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Preserving a recruitment business’s world class rating using net promoter score analysis

A gauge of different colors visualizing net promoter score analysis.

As a metric, net promoter score (NPS) offers a clear overview of what customers think. However, there’s only so much organizations can extract from a number. For actionable intelligence, brands need to carry out net promoter score analysis.

Getting inside NPS fluctuations can be tricky, as it requires businesses to decode qualitative data. When considering how to improve net promoter scores, it’s vital for brands to understand why respondents are promoters, detractors or passives.

This form of NPS tracking is essential for all customer teams, but especially for CX teams working in organizations where net promoter score is a foundational business metric. For example, the global recruitment business that uses Relative Insight to analyze its NPS surveys.

One of the recruitment firm’s key organizational metrics is to achieve a world class net promoter score. Management consultancy Bain defines a world class NPS as 80 or above when subtracting detractor percentage from promoter percentage.

The exacting target mandates net promoter score analysis from the recruiter’s CX team. With zero margin for error to achieve a score of 80, its need for NPS tracking – both the score and qualitative feedback – led it to Relative Insight’s text analytics software. The tool allows the team to get inside NPS responses and understand existing or potential red flags that could cause its score to fall.

This is exactly what happened over a period of four months. The recruitment firm’s CX team analyzed customer feedback to find out how to improve net promoter score after it fell below world class level for two consecutive months. This blog outlines how the team did it.

NPS tracking highlights summer lull

By July 2023, the recruitment agency had achieved its world class NPS target for several consecutive months. However, its score fell to below 80 in August. While the CX team always conducts NPS analysis on qualitative feedback to understand the reasons behind clients’ ratings, the failure to hit a key organizational target made this task even more imperative.

The team used the Relative Insight platform to compare open-ended feedback inside NPS surveys in July and August. Doing this efficiently identified what’s changed — enabling the organization to react quickly and put things right.

July’s responses were consistent with the recruiter’s world class rating. Its clients were 3.5x more likely to use words related to ‘attention’, particularly ‘attentiveness’, which was infinitely more likely to appear in July survey responses — meaning this didn’t appear in August’s responses. They also used the word ‘sector’ 4.4x more, praising consultants’ industry-specific knowledge.

Consultants demonstrated exceptional attentiveness, actively listening to and acting on our specific requirements.

However, NPS tracking highlighted that this praise had turned to criticism by the end of August. Clients complained about a lack of attentiveness and responsiveness from consultants.

The word ‘delays’ featured 5.1x more in this set of responses, while the phrases ‘lack of’ – relating to a lack of speed – and ‘not timely’ overindexed 4.8x and 11.2x respectively. This led to annoyance among respondents, with the words ‘frustration’ and ‘frustrated’ 6.1x more likely to appear in August’s responses.

The lack of timely communication became a significant pain point. Consultants consistently failed to get back to us promptly, causing frustration and delays in the hiring process.

The customer experience team passed on this feedback to consultants’ managers. However, it was also aware that a lack of responsiveness was indicative of the summer vacation season, and hopefully not a long-term issue.

Identifying when a fall becomes a trend using net promoter score analysis

Having decided to keep an eye on feedback around responsiveness, the recruiter’s CX team set about net promoter score analysis for September. Expecting a rebound from August’s fall, the team was shocked to see a further NPS fall.

Once again, the organization used Relative Insight’s text analytics software to get inside NPS. As well as highlighting differences, the platform also identifies similarities when analyzing text data.

The differences between NPS responses in August and September were minimal. However, Relative Insight’s similarities function illustrated that word frequency percentage for ‘delays’ and ‘frustrated’ was consistent in both months, suggesting the same issues around consultants’ lack of responsiveness had continued through September.

To confirm this, the team compared September’s NPS survey responses with those from July. In a similar manner to the July / August comparison, words relating to lack of speed overindexed 5.8x more, with clients 9.1x more likely to talk about delays.

Net promoter score analysis showed that the problem had worsened in September, despite vacations no longer being a factor. Armed with these insights, the CX team reported its findings to the company’s directors.

The board rapidly decided how to improve net promoter score: it would introduce a competition around consultant responsiveness.

Actioned survey insights restore responsiveness

Would introducing gamification around responsiveness rectify the recruitment agency’s NPS score? The organization’s decision makers preferred this ‘carrot’ as an initial solution, rather than the ‘stick’ of tying responsiveness to consultants’ KPIs and bonuses, given it wasn’t a historic issue. This scheme also had the potential to deliver a quicker turnaround in net promoter score.

Introduced in early October, the competition ran throughout the month. When the CX team conducted its net promoter score analysis at October’s conclusion, the contest appeared to have an immediate impact. The recruitment firm’s NPS had risen to 81, restoring its world class rating.

The team once again looked inside NPS using Relative Insight to see if clients’ feedback reflected an improvement in responsiveness — and how much this contributed to the rise in score.

In October, clients were 16.0x more likely to praise ‘speed’ of response, using the words ‘proactive’ 6.0x more and ‘swiftly’ infinitely more. They also used the phrase ‘excellent responsiveness’ 23.2x more, highlighting that consultants were getting back to them much faster.

Consultants exhibited outstanding responsiveness. Their quick and effective communication ensured an efficient recruitment process, and we valued their proactive approach.

It wasn’t just responsiveness and attentiveness that clients praised. October respondents were 6.7x more likely to use words related to the topic of ‘help’. These included ‘supported’, ‘collaboration’ and ‘guidance’. Not only did the competition ensure clients felt they were a priority, it also had the knock-on impact of consultants making them feel more supported.

Their market expertise, strategic guidance, and dedication to meeting our specific requirements resulted in successful candidate placements.

Text analytics illuminates how to improve net promoter score

Through a combination of NPS tracking and net promoter score analysis, the recruitment firm’s customer experience team successfully pinpointed the reasons behind a fall in NPS. This insight illustrated to the company’s decision makers how to improve net promoter score.

The team continues to use Relative Insight’s software to monitor client feedback within NPS surveys. To maintain the recruiter’s world class NPS, its CX experts are primed to pinpoint lack of responsiveness or any other factors behind rises and falls in score.

Tired of not understanding why your NPS is rising or falling? Had enough of wading through open-ended responses manually? Try Relative Insight’s software for free and empower your net promoter score analysis.

Track and analyze the reasons behind NPS changes