How to Use Net Promoter Score in Your Beta Program

It’s easy to collect a lot of data during a beta test, the hard part is knowing what to ask to get the information you need about your product. One popular metric to use is Net Promoter Score® (NPS®).

If you’re not familiar, a Net Promoter Score is a way to measure how likely your customers are to recommend your product to their friends and colleagues. As a widely accepted, trademarked scoring system, NPS gives a company an accurate idea of customer satisfaction and the likelihood of customers’ recommending your product within their trusted circles. This makes it particularly useful during beta testing because you can compare how your product fares during beta with the NPS scores of other products at your company and in your industry.

How Does NPS Work?

The Net Promoter Score uses an 11-point rating scale, ranging from from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). When customers are given this scale, they are asked to rate how likely they are to recommend the product to a friend or colleague. Each respondent is put into one of three classifications depending on their rating.

NPS-Score Scale

  1. Detractors – Responses from 0-6 are considered detractors. Not only would they not recommend your product, but they could also deter people away from it.
  2. Passives – Responses from 7-8 are considered passives or would probably be neutral about your product. Whether they recommend your product or not, you product is probably still missing the mark with this group.
  3. Promoters – Responses from 9-10 are considered promoters or would likely recommend your product. This is where you want customers to be.

After all of the responses are classified, the percentage of detractors is subtracted from the percentage of promoters (passives are omitted from the scoring system). The result is your product or company’s Net Promoter Score. Your NPS score could be anywhere between -100 (all detractors) and 100 (all promoters).

NPS-Score-02_Score

Example: You ask 200 users to rate your product during your beta test. The results show that 110 (55%) are considered promoters, 40 (20%) are passives, and 50 (25%) are detractors. Subtract the percentage of detractors (25%) from the percentage of promoters (55%) to get an NPS of 30. This mean that you have 30% more promoters than there are detractors.

Using NPS in Beta Testing

Since NPS is a widely accepted metric in both product development and customer service, it’s a great metric to gather throughout your beta program. You could collect it multiple times within a single beta test to see how testers’ opinions evolve as they use your product. This will help you discover trends and see what features are delighting or frustrating your testers during the course of their beta testing experience.

You can also use it as a key performance indicator (KPI) across all of your beta tests, allowing you to compare different products. You can then create dashboards and reports that give consistent metrics to your team.

If your company collects NPS from customers after release, you can compare the NPS data collected during beta to see if there’s a correlation between the data collected during beta and the score after release.

By having a consistent question asked throughout your product’s lifecycle, you create a trove of useful data that can help you make important product decisions about your product’s development and launch.

Provide Context to Your Score

No matter how you use NPS in your beta program, it’s important to give your scores context. A terrible NPS in one industry might be an impressive one in another. With so many companies using NPS, you can often find average scores for your industry or product category. This will help you assess just where your product stands in your field and what an achievable goal for improvement could be.

As you become more consistent with using NPS in your company, you can assess how your products are doing by comparing current and past scores to determine if your product is improving or declining. This historical data can provide a useful baseline to put the NPS from your latest beta test into the right context.

You should also look at the comments that go along with your score. Include a “why” comment box with your rating scale so testers can tell you what about your product made them a promoter or a detractor. This extra comment feedback could uncover important user experience issues that could be fixed before launch, as well as the features you should promote as part of your marketing efforts.

No matter what your goals are for your product, your Net Promoter Score (and the feedback it generates) can help you get there. Being able to measure how likely your testers are to recommend your product before launch can give invaluable insight into the quality of the product and how it might be received when it’s out. Leveraging your Net Promoter Score is a great way to turn your beta testers’ early experiences with your product into data that has utility far beyond beta.

NPS®, Net Promoter® & Net Promoter® Score are registered trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld.

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