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Net Promoter – Can Passives be Converted?

Some of your customer just gave you a score of 7 or 8 (on the Net Promoter scale), establishing them as Passives. While not as negative as Detractors, this group still brings little positive energy to your business. They are not too likely to recommend your product or service, and are more easily persuaded to switch over to your competitor. The question is, what exactly can you do about this. In the world of actionable NPS, your goal is not to just measure overall customer satisfaction levels. Rather you want to gain insight into what needs fixing so you can chart an informed course for increased customer satisfaction and outsized corporate growth. On a practical level, converting Detractors and Passives into Promoters is a key part of this process.

Detractors vs. Passives – It’s All About the Details

When dealing with Detractors, follow-up with the customer is usually more straightforward. Detractors very often will provide you with detailed and concrete feedback that you can directly address and take care of, which will invariably lead to a delighted customer or Promoter. Passives, on the other hand, despite their neutral position, are much more challenging to deal with. Generally speaking, they are reasonably satisfied with your product or service, don’t have any burning issues, yet are still unlikely to enthusiastically recommend your company. This lack of a concrete problem to target and fix, makes converting them into Promoters much more difficult.

Customized Follow-Up for Passives

Despite the difficulty in converting Passives, they still represent a customer segment that should be won over in some fashion. Here are three potential approaches for eliciting a detailed response about why customers define themselves as Passives:

  • Craft a customized follow-up question specifically for Passives in your industry/space. Imagine you were the Passive and being asked the follow-up question. What would catch your attention and get you to respond in detail about your experience?
  • Communicate to the Passives that you take their feedback seriously. You can highlight this on your website, company newsletter and social media outlets. (Case studies showing how Detractors were converted to Promoters when their feedback lead to improvement and change are ideal for this.) This approach offers dual benefits. It shows Passives that your company truly has the customer in mind – something most people would consider worth recommending. Additionally, it encourages Passives to respond with detailed feedback, as they see it really can make a difference.
  • In the online environment, use page-level feedback forms that make it easy for everyone, even the most dispassionate Passives, to leave categorized and detailed feedback. The shorter and easier it is to share feedback, the higher the chances that customers will actually do so.

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