Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Listening to your customers, being open and vulnerable

One of the hardest things to do when you've cumulatively spent weeks building a product is to open it to criticism.

For years, I have had a support channel for customers with issues and whilst they generally contacted me unhappy, they were mostly happy by the time I had resolved their concerns. Until the recent redesign, I had never openly invited feedback.

That changed when I signed up to Wootric to implement a Net Promoter Score questionnaire on Leavetrack.

What is Net Promoter Score or NPS?

Taking it directly from the Wootric site, NPS is:

a trademarked metric between -100 and 100 that captures in aggregate the propensity of a company’s customers to attract and refer new business or/and repeat business.

The model was created by Bain & Co. and has been show to be effective in the real world.

In practice, your customer base is divided into Detractors, Passives and Promoters.

A detractor is any customer who scores their likeliness to refer the product to a friend between 0-6.

A passive is any customer who scores the same between 7-8.

A promoter is a customer who scores their likeliness to refer either 9 or 10.

Graphic courtesy of Wootric

The NPS score is calculated as a hard number being the sum of promoters as a percentage of respondents less the sum of detractors as a percentage. If one had surveyed 100 customers with 30 promoters, 55 passives and 15 detractors, the NPS score would be 15.

What is the NPS for Leavetrack?

Before I come on to the NPS score for Leavetrack, I want to share some examples of what can happen when you open up such a direct means of communication to your customers.


Yikes! That's not what I want to hear. But to confuse matters I received the this on the following day.

That's better!

I learned very quickly that it was important to not be overly reactive to the comments that came in. Especially early on.

What I did want to do though was be responsive to comments and feedback. I have therefore taken to following up with customers who are scoring us low sending an email along the following lines:

Example email to customer

These emails have a low response rate, which has somewhat surprised me. What I like to do though is show that there is a human behind the system and that their comments have reached someone. I am hopeful that even this type of acknowledgement will improve their perception of Leavetrack.

So, really, what is the NPS score for Leavetrack?

At the moment, we're at 28. Which I am somewhat pleased with but certainly not satisfied.

Leavetrack Net Promoter Score Dashboard

This score is rated as Good, on the basis that I have more promoters than detractors. This is of course a very small sample size.

My Wootric settings are to survey approximately 40% of all users and once the survey has been answered, the customer is not presented with it again for 90 days.

Handling the criticism

It is hard to steel oneself for the comments and I always have butterflies when I open the dashboard. It can be quite hard to not take the criticism personally but I remind myself that these customers are paying for a service and genuine issues with the product cannot be dismissed.

Sometimes, I may feel that the criticism is unfair but perception is reality and if the customer feels that the product is hard to use then it is incumbent on me to look at how I can improve that for them.

Moving forward

The NPS for Leavetrack is just one metric by which I measure the success of the business. The threshold to move to great is an NPS of 50 and that is my next target. To achieve that I will continue to reach out to all detractors and ask for specific feedback but also take the time to acknowledge those customers scoring 7 and above as without them, I don't have a business at all.
Posted by Robin on 12 Apr, 2021 in Behind the Scenes