NPS scale

4 Moves Guaranteed to Flip Your NPS Score From Good to Bad

Greg SmoragiewiczLast updated on January 2, 2024
3 min

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Not enough people talk about the consequences of a good NPS score.

I mean, have you even considered the kind of attention that success could attract?

First, you’ll have to serve a constant stream of new customers referred by your advocates.
Next, you’ll have to accept invites to industry events and deliver captivating keynotes.
Then, you’ll have to eat lavish dinners with financiers who want fund or buy your business.

Honestly, it all sounds exhausting.

So if you’d rather avoid those side effects and enjoy the quiet comforts of mediocrity instead, we have some suggestions guaranteed to turn a good NPS score bad.

Gather Feedback in NPS Surveys Only

Customers love it when you ask for their feedback. It lets them know you value their opinions and it gives them the sense that they are actively influencing the future of your business.

These powerful feelings could lead to long-term loyalty and brand advocacy if you’re not careful.

So to keep positive sentiment under control, make it clear that you only want to hear customer feedback when it comes in the form of an NPS survey response — and preferably no more than once per year.

Better yet, don’t even contact your customers unless their contract is expiring or you see an opportunity to upsell.

Whatever you decide, don’t let frequent or informal feedback become a habit. Responding to feature requests or initiating casual conversations might forge genuine relationships and send NPS scores soaring.

Keep That Feedback To Yourself

As more employees see customer feedback, the odds of your company actually acting on that information steadily increases. This kind of responsiveness could give customers the dangerous idea that you see them more as partners than purchasers.

The best thing to do here is bury their feedback before it gets anywhere near your Product, Sales, or Service leaders.

Because if it ever does, it won’t be long before the entire organization starts taking customer experience seriously and raising satisfaction rates consistently.

In fact, maybe you shouldn’t even read the survey responses yourself. That way you won’t feel tempted to share.

Customer Support Survey

Ignore Your Detractors At All Costs

If there’s one thing the internet has taught us, it’s that communicating with people who dislike or disagree with you is challenging.

Proactively reaching out to these Detractors takes courage, shows humility, and fosters a sense mutual respect — three things that would only reflect well on your brand.

More importantly, their constructive criticisms might also force you to examine weaknesses you’d rather not think about.

So go ahead and focus only on the good news. Tuning into the echo chamber of your Promoters will help delay innovation and erode NPS scores while you remain happily distracted.

Focus Primarily On The Passives

Promoters, like Detractors, are defined by their passion — a volatile emotion you have to handle with care.

If you give your Promoters any more attention than you already do, you might accidentally fan the flames of their affection and inspire them to recruit even more members to their tribe. So please, play it safe and direct the majority of your energy toward your most apathetic customers.

Whether you recognize them by their NPS Scores (7 and 8), or their team motto (“meh”), these Passives are the perfect segment to waste resources on.

Even if they barely respond to your outreach, you can always convince yourself that you are one interaction away from converting them into passionate fans. And while you chase them, Promoters will feel neglected and Detractors will feel validated by your disregard.

Honestly, this move might be the perfect storm of NPS destruction.

Editor’s Note

If (hypothetically) you do want to improve your NPS score, I suppose our suggestions could be helpful in a different sense. After all, sometimes the easiest way to achieve a result is to avoid its opposite.

So go ahead and:

  • Gather feedback continuously

  • Share feedback freely

  • Engage Promoters and Detractors equally

That should get you started in the right direction.

Published on December 1, 2017.

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