Why In-App NPS and Surveys are Key to Getting Actionable Feedback

Written by 
Tsvika Vagman

Live by these in-app survey best practices, and watch your churn rates go down and your customer satisfaction go up.

Here’s something every SaaS company learns: the customer ultimately drives the product. It’s great for the product team to have ideas and plans, which they often have to socialize and share. But, you have to listen to your end-users. The overall direction is driven by the reactions and needs of the people actually paying you. It is these insights and feedback that can translate to a product that delivers real value, long-term.

In-app surveys are one of the priceless tools for collecting actionable feedback from customers. At Simpo, we see this again and again with our users. Why are in-app surveys so key to getting actionable feedback? And how can companies begin to leverage? Read on to find out. 

Why Do In-App Surveys Matter?

In-app surveys allow you to collect direct feedback from your customers, while their experience of your offering is top of mind. In-app surveys are often closely tied to a SaaS product’s overall net promoter score (NPS).

What is a net promoter score (NPS)?

Hubspot defines NPS as a customer satisfaction benchmark “that companies measure to evaluate and improve customer loyalty.” An NPS measures the overall sentiment of a customer regarding a brand. 

According to Bain, there are 3 types of in-app NPS survey:

  • Relationship NPS: if you want to know how likely customers are to recommend your product.
  • Experience NPS: if you want insight on what your customers think of a specific event or feature in your app.
  • Competitive Benchmark NPS  if you want to compare your NPS with your competitors.

NPS also isn’t limited to customers. Companies can also gather NPS results from their own employees around their satisfaction with the company they are working for.

In-app surveys are powerful for four key reasons.

  1. NPS is a measurement of customer loyalty. Surveys determine if and how much customers are willing to promote your brand , and it is  a measurement of that all-important metric: loyalty. Customer NPS determines (1) how likely customers are to recommend your product to their network, and (2) the likelihood of churn. These are both incredibly important data points to know on an ongoing basis because of course it can change, over time.
  2. Surveys highlight problem areas for you to  improve. Aside from rating your offering from 0-10, with surveys, customers can also give qualitative feedback. Perhaps there’s a certain part of the UI that is annoying. Perhaps the in-app chat isn’t optimized for users' needs. Whatever the issue, feedback can help to pinpoint which areas are in need of improvement.
  3. Surveys highlight which users you need to reach out to. It’s hard to please everyone all at one. But you should always prioritize. When addressing critical feedback, you can work off a playbook with the CS team to determine how to convert and help a user along their journey. With the right approach, you can eventually convert even a disgruntled user into a promoter.
  4. The best NPS surveys boost referrals. Referrals are powerful. With effective in-app surveys, you can gauge how likely customers are to give referrals, and learn what you can do to increase that likelihood. The higher your overall NPS, the more likely happy customers will recommend your app to people and businesses they know.

How In-App Surveys Help Companies Overcome Challenges

In-apps surveys are valuable because they can solve some of the most head-scratching problems that SaaS companies encounter. Here are some common challenges, and how in-app surveys help address them.

“I don’t know which users are actually getting value, or if they will renew…”

Usage data cannot give companies the complete picture of whether customers are getting the value they need. NPS feedback allows customers to communicate how they feel about the product, and what improvements they want to see going forward. NPS is not alone the ‘holy grail’ but it’s certainly a valuable data point that should be factored in alongside other data points.

“I can’t tell whether I’m making an impact and moving the needle with my users…”

More often than not, companies struggle with connecting their user touches and engagement levels to their business KPIs. NPS allows enterprises to gauge where they are in terms of impact and addressing their users needs.

“I can’t trust our email surveys because I don’t know if these are power users or users who have never logged into the product before…”

With email surveys, you’re not sure when the last time a user was in the app or if they are even active. In-app surveys give you more accurate data because you know that the user is active and using your product. It is on the ground, immediate feedback. Generally response rates are far higher when delivered inside your product as opposed to via email.

Who Benefits from In-App Surveys?

In general, the entire operation can benefit from the insights derived from NPS and other types of surveys. Many business functions can take learnings from customer feedback and improve their processes for cohesion and efficiency. However, the two big beneficiaries are product teams, and customer success teams. 

  • Product managers and team. Leveraging customer feedback can help product managers and their team address product adoption and usage issues, which will serve to increase retention and reduce churn.
    Moreover, insights from surveys will help product teams lay out the roadmap for future developments, whether internal or user-facing.
  • Customer success managers and team. The best NPS surveys help CS teams increase customer satisfaction by instantly addressing customer concerns. In-app surveys also help quantify how successful or helpful a specific Customer Success Manager’s actions and playbooks are for specific needs. If NPS scores increase or decrease in response to changes being mind, this is priceless information. 

Bonus: positive customer stories that are gathered through surveys can be used by sales to attract new customers, and stay competitive.

Valuable Tips for an On-Point In-App NPS Survey

In-app NPS surveys, if not executed properly, can sometimes do more harm than good. Why? Because if they aren’t quick and easy, people find them annoying. And nothing is worse than annoying your users. 

Here are some in-app survey best practices for leveraging NPS effectively.

  1. Find the right moments to send your NPS surveys. The best NPS surveys are not annoying and are there at the right instances. We at Simpo recommend a targeted NPS based on a combination of user action and frequency. You can also set an NPS survey on a frequent and timely basis (i.e. every 90 days). Response rates will tell you if it’s the right cadence.

  1. Choose quality over quantity. Don’t overwhelm your users with too many surveys and questions. Instead, make sure your surveys use well-constructed questions. Remember: less is more.
  2. Segment your users, and deploy surveys that are relevant to the customer at their specific stage in the customer journey. This gives you more accurate data and more actionable insights into your customer segments. For example:     
  • In-app NPS survey for your enterprise customers vs NPS for SMB customers may impact Product Development and Customer Success strategies for the different customer segments.
  • Likewise, releasing a survey to new users versus power users will give product managers the ability to ask more pointed and relevant questions. This leads to better answers and more actionable insights.
  1. Follow up directly with customers on why they provided good or bad scores. This shows the customer you are listening to them, and not just collecting data. This is one of the in-app survey best practices that most companies don’t leverage as much as they should. Too often, companies only ask users why they gave a bad score. They forget to ask promoters why they like the app in the first place. 
  1. Turn customer responses into actionable insights. The best NPS surveys help you pinpoint which area of your solution you should improve.
    Take Neat, for example. Before, Neat users came in, were overwhelmed by everything they saw, and left. But NPS & surveys helped Neat’s senior leadership understand user sentiment and uncover ways to improve onboarding. Now, they enjoy 20% less churn and 55% less support tickets.

Get the Most Out of Your In-App Surveys

Your NPS and in-app surveys can unlock a plethora of benefits for both you and your customers. They can directly help to boost sales, reduce churn and support tickets, and make you more competitive in the marketplace. In return, your users get what they want: a solution that addresses their pain point and helps them get their work done.

To get the most out of your in-app NPS surveys, figure out the right moments to deliver your NPS. Make sure you’re using the right words and tone when addressing your customers. Follow up with them, whether they sent a bad score or a good one. Understand where they’re coming from, and turn their responses into actionable insights. Never outstay your welcome or be annoying.

Live by these in-app survey best practices, and watch your churn rates go down and your customer satisfaction go up.

If you’d like to know more about making the most out of your NPS and in-app surveys, feel free to contact us for a demo. Or if you prefer hands-on learning, try out Simpo for free