Are your users happy with you? How can you tell? I’m going to teach you a simple (but important) way to find this out, and how to consistently monitor this level of “user happiness”.
So, I’m always talking about how important the experience is between your users and your product right?
It’s literally the point of this entire blog. I teach you things you can do to improve that relationship between your user and the thing you made.
Because what do people who love using your product do after they’ve used it?
They tell people about it.
How many times have you heard a friend gush about this amazing new app they’re using, or a delicious restaurant they ate at, or even how FANTASTIC their new dog groomer is?
People naturally want to recommend things to other people because it makes them feel important.
Great. So you’ve been working tireless to improve your product based entirely on my recommendations… (see what I did there?)
But here’s the question… how do you know if what you’re doing is working?
How do you measure the user experience, or the happiness of your users?
You could simply ask them all individually.
“Hey do you like this product?”
Then you could write all the responses down, analyze them yourself, and try to somehow determine the overall “mood” of your users.
Or you could get an actual “happiness score”. A real number that can accurately tell you exactly how well you’re doing.
Not only that, but a number you can consistently monitor, and work on constantly improving (get help doing joining my newsletter and implementing the strategies I recommend).
“How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend, family member, or business colleague?”
Their answer will be in the form of selecting a number between 1 and 10.
Right after that, they’ll be given a free form text box and asked to explain their answer.
What’s the reason they gave that score?
This gives us insight into the why, which will come in handy later. Afterwards, we use a simple calculation to determine your score.
This isn’t something I just made up. It’s called the Net Promoter Score, and it’s used by some of the biggest names around, including Apple, Philips, GE, American Express and Intuit.
So… Do you want to learn how to make your users happier and more likely to share?
Bonus: Improve your UX in 5 minutes or less by downloading my free eBook, 5 Minute UX Quick Fixes. Click here to download the book for free.
I’ll quickly explain exactly how the Net Promoter Score works, and then I’ll move on to explain how you can implement it in your business.
So, the entire things works by splitting the people who answer your survey into three groups, promoters, passives, and detractors, depending on the score they gave you between 1 and 10.
Promoters are those people who gave you a score of between 9 and 10.
These people are basically in love with your product, and are called promoters because they have the most likely chance of helping your product grow.
They’ve most likely already told people about you, in one way or another.
I see these people as very happy and content users.
Passives are people gave you a score between 7 and 8.
They’re generally happy with your product, but they aren’t as happy as they could be.
They’re probably running into troubles, frustrations, or maybe they just don’t think you offer enough value.
I say probably because it’s hard to tell why they gave you that score, but we’re going to learn how find this out later.
These are people who gave you a score between 0 and 6.
They’re telling you there’s very little chance they would recommend you to friends. Does this mean they’re unhappy?
Perhaps, but that depends on why they’re answering the question.
There’s a small chance that they simply don’t have any friends who would want to hear about your product. This is why we use an open ended text box to let people explain their answers.
Here’s where the math comes in. If you’re like me and you totally suck at math, don’t worry, it’s not that bad.
Psst… you won’t actually have to calculate it every time. More on this later.
Your Net Promoter Score is a number that ranges from -100 to +100. Obviously the lower number is the bad one.
It’s calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
We don’t include the people in the passives group in our calculation.
So for example, let’s say I had 100 people respond to my original question.
I would take those 100 people, and split them into the three groups from above, and add up the total of number of people in each group.
Let’s pretend I had 10 people who were detractors from the original 100 people who responded… that means 10% of all the people who responded were detractors.
Let’s also pretend that 60 people were promoters from the original 100 people… that means 60% of all the people who responded were promoters.
Our score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors (10%) FROM the percentage of promoters (60%).
That means for this example, the Net Promoter Score would be +50.
So I bet you’re wondering, how do I know if my score is good or bad?
Naturally, the first thing most people want to do when they find out their Net Promoter Score is find out how it holds up against competitors.
They want to compare it to other companies, find out if they suck or if they’re good.
But this is sort of missing the point of why you want to know your score in the first place. It’s not to find out how good you are, it’s to find out how much you’re improving.
Adam Ramshaw says it best in his answer to this same question on Quora…
“The answer to this is quite simple: a good net promoter score to have is one that is higher than you had last quarter.”
The idea is to survey a small sliver of your users on a continual basis, say once every quarter.
Earlier I talked about how in this survey, we also include a free form text box asking the user what the main reason was for the score they gave.
In my opinion, these responses are more valuable than the score itself.
Not only does it give you a line of direct feedback with your users, it allows you to narrow your focus and see exactly why some of your users are unhappy.
I’m not saying listen to this feedback and do exactly what it says, what I’m saying is read through all of the responses and try to identify patterns with unhappy users.
Go one step further and email these users to set up a one on one Skype conversation for 10 minutes, especially with those who gave you a low score.
Because these people are the easier people to turn from detractors into promoters.
Think about this for a second. You emailed these people and asked them to fill out a survey, and they actually did it, even though they’re unhappy with your product?
Why would anyone do that? Why would someone willingly engage with something they’re unhappy with?
Probably because they want so bad for it to be good because they really really need it.
In the startup world, it’s very easy to get distracted and spend your time focusing on all the wrong things. These types of surveys give you answers to learn how to prioritize what you should focus on next.
Building a great product should be top priority. Everything after that will come easier much with users who love your product.
Hopefully by now I’ve convinced you it’s a great idea to start keeping track of your product’s Net Promoter Score.
Now I’m going to show you the exact steps to take to calculate your score (for free) today.
Writing all the steps out and taking screenshots is very time consuming, so instead I put together this video tutorial for you to watch.
The steps you’re going to take are:
When talking about the Net Promoter Score, you’ll often hear people say it isn’t accurate, or it doesn’t work, or that it depends on how you phrase the question, etc.
But the thing is, what are you actually doing right now to keep track of how your users experience with your product?
Anything? Surveys? Interviews?
Many startups I work with are doing absolutely nothing. So while this system might have its flaws, it’s way better than doing nothing at all.
It’s the best way to keep track of how the changes you’re making to your product are effective your user experience.
Keeping track of the impact of user experience work is difficult. The Net Promoter Score gives you a benchmark to reply on as you move forward in the life cycle of your product.
It also works well for opening up a line of communication between you and your users that aren’t so happy, but desperately want your product to be great.
These users are generally the easier to convert from detractors into promoters, simply based on the fact that they’re still engaging with your product even though they aren’t satisfied with it.
Follow the steps outlined in the video above and set up your first survey asap to discover some of the problems you should focus on correcting.
If you haven’t already, download my free eBook, 5 Minute UX Quick Fixes, for some ways to improve your UX in 5 minutes of less.
Are you currently staying in contact with your users? How?
Let me know in the comments below.