NPS Basics and Beyond

TRAINING

Leading an Outcome- Oriented
CX Program

REPORT

The New NPS
Manifesto

REPORT

The Complete Guide to NPS Basics and Beyond

TRAINING

Leading an Outcome- Oriented
CX Program

REPORT

The New NPS Manifesto

ABOUT OCX COGNITION

OCX Cognition delivers the future of NPS. We ensure customer experience success by combining technology and data science with programmatic consulting. In our Insights section, we present a comprehensive and evolving collection of resources based on our research and expertise, collected for CX leaders committed to delivering business outcomes.