7 Quick Tips on How to Improve NPS

Howard Schulman

Customer experience (CX) has evolved into the most important component of the buyer’s journey. One KPI used to measure CX is NPS. Call centers should focus on how to improve NPS as it is an indicator which gives an effective method for gaging and improving CX, particularly when measured together with CES and CSAT. NPS is also used to gauge customer loyalty.


« Quick Summary »This article covers the call center KPI – Net Promoter Score (NPS). It explores:

  • Why NPS is important and its link to customer experience (CX)
  • Tips on How to improve NPS without compromising on efficiency

Many call centers use the answer to a single question to calculate NPS — “How likely would you recommend the agent you spoke with to a colleague or friend?” on a scale of 0 – 10.
Calculating NPS often provides eight to ten times more actionable data than what you’ll acquire through traditional data collection methods. After you ask the initial question, you have your raw NPS, which will lie somewhere in the range of one to 10, with 9 and 10 being promoters the most likely to recommend the agent to a friend or colleague 7 – 8 are passive, while 0 – 6 are called detractors.

The NPS is derived from subtracting the percentage of customers that detractors from the promoters. Therefore a score of over 50 is considered Good. Most take the survey a step further and ask why the customer gave you their score; this provides even more actionable insight that you can use across the entire enterprise.

Why Is Net Promoter Score (NPS) Important to Call Centers?

According to the London School of Economics, an average NPS increase of 7% correlates on average with a 1% growth in revenue. No wonder why it is so important. But you knew that already.

NPS can also give insight into how well agents perform and ultimately CX. Any touch point can influence NPS. Typically if a call or chat transaction went smoothly, and produced a genuine customer experience, even if the issue was not resolved, the customer would still recommend ( or at least not be a detractor) the brand, or agent. Therefore NPS highly correlates to CX.

How to Improve NPS

NPS is easy to collect. Which makes digesting the information more actionable on a more regular basis. But keep in mind the” why” question is just as important as the numerical score. When you have the score and why answer, you are really able to understand your customer and where your agents may be failing the brand, further improving the call center and CX initiatives.

Now that you know why it’s important, let’s explore 7 tips for improving NPS.

1. Reduce Response Time and AHT

The key to improving NPS is reducing response time and average handling time (AHT). People are busy and they want service and answers fast. If you can provide it really fast, this tends to exceed their expectations and translates into valuable word-of-mouth advertising for your company. If tickets stay open longer than average, this is a good indication that your CX isn’t good. It leaves a bad impression on the agent and the entire call center.

One way to reduce response time and AHT and improve the NPS is to connect callers to the correct person when they call in. Ideally, you’ll have an IVR system that allows callers to choose from a list of departments they want to be connected to, or self-service if they choose to. For callers who choose the option to simply speak to an agent, this agent will need to listen to the inquiry being made and route the call quickly to the most appropriate department.

An agent should not aim to lower their AHT simply to get the caller off the phone, or provide mediocre answers or service – which would certainly harm CX and lower NPS scores. Rather, call centers should add tools to empower the agent and customer to breeze through more cumbersome parts of calls, such as collecting IDs, payment, signatures, and document collaboration. Further, there is the added benefit of reducing after call work.

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2. Identify and Reassign NPS Champions

For call centers that track NPS on a per agent level, If 15 out of the top 20 agents with the best NPS scores are all working in the same department, either because they’re just great, or you’ve trained them very well, you should integrate them into other departments and have them work the agents with low scores. This expands NPS champions across the entire enterprise, expanding their knowledge base, and will eventually lift the overall NPS for the entire call center.

3. Listen to the Needs of Your Customers

Many call centers have a strategic plan in place that is designed to address the needs of agents and call center and not the customer. For example, many brands and call centers focus on offering omnichannel tools but ultimately fail the customer by making it harder to complete a transaction. A plan like this needs to be flipped around.

4. Don’t Be a Silo Call Center

There are too many times when customers call in and have an inquiry that relates to multiple departments. If you’ve got a customer asking a question that requires answers from three departments, you don’t want to keep transferring the caller. Instead, you want the initial point of contact to serve as a foundation for resolving the entire issue.

Being a silo call center means customers have to be switched back and forth from one department to another to receive a thorough answer or to handle different tasks, such as closing a sale, upselling during a support call, or updating and verifying biographical data.

When you provide agents with access to the tools and resources they need, like CRM, knowledge base, and easy access to sales enablement tools, ( collaboration portals, eforms, esignatures, PCI compliant payments) they no longer have to transfer calls multiple times. Instead, they can use the tools in front of them to handle any call or chat that comes their way. Training agents to handle queries that are normally considered outside of their own departments improves NPS and the CX.

5. Rethink or Remove NPS Killing- Tasks

Many calls have specific points in the conversation that tend to hurt NPS scores. Those typically are around the area of documentation, verifying ID, and regulatory compliance. Have you ever heard a call agent read to you the terms of your P&C policy, or made a customer send a document via email? These kinds of activities, drain NPS because the customer is not interested in the brand’s compliance issues, or hearing terms and conditions; they want to quickly get done what they set out to do. By identifying these and seeking out approaches and technology to better handle these heavier transactions, call centers can boost NPS by several points, and also shave off time on average call handling time (AHT).

6. Always Ask for Feedback

Customers want to know their opinions matter. When you don’t ask for their feedback, this makes them feel unappreciated. Asking the king of all questions “From one out of 10, how likely are you to recommend the agent to a friend or colleague?” is important, but you should always follow it with at least one more question: in what ways could your experience have been better? This question invites the customer to leave as much feedback as they want. It shows them you are interested in knowing how the phone call could have been better. Ultimately, it provides you with valuable feedback that can be used to create a strategic approach to deliver an enhanced CX.

7. Communicate NPS Results at All Levels.

NPS scores should be shared with all levels of an organization. They inform the C-Suite about how the brand is perceived and gives an indication of customer loyalty. NPS should also be part of agent feedback. By giving them insight into how well they are doing, they can either be trained to improve or provide helpful tips to team-leads to spread their knowledge around.

You can get the NPS of a single agent or it can reflect your overall company. This is why you should consider asking the caller two questions: how likely are you to recommend ABC Company to a friend or colleague? How likely are you to recommend the agent to a friend or colleague? This helps you have a clearer understanding of whether low NPSs are stemming from a particular agent or from your enterprise as a whole.

Lightico is here to help you improve NPS. By using innovative technology to deploy strategies that result in more collaborative calls and interactions, your call center can enjoy a high NPS and customers can enjoy a better CX.

Looking for a way to increase NPS in your call center? Lightico specializes in expediting customer calls through the use of innovative smart automation and collaborative tools and resources. By equipping your agents with critical tools that speed up resolving issues in real-time, Lightico improves NPS.
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