How to reduce churn and get great feedback in 1 simple email

The Net Promoter System, or NPS, uses only two surprisingly simple questions to great effect. So how exactly does it work?

If you’re reading this, it feels safe to say that communication with your customers is important to you. It is to us too. That’s why we use the Net Promoter System as a tool for both communicating directly with customers and gathering actionable product feedback.

First, respondents are asked to rate (on a scale of 0-10) their likelihood to recommend the product to a friend or colleague. In many ways this question produces better data than traditional feedback methods.

By asking specifically if someone would recommend a product, customers imagine putting their own reputation “on the line” on behalf of your business. Rather than thinking about specific service experiences, this encourages holistic feedback, and measures customer loyalty.

By looking specifically at loyalty, rather than, say, tracking purchases, you can predict how customers might respond to market changes, and if they’ll create great word-of-mouth publicity.

On the basis of their response they are then sorted into three categories.

  • Promoters – Responses of 9 or 10 are considered “promoters”, highly likely to stay with the company and praise it to others.
  • Passives – Customers who are generally satisfied as indicated by a score of 7 to 8, but may be swayed by competitors and are unlikely to give positive feedback to others.
  • Detractors – Any respondent rating 0 to 6 is considered a “detractor”, and are not only likely to swap to a different service but could harm the company’s reputation.

Once you have your responses, your Net Promoter Score can be calculated by the simple process of deducting the number of detractors from your promoters. The resulting score ranges from -100 to 100, with scores over 50 being considered excellent.

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But what use is a number on its own?

The score itself, while a helpful measure over time, should not be the focus of your NPS campaign. When used properly the recommendation question is a way to start a conversation with your customers.

It should be followed automatically by an open-ended request for comments, “What can we do to improve?” Your promoters are really enthusiastic about your business, and may well have great insights as to how it could be even better. Your detractors, on the other hand, will identify concrete issues with the product.

This feedback can be an excellent tool and motivator for your development team, as well as customer service. Ideally, any customers leaving comments should be contacted.

By contacting your promoters and letting them know their contribution is appreciated a positive feedback loop is created. Getting in touch with your detractors shows them that their concerns are a priority, and can be the first step in healing a bad relationship with your business.

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When timed right, sending your customers an NPS survey can serve a wide range of purposes, but they generally all fall under the umbrella of churn reduction. From simple follow-up with an unhappy customer, to more targeted applications.

For example, surveys can be sent to customers at the end of a trial period, and, response dependent, discounts or extensions offered. One of our customers managed to reduce churn by 50% in two months this way.

Email-based NPS is ideal for online retail or any service which is used infrequently, even by returning customers. Sending a survey several weeks after a purchase gives your customers time to assess the product before leaving feedback. This method has the added benefit that your happy customers will recall their great experience, and (hopefully) get right back on your website.

Due to the simple nature of NPS, our customer response rates are as high as 30%, compared to only 3% for traditional surveys. If you already use dotmailer, adding an NPS widget to your emails could not be easier.


Here’s what dotdigital’s Director of Product, Paul Olohan, had to say about using NPS.

“Every business today should be closing the feedback loop with their customers to understand what works and what does not and, most importantly, to react to this feedback. As a SaaS provider the use of the real-time NPS platform from Satismeter has allowed dotmailer to get much closer to our users and the insight that this is providing is having a major influence on our product roadmap and to the services that we provide to our customers.”

Using the SatisMeter app you can send out NPS surveys when you choose to. The data you get back can then be assessed directly in the SatisMeter dashboard, or integrated with whichever tools you already use to keep your business on track.


When the whole NPS system, rather than simply the score, is utilised, the benefits to your business can be truly impressive. With an accurate view of loyalty, constant product development suggestions, and open communication with users, your customer-centric company will soon be unstoppable.

Find out how to get the SatisMeter app via the dotdigital App Directory.

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