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What is a detractor and how do you turn them into promoters?

4 min read
Detractors are unhappy customers who are unlikely to buy from you again, and may even discourage others from buying from you. You find detractors when using Net promoter score surveys and immediate action should be taken.

NPS is one of the most used survey methodologies in the world and is often held up as the gold standard customer experience metric.

Respondents are asked the question, “How likely is it that you would recommend [Organisation X/Product Y/Service Z] to a friend or colleague?,” and give a rating between 0 (not at all likely) and 10 (extremely likely).

Depending on their response, customers fall into one of 3 categories to establish an NPS score:

  • Promoters (9 or 10)– Typically loyal and enthusiastic customers.
  • Passives (7 or 8)– They are satisfied with your service but not happy enough to be considered promoters.
  • Detractors (0-6)– Customers who have had a negative experience with your company.

Get started with our free NPS Survey template

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Turning detractors into promoters

Detractors speak louder than promoters and more people are likely to leave negative online reviews than positive ones. Every company has detractors, but the best brands understand that they can actually turn them into promoters by following up and taking care of the issue.

In fact, your biggest detractors can become your biggest promoters because they’re both the most passionate customers.

Want to see how NPS could work for your business? Watch below to see how detractors turn to promoters, and positively affect your business. The more green, the better.

Integrate NPS scores into your CRM

NPS scores should be integrated into your CRM so customer service and sales reps will know if there’s an issue going into the call. For instance, if a customer with a NPS score of 4 calls in to complain about a recent flight, offering an upgrade on their next flight may help to prevent them from churning, but also become a promoter.

The only way the customer service rep would know this is if it’s integrated into their CRM. Considering 33% of people say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service, it’s important that every interaction with these customers is positive.

Adopt closed-loop CX practices

Once you’ve identified a detractor, you must quickly follow-up with the customer and see how you can make the situation right. If they’re taking time to give you feedback, you should acknowledge it. This can be as simple as an email or phone call to ask about their most recent experience with the company. Explain why you’re following up with them and don’t get defensive. This is a chance to understand their point of view and prevent negative word-of-mouth spreading. It’s also helpful to follow up if the customer hasn’t left a reason for their score, so you understand how you can improve the situation both for them and for customers who may have the same issue in the future. The bottom line is that every detractor should receive a follow-up.

Learn more about our closed-loop customer followup software.

Utilise churn prediction software

NPS Detractors are much more likely to churn than promoters and you want to keep them as customers. It’s expensive to ignore detractors because it’s 5 to 25 times more expensive to gain a new customer than to retain a current one, generally making it more cost-effective to save a current customer.

You can predict when a customer is about to churn by putting their NPS score and other X-Data into churn prediction software, like Qualtrics Predict IQ. This helps you identify at-risk customers before they take their business elsewhere, and you can automatically create tickets and actions to take immediate action when a customer falls into the at-risk category.

Get started with our free NPS Survey template