How to Set Up NPS Goals for SaaS

Written by Moritz Dausinger, CEO of Refiner

Did you just finish running your first NPS survey? Wondering how to set net promoter score goals and continue improving your customer satisfaction?

Ok I admit it – I may be biased in saying this but NPS is really amazing. Even a simple, single-question NPS survey can help you understand how loyal and satisfied your customers are, understand their needs, and even, benchmark your business to continue improving it. 

But you can also take NPS even further, and use it to continuously increase customer satisfaction. 

For that, however, you need to set up NPS goals (which is why you’re on this page, right?)

So, let me show you exactly how to evaluate your NPS score and use it to set NPS goals for the future.

Before we get to that, though, let’s quickly recap the basics of NPS.

What is NPS – A Quick Recap

NPS (or Net Promoter Score) is a metric used to measure customer loyalty and customers’ likeliness to recommend your SaaS to a potential customer. A typical NPS survey looks like this:

NPS survey example.
A single rating scale question asking customer’s likeliness to recommend to a friend or colleague

The respondents select a relevant score between 0-10. Then, the NPS software measures the net promoter score using this formula:

NPS = Total % of promoters – Total % of detractors

Where:

  • Promoters are people who give 9 or 10 on the NPS scale. These are super-happy customers who’d recommend your product or service to anyone.
  • Detractors are those who give between 0 and 6. These are unhappy customers, likely to spread negative word of mouth and leave you as soon as they find a better alternative.
  • Passives are the  remaining ones (who give 7 or 8). These customers do not proactively promote your brand but might if someone asks.

How To Evaluate NPS

Before we talk about setting up NPS goals for your company, we need to discuss something else – evaluating your NPS scores.

Here are three methods:

Method 1: Look at industry benchmarks.

NPS is quite popular among all industries, so you will likely find NPS benchmarks for your industry. 

For example, the average NPS for SaaS businesses worldwide is 30. 

So if yours is a SaaS product and you get NPS > 30, you’re definitely doing something good. 

Of course, if you can find the NPS of your direct competitor(s), that would be an even better benchmark.

Method 2:  Look at general numbers

If industry benchmarks aren’t available, compare your results to typical NPS scores:

NPSMeaning
– 100 – 0Horrible
0 – 20Favorable
20 – 30Good
30- 50Great
50 -80Excellent
70 – 100World-class

Method 3: Benchmark against yourself

If you have run NPS survey(s) in the past, THE BEST way to evaluate your NPS is by comparing it to your previous scores. For example, if the NPS has increased over time, it’s good at your brand level. Of course, then look at the general and industry benchmarks to understand where your SaaS stands overall.

How To Set NPS Goals?

Now, obviously, your NPS goal should be to increase the scores with every survey you run. 

There is more to that, however. For one, you can have different objectives for your surveys. 

  • You can try to convert more detractors into passives. 
  • You can also work towards improving your experience for passives so that they start spreading the word-of-mouth about your SaaS.
  • And finally, you can also try to motivate promoters to actively tell others about your SaaS. You can do this by asking them to share your SaaS with their social media contacts, join your affiliate program, leave reviews on sites like G2 or Capterra, and so on.

And here’s the catch – You can set up goals for each of those objectives. 

For example, your NPS goal can be to go from NPS = 25 to NPS = 27, decrease detractors by 10%, convert 5% passives into promoters, etc. 

There are a couple of things that can help you set up those NPS goals:

#1. Run additional NPS surveys 

Naturally, NPS should be the starting point but you can go further. 

For example, you can run NPS surveys focusing on specific areas of the business – customer service, product adoption, onboarding, etc. Then, match the data with different NPS segments (promoters, passives, and detractors) to identify which areas to improve for each segment you target. 

Prioritize what needs attention based on the net promoter score(s). For example, if you asked customers to fill an NPS survey after onboarding and customer service, see which department scored the least. And focus on that department’s problems first because uplifting the score of that department will have a maximum positive effect on the overall NPS.

Similarly, your business goal with NPS can also determine your priorities. For example, if you want to decrease churn rate, see how NPS and churn data co-relate and prioritize what needs attention.

#2. Single out detractors

Your typical business plan will likely revolve around improving the customer experience for detractors. Why? Because if detractors become happier, passives and promoters will be satisfied with the changes in most cases.

#3. Look for patterns

See what type of customers do not like your product or service and why they don’t like it. For example, you can look for keywords across answers to NPS follow-up questions. Let’s assume you are analyzing an NPS survey for customer service and see keywords like “wait time,” “late reply,”  etc. It would mean customers are unhappy because of waiting time, and fixing it would likely increase NPS.

#4. Review other customer satisfaction data

Other customer satisfaction surveys – CSAT or CES, for example – can also highlight issues that might be causing problems for customers. Although, in this case, you won’t have the data about which segments get affected, you can still use that data as guidelines for what to improve. 

#5. Focus on one goal at a time

I’m not going to lie to you – I have seen NPS surveys signalling that practically everything was wrong with a company. It’s heartbreaking. But even if you face a similar situation, don’t jump to fixing all those problems at once. 

Instead, focus on a single goal. If you’re looking at decreasing the number of detractors, here are just some of the things you could do:

  1. Use NPS and other customer service data to uncover potential reasons for their dissatisfaction. 
  2. Schedule interviews with those people to gain direct feedback. 
  3. If necessary, run additional surveys to build a complete picture of the problem. 
  4. Then, start coming up with solutions. 

TIP: Run follow-up NPS surveys after you’ve implemented a major solution to measure its impact. 

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