One of the first things we do when working with clients on their Customer Value Optimization strategy is implementing the Net Promoter Score pre and post-delivery. This case study will show you why NPS is a powerful tool in measuring customer experience, how focused and inspired you can be by measuring this metric before and after delivery. 

Why do you need NPS?

Net Promoter Score is a predictor for future customer behavior and a KPI that any eCommerce company should measure.

You want to collect as much qualitative feedback as possible from your customers. You want to understand their motivations, struggles, and friction points in their journey. 

Most of our clients ask us how their NPS compares with industry benchmarks. Is it good or bad?

This question is irrelevant because what matters is whether you meet the expectations of your customers or not and if you care enough to do something about it. Depending on the type of products or services your company offers or the target public, the NPS will be slightly different.

In general, if your score is 50 out of 100, your customers are not so happy about the experience you are offering. To score 100 (or close to it) when you have thousands of customers and thousands of products, you can rest assured that this ideal situation takes a lot of time and effort.

The best thing you can do to increase your customer’s satisfaction is to focus on what matters, 

what brings you revenue and profit, loyal customers, and promoters.

Why do you need to measure NPS both pre and post-delivery?

There can be significant differences between the customers’ experience on the site and the experience around the purchased products or services.

The best way to find a gap between what the customers feel during these two key moments of their journey is to measure NPS before and after delivery.

Based on the answers you capture through NPS surveys, you can check if the company respects the “under-promise, over-deliver principle” and find what your priority should be:

  • Low pre-delivery NPS – the online experience;
  • Low post-delivery NPS – the experience with the received products and services.

There’s no better way to explain the importance of implementing NPS surveys and measuring NPS before and after delivery than by giving you real examples we can share after working with various eCommerce worldwide. 

In this case study, we want to emphasize the gap between pre and post-delivery NPS and how different a company’s action plan depends on the NPS results.

Client overview

Client no. 1 is a marketplace with eleven years of experience on the market, more than 110K SKUs, 1.3M orders per year, and over 1 million customers. This online business sells a wide range of products from books, electronics, cosmetics, clothing to food, home, and garden products. 

Client no. 2 is an online fashion retailer with five years of experience on the market, more than 2K sold SKUs, 89K delivered orders, and over 59K active customers in 2020. The retailer sells a wide range of urban streetwear for men, women, and children.

Pain point: what do customers think about their experience?

The pain point shared by both of the clients was the lack o qualitative feedback from their customers.

Neither measured customer satisfaction proactively, and they only reacted to customer feedback when the customer support department received a request or a complaint.

Because they didn’t know much about their customers’ experience, they didn’t know: 

  • Whether they had a product problem or a marketing problem;
  • What processes needed immediate fixing, and how to prioritize actions; 
  • What stopped customers from buying or becoming repeat customers;
  • What could be improved in the customer journey to keep their customers happy and loyal.

Implementing Net Promoter Score surveys pre and post-delivery was a mandatory first step into their Customer Value Optimization efforts. We raised awareness of their customers’ sentiment and helped them identify what they can do to build better experiences. 

Implementing the NPS solution

We implemented the NPS system, which triggers an automated email to the Customer Support team every time a customer gives a low score (between 0-6) based on the data collected in Reveal.

Integrating the client’s ticketing system with Reveal helps our clients identify detractors and warn the customer services team. This process plays a crucial part in the further evolution of the relationship with the customer. Our clients can prioritize how the support team responds to feedback based on each customer’s value.

This is how we can summarize the process:

  • Once a client gives a score between 0 and 6, an automated ticket is created in the customer support tool, and an automated email is sent to the Customer Support team.
  • The Customer Support team takes over the communication with the customer.
  • To give the customer support team time to adapt to the new process was to set up the emails integration in 2 steps:
  1. First, for the most important groups (the top three RFM segments);
  2. Second, for the other groups (first-time customers and high-potential customer segments).

We encourage all our clients to adapt our eCommerce Blueprint to monitoring & using Net Promoter Score. As you can see below, it’s a complex framework. Still, clients that adopt it have better results and can take immediate actions to prevent worst-case scenarios related to unsatisfied or angry clients. 

Key results after NPS implementation

Client no. 1: the marketplace 

One month after launching the pre and post-delivery NPS, we already had thousands of answers to look at and get a good picture of what happens with our customers’ experience. 

The pre-delivery NPS was 71, while the post-delivery was 82. This difference clearly indicates that the customer experience is suffering on the website when placing the order, not after the order is received. 

The pre-delivery Net Promoter Score
The post-delivery Net Promoter Score

We applied the best practices of a good NPS implementation and set a follow-up question after the user gives the 0 to 10 rate to understand what went wrong and what the client can do to improve the experience.

Pro tip: in the long run, whenever the sales go down, one way to find why is to have a direct line of communication with your clients. Ask them a follow-up NPS question such as “What could almost stop you from shopping with us today?” and they will give you the best user experience audit you can buy. 

By looking at the open answers we’ve collected, we were able to identify the main issues our customers had pre-delivery.  

We saw that the customers were:

  • Having problems using the search function, the filters, the online payment option;
  • Mentioning technical errors and a low site speed. 

All this happened while the marketing team celebrated the new mobile skin release, where 80% of the traffic was. 

The NPS survey answers also provided real-time user feedback for the development team and better visibility for multiple team members, which increased the urgency of fixing these issues. This fixed most of the issues signaled by the customers real quick.

Placing the NPS survey on the thank you page helped us understand what affected the cart abandonment rate and the general conversion rate.

Besides the technical aspects, we saw that the customers had issues understanding:

  • Different fees that applied to their order; 
  • How to use the loyalty points;
  • The delivery estimates when their cart contained products from various vendors. 

This feedback was gold for refreshing the conversion rate optimization strategy for the website and improving the communication. 

Another important action we took to deliver an outstanding customer experience was integrating the NPS survey with the customer support CRM. This way, our client could see the Net Promoter Score, the feedback, and the user’s segment based on the RFM score directly in the CRM. 

Therefore, the customer support team could instantly treat the most important customers and offer them a personalized treatment. Specifically, our client treats loyal, profitable customers like VIP customers: dedicated customer support representatives, special benefits like discounts or shipping options. 

Four months after we implemented all these actions, the pre-delivery NPS increased from 71 to 78. 

The pre-delivery Net Promoter Score four months after implementing actions based on customer feedback 

Now, let’s look at what happened with the post-delivery NPS, which we measured by sending a personalized email a few days after the customers received their orders. 

After the 1st month of data collection, the NPS was 82. Four months later, it was 84. Of course, 82 was already a good NPS for an eCommerce with over 1.3 M orders/year. Increasing NPS requires an over-delivery approach and personalized treatment.

The post-delivery Net Promoter Score one month after the implementation of NPS surveys
The post-delivery Net Promoter Score four months after implementing actions based on customer feedback 

To craft our strategy, we first had to understand the customer segments. We had lots of data in Reveal and qualitative data from our research, which helped us identify which was the weakest point in the customer journey – the marketing, the product, or the service.

Matching the NPS responses with the RFM segments, we were able to understand:

  • Who are the best and worse customers;
  • How satisfied customers are;
  • What products do customers buy, why and when do they buy them;
  • What customers expect, what frictions or struggles they have.
  • How the brand can become more relevant to its audience. 

Although this customer-centric approach doesn’t happen overnight and multiple parts of the company need to align to this objective – marketing, CS, development, fulfillment,  acquisition, and even the CEO – the first actions we implemented were sufficient to get the ball rolling.

Achievements:

  • Four months after implementing various projects around online experience, the pre-delivery NPS increased from 71 to 78. 
  • Four months after implementing various actions, the post-delivery NPS increased from 82 to 84.
  • For the best customer segment (named Soulmates), the pre-delivery NPS increased from 72 to 89, and the post-delivery NPS increased from 77 to 88.
  • For the second-best group (named Lovers), the pre-delivery NPS increased from 72 to 83, while the post-delivery NPS remained around 90.
  • Real-time treatment triggered by the NPS survey responses

Client no. 2: the online fashion retailer

Sometimes, convincing our clients about the importance of qualitative research can be a tough job, similar to mission impossible. 

Some clients are resistant to change mainly because discount campaigns always drive more sales and help reach sales targets quickly, ignoring long-term metrics.

Still, like Tom Cruise, we also have some tricks. 🙂

In the case of the fashion retailer, one month after we launched the NPS survey, the pre-delivery NPS was 77, and the post-delivery was 51. 

The pre and post-delivery NPS for the fashion retailer

As you can see, it’s an entirely different result compared to the client in the previous example, and of course, the causes were others. 

The NPS results proved that:

  • The customer expectations were higher when placing the order than what they received from the store; 
  • The interactions with the website and marketing campaigns didn’t align with the product and the services. 

The results were not surprising, as the brand only uses discount campaigns and flash sales to acquire new customers. The brand created higher expectations but did that for a group of new customers that don’t become loyal customers without affecting the margin. 

On the other hand, once they receive the order, the low quality of products (48% of total responses) and the low level of service (29% of total responses) were clear indicators of what made them give low NPS rates. 

Ignoring these metrics and the impact they can have, the brand continued to broadcast flash sales campaigns, even addressing their most powerful customers. Not surprisingly, the pre-delivery NPS stagnated to 77, but the post-delivery score decreased from 51 to 44. 

The store’s approach to its most valuable customers proved that the company was not ready to consider customer retention yet. It’s not healthy to ignore a top customer with a higher monetary value that ordered a special outfit for his birthday which didn’t arrive on time or arrived without buttons.

In this case, the first thing we did is to identify the toxic products or categories, meaning those who received a low NPS score. We’ve discovered that the children’s clothing category and a recently launched type of men’s jackets negatively affected the customer experience. 

Then we’ve started our efforts to improve NPS results and customer satisfaction by promoting products that received better feedback from existing customers. 

Unfortunately, correcting negative feedback and its impact takes a lot more time and effort than it would have been necessary if the company took the measures that could prevent this evolution. 

Ongoing action plan around NPS implementation:

  • Treat NPS feedback in real-time;
  • Increase the response rate for the post-delivery NPS surveys;
  • Eliminate toxic products;
  • Add more sticky items in the store’s offer and identify high potential products;

The first achievement with this client is that the company decision-makers realized how vital NPS is in their customer value optimization efforts and how NPS empowers them to identify, monitor, and improve customer satisfaction, impacting their CVO plans.  

Wrap up

The Net Promoter Score is one of the most recognized methods for measuring customer loyalty. Measuring this metric pre and post-delivery brings a lot of clarity to any client we ever helped.

Implementing the NPS system is one of the most important steps into the customer value optimization process and crucial to the customer-centric approach.

All clients that use the NPS feature in Reveal can analyze this metric from different angles:

  • Pre-delivery NPS versus post-delivery NPS
  • NPS by RFM segment
  • NPS by Location
  • NPS by Brand
  • NPS by Category
  • NPS by Channel

Measuring, monitoring, and analyzing NPS in real-time makes Reveal an essential tool for applying CVO effectively. Based on these reports, the companies can perform in-depth qualitative research on customer satisfaction and make more informed decisions for their customer retention and acquisition efforts.