How this e-commerce company grew 2x by making NPS their most important metric

February 12, 2019 by Louis Grenier

The day may come when you feel you’ve hit a wall with your business. Your products are great, and you have an amazing team of talented professionals working with you, but still, you can't seem to grow past your current revenue numbers.

Could it be that you haven't given the customer experience enough attention?

One of the best ways to measure your success in this area is to track Net Promoter Score (NPS®). NPS is a crucial business metric that Taylor & Hart, the award-winning jeweler featured in this case study, uses religiously: it's helped them secure repeat business, expand their product offerings, and grow at an impressive pace.

We recently sat down with Stefan Milev, the company’s CMO, to discuss how Taylor & Hart has grown so quickly by using the NPS metric and obsessing (in a good way!) over the customer experience.

Table of contents

What is NPS?

NPS, short for Net Promoter Score, is a way to gauge customer loyalty. You can find your company's score by surveying your customers and asking them the simple NPS question: "on a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company/product to a friend or colleague?"

NPS-question

Customer answers are then tallied to determine an NPS between -100 and 100. Generally, a ‘good’ NPS score is anything above 0, though the closer a company gets to 100, the better.

The NPS formula

There's a simple formula to determine NPS: subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. To make sense of this formula, you need to know that the NPS system categorizes customers as detractors, promoters, and passives based on their answers:

NPS-chart-1

  • A promoter is any customer who, when asked the NPS question, responds with a score of 9 or 10. This group represents the biggest fans of a company and is the most likely to share and promote it to their individual circles of influence.

  • A detractor is a customer who answers the NPS question with a figure between 0 and 6 (included). These people are unlikely to recommend a company or product to others. Worse, they may even encourage their friends and colleagues to avoid them.

  • A passive is any customer who gives an NPS score of either 7 or 8. They don't feel inclined to promote a product or company, but they also don't feel the need to speak out against it. These folks often represent a major opportunity: if their score can be lifted, even just slightly, they may become promoters and help a company grow.

With this in mind, you calculate NPS by subtracting the percentage of detractors from that of promoters. Passives don't count towards your company's NPS metric.

NPS Case Study - NPS formula

 

Quick Net Promoter Score example: in our article "How to calculate NPS," we mention an NPS survey we ran at Hotjar over a 30-day period. It returned 563 responses, 318 of which received a promoter score and 72 a detractor score.

After a quick bit of math, we found that 318 is roughly 56.5% of 563 (our total number of responses) and 72 is about 12.5%. And 56.5 minus 12.5 equals 44, which was our NPS for that 30-day period.

Don't worry if all these numbers make your head spin: we've developed an easy-to-use NPS calculator for you.

Obsessing over the customer experience: the Taylor & Hart story

Now that you have a firm understanding of what NPS is, let’s introduce you to Taylor & Hart—a London-based jeweler specializing in bespoke engagement rings, uniquely designed and set with ethically-sourced diamonds. The company has used NPS to confirm their growth strategy, transform their manufacturing process, and double their annual revenue to €4.5M.

NPS Case Study Taylor Hart home page

the homepage at Taylor&hart.com

Three and a half years ago, Taylor & Hart were part of Techstars, an incubator program in Boston, MA. One of their goals while there was to determine the 'One Metric That Matters' to their organization, AKA the one metric they would report on every single day.

They initially thought the ideal metric would be sales. After all, they're in business to make money. But Stefan Milev, the company's CMO, realized that something else was needed to measure and track the customer-centric approach the company wanted to take.

Convinced that "you can’t grow revenue without growing NPS," they settled on NPS as their core metric. And this proved to be a wise decision, as it very quickly became evident that many customers were reluctant to buy a ring from an online-only retailer, which Taylor and Hart was at the time, without seeing it in person first.

NPS Case Study Taylor Hart consultant screen

AT TAYLOR AND HART, EACH CUSTOMER WORKS WITH A DEDICATED CONSULTANT
TO CREATE A BESPOKE RING

By measuring NPS and ensuring that each of its jewelry consultants focused on exemplary service, Taylor & Hart wanted to turn reluctant visitors into one-time buyers, and one-time buyers into lifelong customers. This customer-centric mindset would, in turn, ensure business growth at an astonishing rate.

How Taylor & Hart tracks NPS (and how you can too!)

Saying you want to measure NPS and actually doing it are two different things. The team at Taylor & Hart was able to use this metric to their advantage by following a 4-step process, which we've outlined below.

1. Know your customer experience milestones

As a young company with a relatively tight budget, Taylor & Hart knew early on that they needed to narrow down their focus. They identified the two main customer milestones that are vital to their business:

  1. The moment a customer places an order
  2. And the moment the order is received

The first milestone is what they call the 'service NPS', which measures the experience each customer has as they interact with Taylor & Hart's consultants. The second milestone is their 'product NPS', which tracks customer satisfaction with the final product once it's received.

2. Collect the data you need

Once you understand which milestones to track, you can begin to collect the right data.

At Taylor & Hart, all customers are assigned a dedicated consultant that guides them through the purchase; about an hour after an order is placed, the customer receives the first ‘service NPS’ email survey.

NPS Case Study Taylor Hart email

This email lets the customer rate the level of service up until that point and add comments about it, which in turn tells Taylor and Hart’s consultants what they need to improve or continue doing.

Asking the NPS question almost immediately after an order is placed means the details are still fresh in each customer’s mind. In turn, the answers allow Taylor & Hart to optimize their processes and improve conversions at the first milestone.

It doesn’t end there. As Stefan explains, the company then sends “a product-specific NPS survey 40 days after purchase, when the ring has been produced, shipped, and received. We know it usually takes 22 days on average for us to produce and ship a ring, so we add on some extra days to account for holidays/delivery/etc. At 40 days, we are absolutely sure the customers have received our rings and can comment on their quality.”

NPS Case Study Taylor Hart 40 day follow up

The NPS question Taylor & Hart send 40 days after the ring has been received

Again, Taylor & Hart goes straight to their customers for feedback, which eliminates the possibility that they'll draw faulty conclusions about why a product isn't well-received. They don't have to guess at all: they just ask.

3. Automate your entire process

Taylor & Hart tracks a lot of customer data—possibly more than other, much larger companies. How are they able to do it with their small, 30-person team? By creating automated systems.

Using a combination of Salesforce, Zapier, Wufoo, Google Sheets, and Geckoboard, Taylor & Hart is able to process every piece of customer data and use it to their advantage. Their process looks like this:

  1. First, Taylor & Hart's consultants add each customer's details to the company's CRM, Salesforce.
  2. When an order is placed, Zapier triggers an email, which is sent to the customer, containing the NPS question with the 0-10 scoring system.
  3. Once a number inside the email is clicked, the customer is taken to a Wufoo form and asked additional survey questions based upon their initial response (and whether they qualify as a detractor, promoter, or passive).
  4. The customer's answers are then sent to a dedicated Google Sheet via another Zapier trigger. This Google sheet automatically calculates Taylor & Hart's monthly and 90-day NPS.
  5. Finally, the monthly NPS is displayed on TV screens throughout the Taylor & Hart office using Geckoboard. This is done so that the entire organization can see if their customer experience efforts are succeeding or not.
     

    NPS Case Study  Taylor Hart office

    The office at Taylor and Hart (check out the Geckoboard
    mounted on the right-hand side wall)

“We have screens above everyone's head that can be easily seen. We have a sales team dashboard which shows your NPS, revenue, gross profit for the month. We have a marketing one to see the new leads. We have a production one to see how many orders are open, if we have any late ones, ‘what's the product NPS?’, etc. So, we do dashboards based on the different departments, and every department sees all the dashboards on the screen.”

 

Stefan Milev

 

 

Stefan Milev - CMO at Taylor & Hart

This 5-step process may seem complex at the outset, but once it's set up, any company's NPS can be measured automatically—ensuring the score is always accurate and free of human error. If you follow in their tracks, it will also save your team an immense amount of time, especially as it grows and more customer data is acquired on a daily basis.

 

🏆Pro tip: you can start smaller than Taylor and Hart and send out an NPS survey to your customers via email, or show them an on-page NPS survey as they visit your website. 

4. Track your results

The final step in this process is to track the results.

As Stefan acknowledges, “The first and most important thing is to understand the data, use it as much as you can and connect it to other raw numbers you may find. Once you do that, you start to notice all the patterns, and from there it's actually quite easy to build an actionable plan of what needs to be solved to get your number higher. We pride ourselves on having one of the highest NPS in the industry: it has been constantly over 80, both for service and product, for over two years now.”

These high scores are possible because Taylor & Hart makes improving their NPS a top priority. They always know their monthly and quarterly NPS metrics, as well as the NPS for each individual consultant on their team. They then discuss and analyze their NPS findings at each weekly meeting.

By obsessing over their Net Promoter Score and the customers behind it, Taylor & Hart is able to really understand what their customers want and need, and predict the likelihood of each returning to buy more jewelry in the future.

The benefits of monitoring NPS

So, does your company really need to invest in NPS the same way that Taylor & Hart does? The answer to that question is completely up to you, but there's no denying that a focus on NPS has been incredibly beneficial for Taylor & Hart.

For example: analysis of their two main NPS scores revealed that their product NPS was consistently 10 to 15 points lower than their service NPS. That could mean customers were more satisfied with the level of care they received during the buying experience than they were with the final product—and that was a problem.

In Stefan’s words, “When someone gives us a low NPS, it's already too late for us to act. So that's a very, very big issue. We may have the best service, but if the product is not ideal, then that just won't make any sense.” This realization led Taylor & Hart to revamp their entire manufacturing process, including logistics and delivery practices, so that they could create and deliver better products.

NPS case study - Taylor and Hart diamond ring

Tracking NPS has also allowed them to spot patterns across popular ring designs, top customer types, and specific geographical areas and optimize their advertising campaigns. “Combining our data, we know, usually with some certainty, what query people used to find us through an organic search; if it's a referral, we know exactly the referrer URL; and so on," he adds. "So every customer, every opportunity we have in our CRM, we know their first contact with the website and where they come from. And then we do reporting based on that, on the average NPS scores, and average revenue.”

The breakdown and application of this data have resulted in a 70% increase in revenue.

Grow your business by measuring NPS

By tracking NPS as their 'One Metric That Matters', Taylor & Hart was able to grow (and keep growing!) their business at an impressive rate. Which isn't surprising: all great marketing and sales efforts begin with a deep, intimate knowledge of the people a company is selling to.

How can your company take advantage of NPS to grow? Follow the four-step process we outlined above:

  • First, understand your most important customer milestones
  • Then, collect the data you need
  • Next, build automated systems to organize the data you have and update your NPS
  • Finally, continually track your NPS and find ways to improve it

That's what Taylor & Hart has done, and it's what's allowed their small team to grow annual revenue to €4.5M in four years. By embedding NPS into everything they do, they're able to give their customers exactly what they want and make decisions much quicker.

Key takeaways

Ready to become a customer-obsessed company like Taylor & Hart? Here are the main takeaways we learned from their NPS case study: 

  1. Understand Net Promoter Score. Remember, NPS is a customer loyalty metric that's calculated by asking customers what they think of your business on a scale of 0 to 10. Scores are then segmented into three groups: promoters, detractors, and passives. Subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters to get your NPS.
  2. Track NPS for your business. Taylor & Hart are successful, in large part, because they put so much effort into tracking and improving their NPS. By identifying the most important milestones in your customer buying journey and tracking customer satisfaction at each, you can improve your business as well.
  3. Use automation tools. As your company grows, it will begin to process a lot of customer data. These customer insights can easily be wasted without automation tools. It will also take a lot of manpower to crunch the numbers manually. Invest in software solutions to aid you in this process.
  4. Tracking NPS is an ongoing job. To effectively use this metric to grow your business, you need to track it consistently. Taylor & Hart have such high scores because, at any one time, they know exactly what their NPS is. They then use this information to provide better customer experiences.

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Louis Grenier

Content Lead at Hotjar - Louis is a major marketing geek who believes that good marketing starts with understanding people (and not tricking them).

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