We live in a world where a recommendation is the most powerful form of marketing, sales, and customer success. More companies are realizing that the voice of your customer, or in our industry’s case, your community member, is the most important and powerful voice for your brand. Good reviews and recommendations have the power to grow your business goals exponentially. And, on the other hand, bad recommendations have the power to break a brand.
Remember, when choosing metrics to measure in your community, make sure of three things; 1) It is a priority to your business and teammates, 2) Your members will be motivated to contribute to it, and 3) You can measure it!
Measuring recommendations and member sentiment can be a challenge because “this member said they love our community” isn’t really a measurable metric, nor one that you can track the quantifiable success over time.
Enter Net Promoter Score (NPS), the gold standard of customer experience metrics!
This blog post will go through what NPS is, how to use it in your community, and how to calculate and report on it.
What is Net Promoter Score (NPS)?
NPS was first developed in 2003 by Bain and Company and is now used by millions of businesses to measure and track how customer sentiment. According to Fred Reichheld, creator of NPS, a customer’s eagerness to recommend your company is a actually a great indicator of your company’s potential to grow.
An NPS survey asks a single question: On a scale of 0-10, how likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? Typically, this question is followed with a text entry “Why did you select that rating?” or something of the like, to give respondents an opportunity to elaborate on their score.
By measuring your member’s eagerness to refer or recommend your community to a peer, you are able to begin to see the value your community is adding.
An important note… the most important thing that NPS provides is a baseline metric, with numerical value, that you can track over time. NPS is only one of many standardized customer success, or recommendation metrics a community manager can measure. The important thing is that you do track sentiment in a quantifiable way.
How to use NPS in your Community
NPS is typically asked in survey form. You can utilize an NPS question after any kind of program or action your community member takes. At CMX we use the NPS question in a variety of places:
- We send a post-event survey with an NPS question to all attendees who check in to our CMX Connect Events – How likely is it that you would recommend CMX Connect Events to a friend or colleague?
- We send a post-event survey to all attendees who attended CMX Summit, as well as our other HQ events, like CMX Spark and CMX Masterclasses – How likely is it that you would recommend CMX Summit to a friend or colleague?
- In our annual Health Survey, we asked an overall NPS question to gauge member’s sentiment about ALL of CMX – How likely is it that you would recommend CMX to a friend or colleague?
- We also asked NPS on a programmatic level – How likely is it that you would recommend the CMX Facebook Group to a friend or colleague?
- When new members join the Community, we send an automated survey on their 90 day anniversary to ask how their first few months have been with us – How likely is it that you would recommend the CMX Slack Community to a friend or colleague?
- After someone completes a CMX Academy course, we send them a survey asking about their experience – How likely is it that you would recommend the Community MBA course to a friend or colleague?
How to Calculate NPS
To calculate NPS, we look at three levels of respondents: Promoter, Passive, and Detractor.
- Promoter: Gives a 9 or 10 out of ten and adds 100 points
- Passive: Gives a 7 or 8 out of ten and doesn’t add or subtract any points
- Detractor: Gives a 6 or lower out of ten and subtracts 100 points
NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. The Passives dilute the numbers, so while they don’t have numerical impact, they impact the percentages of Promoters and Detractors.
(NPS = Percentage of Promoters – Percentage of Detractors)
How to Report NPS?
Referring back to the important note above… The most important thing that NPS provides is a baseline metric, with numerical value, that you can track over time. The first time you collect NPS from your community gives you a starting point. With consistent surveys – quarterly, annually, or action-based like after an event or course completion – you will begin to see trends over time.
For example, in the Annual Health Survey CMX ran in March 2021, our overall NPS for the CMX Community was 53. As this is the first time we ran this type of survey, 53 serves as our starting point. When we run our next Community health survey, we will start to see a trend (hopefully an upwards trend!).
With NPS, you have to forget what you know about percentages and traditional scoring. Throw it out the window! NPS is actually scored on a scale of -100 to +100, with 0 being the middle. The creators of NPS, Bain & Company, suggest a score:
- Above 0 is good,
- Above 20 is favourable,
- Above 50 is excellent, and
- Above 80 is world class.
Check out how CMX plans, strategizes, and implements our annual Community Health Survey, and take some ideas (and templates) back to your community!