7 Strategies to Turn NPS Detractors into Promoters

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    Detractors are unhappy customers who have had a bad experience with your company. They have stopped advocating about your brand and are highly likely to prevent others from reaching out to your organisation. However, unhappy customers have the potential to be brand ambassadors. In this blog, we will identify how an NPS detractor can negatively impact the brand and how to convert them into NPS promoters.

    What is The Meaning of A Detractor?

    Detractors are also another word for upset customers who may have had a bad experience. Detractors typically rate 0-6 on the net promoter score (NPS score) survey. Unhappy customers hamper online reputation or brand image by sharing negative reviews online. 

    How Do You Identify A Detractor?

    You can detect unhappy customers via negative reviews, unsatisfied online ratings, cancelled subscriptions, distressed customer support experience and reduced post-purchase satisfaction. In CX, they show up as detractors on the NPS score survey. Marketers can use popular net promoter score survey software and tools. You can seek feedback by asking people to rate your products and services using visual cues or text based customer satisfaction surveys.

    The NPS survey question asks one single question: ” How likely are you to recommend our (products/services/brand) to your friends and family?”. The answers can gauge customer loyalty. Your respondents will rate you on a scale of 0 to 10.

    • Scores from 0 to 6 are detractors. Detractors are unhappy customers.
    • Passives will rate between 7 and 8. Passives are customers who do not lean on either side or are indifferent to your brand.
    • Scores between 9 and 10 indicate promoters. Promoters are happy customers or brand advocates.

    nps score formula

    Retargeting Detractors: How to calculate NPS?

    The NPS calculation is the difference between detractors and promoters. NPS score formula = % of promoters – % of detractors.

    Using this NPS data, you can create marketing strategies and improve CX to re-target detractors. Using modern day tools such as Merren, you can create instant NPS score question, share them across channels for post-purchase surveys. Get high response rate via messenger based surveys. You can automate the CX process, have your surveys running in the background and access real time data in the CX dashboard. 

    Watch out for them: What are the negatives of detractors?

    There are many ways how a detractor can hamper your business. This includes negative online reviews, negative word of mouth, preventing potential customers from buying your brand, bringing sales down, negative feedback on surveys or damage reputation. Here are the ways how unhappy customers can affect business negatively.

    Detractors can negatively impact your sales and profit:

    While not everyone might want to wait till you fix your CX. A single bad experience can deter people from buying from you the second time. They might cancel subscriptions, ask for a product return and refund or seek compensation for a bad experience. This can happen from poor customer support team assistance, defective products/poor service or poor website navigation experiences. The Future of Customer Experience Survey indicates that 32% of customers will stop doing business with a brand after a single bad experience.

    Detractors can harm your brand’s image across platforms:

    With every positive review, there will be a handful of negative reviews on Google, your website and third party review sites. Even though the number might be lesser, they can influence potential customers from reaching out to you. Social media mentions can cause damage when you do not address unhappy consumers faster. Due to the long lasting digital footprint, you may lose out on potential referrals and business in turn.

    Detractors bring business to your competitors:

    Customer churn is a problem. There can be a point in the customer journey where a new customer might meet with a poor service, false promises or negative experience. If you do not follow up with an unhappy consumer after their survey, you will not know why they switched. This can benefit your competitors. Keep a follow up protocol and recover an unhappy consumer before they leave your ecosystem. At the same time, be mindful not to convert passives to detractors.

    So how can detractors turn into promoters?

    How to Turn Your Detractors to Promoters?

    To convert detractors into promoters, offer incentives such as discounts or free merchandise, personalized solutions, and proactively reach out to them via email, phone call, or social media. Use feedback from NPS surveys or customer satisfaction surveys to improve your products/services and prevent future negative experiences.

    1. Actively track their loyalty metrics with net promoter score:

    Customer feedback gives detailed insights on their emotions, pain points, preferences and service gaps. Conduct period NPS surveys in the customer journey. This includes post purchase surveys, conversation with a sales service team member or during product usage etc. Identify their sentiments and seek open-ended feedback apart from score values.

    2. Empathize and offer personalized communication:

    Offering empathy is crucial for long-term customer retention. When customers feel understood and valued, they are more likely to stay loyal to a brand. This can be achieved by training customer service representatives to listen actively and empathize with concern.

    While technology can make tasks easier, it can prevent the human touch. In a pain point, people require instant human to human communication. While a live chatbot is faster it can be frustrating for certain customer segments who are not tech savvy. Seek open ended responses and understand it at a ground level. Make customized amends and offer them reassurance for the future. A good CX protocol includes personalization. Make an effort to offer feasible solutions. This increases customer loyalty.

    3. Close the feedback loop on omnichannel platforms:

    Your customers could be present on any platform. In 2024, if you do not go omnichannel, you miss the potential to collect information from your user base across channels. You need to reduce resolution time with your detractors and solve their queries faster. Capture their feedback across social media platforms via CRM softwares, in-app messages or phone calls to customer support. Gather their data on several touchpoints and analyze user behaviour.

    4. Follow-up with detractors post-resolution:

    Detractors can also become brand ambassadors if organisations actively follow up post resolution. While capturing NPS results, you can assess lower scores and identify unhappy consumers. Follow up after resolving the problem to gather post-resolution data. This will denote that companies truly care about their customer base. Follow up can often bring a good NPS score for your organisation.

    5. Offer incentives, discount coupons and loyalty programs:

    Incentives and loyalty points are a great way to encourage people to have a long term association with the brand. This includes loyalty points for long term customers, rewards and membership discounts, survey incentives for customer surveys and cashback options. However, the incentive has to be appropriate as per the target audience. This also encourages frequent communication during the customer journey. Meanwhile people can share their candid feedback during the purchase process.

    However, a loyalty programe or a discount code is not a replacement for bad CX. Attend to grievances and pain points of customers. When appropriate, offer them apt incentives to keep their business.

    Customer satisfaction survey

    6. Prevent high churn rates with real-time analysis:

    Using real time analysis, marketers can find the loophole, number of detractors to promoters and avoid high churn rate. The support team can attend to detractors faster than usual. This is also a main reason for customer delight. People usually want resolution and they want it immediately. Real time analysis on the CX dashboard is a boon. This activity converts detractors to promoters and brings in more loyal customers.

    7. Deliver promises and learn from mistakes:

    Mistakes and complaints can help you see CX gaps and cover them for long term customer satisfaction. One must note that attending to unsatisfied consumers is not a one time activity. Deliver on the product and service promises to maintain their long term business. A well built CX protocol includes resolving customer questions, attending to new support tickets, offering instant resolution and seeking post-resolution feedback. Offer feasible solutions and stay transparent on the promises a company can deliver.

    Is it possible for a company to have too many promoters and not enough detractors?

    While having many promoters is generally a positive sign for a company, it is important to have a balance of both promoters and detractors. Having too many promoters may indicate that the company is not open to feedback or criticism, which can hinder growth and improvement.


    Choose from the best NPS survey software for your business and collect customer data. Compare these NPS benchmarks with other competitors in the industry. Identify NPS detractors and turn them into promoters using satisfaction metrics and apt CX protocols. Want to capture feedback and understand brand advocates? Consider using Merren for a 14 day free trial and supercharge your CX.

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