PREDICTING RETENTION AND ADVOCACY
NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a metric all B2B organizations should be measuring. In this economic climate, customer retention is at the forefront of every Chief Revenue Officer’s mind – and, as the age-old saying goes, “It’s less expensive to keep a customer than it is to gain a customer.”
As B2B sales and customer experience teams put additional focus on renewing and growing existing accounts, it’s important to understand the metrics, indicators, and red flags associated with customer churn. Customer churn prevention begins at the start of the customer journey and its likelihood should be measured throughout.
We studied the feedback of over 7500 buyers and customers to understand how NPS correlates with churn and customer retention. Here’s what we found.
NPS IS AN EARLY PREDICTOR OF RETENTION
It’s no surprise that those with a high NPS score are more likely to renew. We found a 54% correlation between net promoter score and retention likelihood. However, this was not the number one indicator of retention according to buyers and customers. The number one indicator of retention came down to the customer’s perceived effort and value of your solution.
As the second most important indicator of churn, measuring NPS can help you understand which accounts are at-risk and which are your advocates. As shown in the chart below, high NPS scores correlate with high retention likelihood, and low scores correlate with low retention likelihood, but what about those scores in the middle: the undecided? A customer’s uncertainty to recommend can be as bad – or worse – than a definitive “no” when it comes to retention. When a customer is uncertain if they can or cannot recommend your solution, their likelihood to renew plummets.
The change management ability of onboarding teams was a key factor here, with vendors performing 40% worse among churn risks compared to secured clients. Buyers not only needed help learning how to use the product, but they also needed a trusted adviser to help them sell it internally and create alignment to achieve results.
54% of the Time, NPS Impacts Retention Likelihood
HOW TO DRIVE HIGH NPS - ACCORDING TO CUSTOMERS
If you want to drive high NPS scores – and ultimately high renewal rates – there are key areas where your customer experience and sales team can impact. Here’s what buyers and customers are saying drives high NPS:
Buyers are 76% more likely to become promoters if they feel like expectations were properly set.
Set proper expectations and drive alignment early.
Customer retention begins during the initial sale. When buyers are over promised and under delivered to, the renewal rate suffers. When expectations are properly set during the initial sale and throughout the customer experience, your customers will be less likely to experience disappointment or buyer’s remorse. Those who feel like expectations were properly set and met were 76% more likely to become promoters and renew. Read more on this here: Key Predictors of Churn
As sales and customer experience reps work with each client, the specific needs of that client should be explored. By molding the solution and service around a customer’s unique use case, your customers will feel taken care of and the perceived value of your solution will increase. Buyers are 73% more likely to become promoters and renew if they feel the solution is highly relevant to their unique needs.
Buyers are 73% more likely to become promoters if they feel that the solution is highly relevant to their unique needs and situations
Sellers who were knowledgeable about customer’s unique needs nearly doubled NPS scores
Hone knowledge and expertise in your customer’s use case.
When sellers create strong relationships and position themselves as trusted advisors, buyers were drastically more likely to renew and upsell. According to our research, this was especially true for buyers with niche or specialty use cases. In these use cases, sellers who were knowledgeable about their buyer’s unique needs were able to nearly double NPS.
Continually educate key users and stakeholders.
Part of providing a great customer experience is continually providing value and educating stakeholders on best practices. When key users and stakeholders were educated on how to get the most from a solution, they were 90% more likely to see the value, become advocates, and renew.
Buyers were up to 90% more likely to promote vendors who made a consistent effort to educate them
IS MEASURING NPS ENOUGH?
While NPS is an important metric for B2B businesses to measure, how much does it really tell you? NPS gives a quick pulse on customer satisfaction and advocacy, but measuring NPS on a numbered scale can often leave room for interpretation. Directionally, this can help you identify at-risk accounts, but how do you know what can be done to save these at-risk accounts on an account or customer level? NPS does not get down to the details of how a customer truly views your service or the customer experience.
To fully understand retention risk, revenue teams should be measuring NPS alongside a host of other metrics, including perceived effort to value, solution fit to use cases, and sales/support team responsiveness to buyer needs.
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We recommend monitoring and measuring NPS as part of a broader Customer Experience Analysis program. Customer Experience Analysis collects in-depth customer feedback during key points of the customer journey (ie. following implementation, QBRs, or approaching renewal discussions). This primary customer intelligence helps B2B customer experience and growth teams understand how customers perceive the value of your solution, the risk for churn, and the specifics around why a customer may or may not renew. Customer Experience Analysis can also uncover true advocacy, customer testimonials, and references that help drive new business.
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What is NPS?
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric that customer experience teams can use to measure loyalty of customers to a company. NPS is typically done on a numbered scale of 1-5 or 1-10 – leaving the customer’s response somewhat up to interpretation.
What is Customer Experience Analysis?
Customer Experience Analysis studies your relationship with current customers to help you identify what is (and is not) working within your CX processes, product, or service.
Improve customer satisfaction, secure at-risk accounts, and identify opportunities for account growth with Customer Experience Analysis.
Customer Experience Analysis goes beyond an arbitrary NPS number to help you understand the root causes of churn and improve customer experience earlier.