Increase Client Referrals using Client Feedback Tool and Net Promoter Score

September 20, 2018

In 2012, Client Savvy’s Client Feedback Tool began to implement the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey as an option in our client's General Satisfaction feedback requests. Since then, clients with an average year-over-year NPS of greater than 65 have surpassed the average NPS for professional services firms of 58(according to Forbes). Here is a quick look at how the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Client Savvy’s feedback solution will allow your firm to increase referrals.

Net Promoter Score Overview 

The NPS customer satisfaction system has become a popular and widely used management metric since 2003. According to research published by Bloomberg, over two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies are still using this metric. Additionally, the founding principles of NPS are found in Fred Reichheld’s book, The Ultimate Question. Reichheld lays out a methodology in which ONE QUESTION (the Ultimate Question) provides highly predictive of growth and success data.
The Ultimate Question:

"How likely are you to refer us to a colleague?" 

The answer scale ranges from 0-10, very unlikely to very likely. The theory of Net Promoter Score is that anyone answering 0-6 are detractors. These are clients who will ultimately speak poorly of your firm and its services. Those responding with scores of 7 and 8 are passives, and will likely neither promote or defame your business. Finally, the promoters provide scores of 9 and 10 – they are very likely to promote your organization to others.

The Net Promoter Score is the difference between promoters and detractors. For example, if you have 52% promoters and 18% detractors, your NPS is 34. Passives do not impact the NPS in either direction.

NPS can be as low as −100 (everybody is a detractor) or as high as +100 (everybody is a promoter). An NPS that is positive (i.e., higher than zero) is considered good, and an NPS of +50 is excellent. Some of the traditionally ‘favorite’ companies receive NPS scores consistently in the 60%+ range (Apple, Netflix, Amazon). Others, such as Comcast actually have negative Net Promoter Scores.

You’ll find extensive research showing the correlation between revenue, profit, and market-share growth based on NPS. And, while NPS provides a single, simple metric to show where your company currently is, the process of actually improving your NPS is much more nebulous.

Using Client Feedback to Improve Net Promoter Score 

"Wait a minute! I thought NPS was feedback."

Yes, Net Promoter Score is a form of feedback.  Nevertheless, NPS will indicate where you are in the moment, but doesn’t provide direct insight into how to actually get better. The Ultimate Question typically includes a “part 2” – which is to ask, “Why did you give this score?”  By harvesting this data, organizations will gain insights on trending customer perceptions. This may work well for very large data sets – and is well suited to Business to Customer measurements.

Professional services, on the other hand, are much more personal and interactive. With massive data sets to work with, and the value of each client having a larger percentage of net revenue, it's far more relevant to measure and track the delivery related to clients’ expectations. Our Client Feedback tool is designed to receive clear, specific, and concise guidance on how to improve. As you request the information throughout multiple milestones of a project, you're able to actively fill any gap in delivery while there is still time. Therefore, Net Promoter Scores become an additional question to ask at project completion, identifying how well you executed and created a potential promoter.

Used together, the Client Feedback Tool and Net Promoter Score gives you actionable data that allows you to continually increase your number of promoters. When using our Client Feedback Tool, the NPS Question can be added to any survey on the fly when sending. This is enabled by default for selected templates (e.g., a Project Completion survey), or built into the survey template design by our team.

Activating on your promoters 

Have you ever had a client tell you they would refer you and then nothing happens? We hear this all the time. Just because a client says they will refer you does not mean they know how. Simply ask!

Client Savvy has worked with our clients to both identify and activate on their promoters.

Click here to download our step-by-step guide to Activating on Promoters.

Contact us at and let us help you get started on increasing your number of promoters and getting the referrals you want.

Ryan Suydam

Ryan Suydam co-founded Client Savvy in 2004, to help firms create fierce client loyalty by designing, implementing, and measuring client experiences. He has coached nearly 700 organizations and over 30,000 professionals on the skills required to be “client savvy.”

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