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Building NPS Cross Product Usage Analysis: Part 1

The Potential For NPS

Julie Harrow // May 11, 2017
items for product usage exploration glasses magnifying glass

At Pendo, we push all of our NPS surveys into Slack to stay on top of user feedback. The channel, named #proj-nps, is one of many slack channels that I happen to receive notifications on both desktop and mobile. Why? I want to read this content, in real time. It is not only insightful but also incredibly actionable. In fact, the entire Pendo company sees every NPS submission as it rolls in to create a common goal of customer success across every department.  And, NPS combined with product usage data helps us capture a clear picture of user behavior.

How Does NPS Work?

NPS works by asking a user to submit their score from 0 to 10, indicating the likelihood that they would recommend your product to others. Typically, this score reflects a variety of factors, including onboarding, customer support, and product experience. Additionally, users are presented with the option to include more qualitative detail, or a written response, to accompany their score.  

Your Score Is More Than A Number

Collecting qualitative data helps you understand your score. Unfortunately, a Net Promoter Score without a long-answer response traditionally doesn’t give you enough information to know how to improve your user’s experience. Depending on the score, our team either celebrates collective successes or discusses possible ways to take action and help a frustrated user. Typically, when a lower score comes in, especially one without a long-answer response, our team members start an internal thread to better understand the reasoning behind the score. Common questions from leadership include — “How often is ‘John Smith’ in our product?” and “What is he typically doing?” We also reach out to the respondent of a lower score to collect more qualitative data if we can. And, at every quarterly company-wide meeting, our team reports on our NPS results, which holds us accountable. We share the current score, the historical NPS trend, and associated reasoning behind our customers’ levels of satisfaction — the ‘why’ behind the NPS. When our team compiles NPS information and then digs in for more user data details, we can illuminate potential reasoning behind a score and reinforce why Pendo is a value add step in the analysis.

You Have An NPS Score. Now What?

What if we could start to understand the behaviors of users well enough to influence and correct some of the less desired behaviors? Diagnosing the ‘why’ behind an NPS score is where Pendo can really provide tremendous value for all of our customers. A variety of our customers facilitate their in-app NPS data collection via Pendo guides, which means there is a ton of potential for pairing NPS data with Pendo product usage data to draw out the ‘why.’  Because Pendo collects and can expose all historical activity, Pendo is uniquely positioned to help product managers identify those pages, features, or modules of an application that promoters are using and therefore correlate most to satisfaction.  Concurrently, Pendo also enables PMs to diagnose elements that detractors are using and therefore correlate strongly with dissatisfaction.  

Furthermore, understanding the ‘why’ presents an enormous opportunity for customer success.  Usage data, paired with NPS, is incredibly valuable in defining “successful behaviors” and “unsuccessful behaviors.”  The intersection of this data not only points CSMs to those customers who require outreach — those demonstrating “unsuccessful behaviors”, but it also arms them with recommendations and tactics for promoting “successful behaviors.”  As this dataset builds, it may even become possible for CSMs to build predictive intuition around which users might be headed down a path toward detractors, based on the behaviors they are exhibiting, before they actually become detractors!  

Building A Better Product Experience

So, what does this mean for the industry?  NPS is already a well-accepted standard for assessing satisfaction. The next phase lives in the product organization. Teams may begin pairing NPS with product usage data to create a better product experience for users across the board. NPS is only as helpful as the actions you take based on the score. Pendo is in the business of improving product experience. So, by pairing NPS and product usage data from Pendo, PMs are provided the data and tools to diagnose, prioritize, and optimize areas of their products that require attention. The result? — better product experience, better customer satisfaction. 


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