Sep 30, 2022


Min Read


Divya Kandwal

How to convert Detractors into Promoters?


Net promoter score


NPS detractor

What are Detractors and how to convert them into Promoters?

All business owners are focused on Growth. This usually means increasing revenue, boosting profits, and acquiring new customers. But in a rush to expand the customer base, it’s easy to forget about the existing customers. The human tendency of taking what we have for granted is all pervasive. In business, it can be a grave mistake. Neglecting unsatisfied customers will kill business growth. In this article, you’ll learn all about Detractors (your unsatisfied customers)- how to spot them, what they’re crucial for growth, and how to retain them.  

What are NPS Detractors?

Simply put, detractors are unsatisfied customers. They are a customer segment who is unlikely to buy from you again, and may also discourage others from buying from you.

You discover them by using NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys.

If you're unfamiliar, NPS or Net Promoter Score is a widely used survey methodology. It has been hailed as a top-tier customer experience metric.

What is Net Promoter Score?

Net Promoter Score measures how likely your customer is to recommend your product/service to others. They rate the likelihood of recommendation on a scale of 0 to 10. 10 means they’re highly likely to recommend. 

NPS is a single-question survey. The question is framed as- 

“How likely are you to recommend us to your friends and family? (0 being not likely and 10 being highly likely?”

Depending on the rating, all customers are divided into 3 segments- Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. 

Promoters are customers who rate 9 or 10. Passives are customers who rate 7 and 8. And, all customers who rate between 0 to 6 are classified as Detractors. 

Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. 

Promoters vs Passive vs Detractors

Promoters are your happy customers. They are loyal and drive Growth through positive word of mouth. The goal of a CX program is to increase the percentage of Promoters.

Passives, on the other hand, are neither happy nor unhappy. They can easily defect to your competition since they are not loyal to you. Your passive customers are usually one step away from being Promoters or Detractors. It’s important to reach out to them and make sure they don’t feel neglected. 

Detractors are your unhappy customers. They have a high chance of churning. Detractors should ring red alarm bells in your CX programs. It’s extremely important to reach out to them quickly and resolve their issues. Since they are extremely unsatisfied, they damage your brand value through negative word of mouth and social media reviews. 

Why Detractors are bad for business?

Unhappy customers are bad for business. Everyone knows this. But how much damage can they wreck? Turns out, quite a lot. 

  • One in three consumers (32%) would stop doing business with a brand they love after just one bad experience. 
  • Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers will bring it up. The rest will simply churn without a word.
  • 57% of consumers switch to another brand because it offers a better customer experience.

Clearly, detractors are a threat to business growth and longevity. 

1. Detractors bring down revenue and profit

Research shows that there has been a ​​222% increase in customer acquisition costs in the last 8 years. Considering how expensive it is to acquire a new customer, it is crucial to retain existing customers to drive profits. Detractors damage the profit margin by churning quietly. 

2. Detractors damage brand image

One viral bad review on social media can do some serious damage to your brand image. Since Detractors are unhappy, they often leave bad reviews on social media and third-party websites. Considering 93% of users make buying decisons based on online reviews, it is important to reach out and satisfy detractors. 

3. Detractors go to your competition 

57% of consumers switch to another brand because of a better customer experience. Your detractors already have a need for your product/service. If unsatisfied, they’ll simply go to your competition. 

Detractors- a growth opportunity

The choice is yours- detractors can be the reason for your downfall or they can be an impetus for growth. 

They can give you something that your happy customers can’t- business insights. Detractors allow you to identify emerging issues. They’ll tell you exactly WHY they are unhappy. If you can listen to them and solve these issues, chances are they’ll stay with you. 

According to Salesforce Research,

If the company’s customer service is excellent, 78% of consumers will do business with a company again after a mistake. (Salesforce Research)

So, detractors can be a good thing for your business but only if you reach out and listen to them. 

How to convert Detractors into Promoters?

It’s not that difficult to convert Detractors into Promoters. Sure, some customers will always be Detractors. But for the majority, these simple steps will help satisfy and retain them. 

  1. Follow up with Detractors
  2. Implement a close looping strategy
  3. Decrease response time
  4. Turn your frontline into problem solvers
  5. Predict at-risk customers with churn analytics

1. Follow up with Detractors

The first step is to reach out and understand why your customer is unhappy. Engage with them with empathy, own up to your mistake, and offer them a solution. 

Emotion drives customer experience. 54% of customers who report feeling positive emotions and are willing to forgive brands that make mistakes. 

2. Turn frontline into problem solvers

We are obsessed with telling companies to empower their frontline employees. Why? Because they are the eyes and ears of your company. They are the faces that most customers interact with and remember. 

Giving them the information and authority they need to satisfy customers can go a long way in retaining Detractors. 

For example, an auto service center employee with access to the feedback dashboard can quickly reach out to an unhappy customer, listen to their issues, and offer a free service to secure their loyalty. 

3. Predict at-risk customers with churn analytics

Building a churn prediction model goes a long way in helping you retain customers. We use CX and historical data to predict at-risk customers. This gives companies ample time to reach out and retain Detractors. 

Case in point, our insurance client lowered churn by 28% by predicting it.

4. Decrease response time

One of the easiest ways to show Detractors that you care is to respond to them quickly. A long response time or worse, not responding at all will destroy a customer’s relationship with your company. 

5. Implement a close looping strategy 

Detractors are unavoidable. What matters is how you handle them. Having an alert management system and a close looping strategy is crucial to managing Detractors on a large scale. 

Create detailed plans with the next immediate steps to retain Detractors for your entire team to follow. 

Detractors can be the hero of your Growth story 

Detractors are unavoidable. What matters is how you handle them. They can be your downfall or they can be the heroes of your growth strong. Customer experience is the ONLY brand differentiator left in today’s market. It drives reputation, loyalty, and growth. No other company has the same customers (and detractors) that you do. They can be a source of massive insights that will take your business to the next level. But only if you listen to them. 

Want to turn your Detractors into enthusiastic Promoters? or want to move ahead after your recent nps detractor experience? Contact us and we’ll do the rest. 

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