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Why your 2019 School Marketing strategy needs to include using a Net Promoter Score

Posted by Ralph Cochran on Mar 26, 2019 11:00:00 AM


Want to find out how satisfied your current parents are with your school?  

Want to objectively measure your current parent’s satisfaction with your school to help you with recruitment and retention efforts?

Want to be able to gather feedback on a specific, large event or campaign you recently launched or simply to gauge the current temperature with regard to how parents feel about you and your staff?

You can do all this and more by conducting surveys using NET PROMOTER SCORE.


When was the last time that your school conducted a survey to determine the satisfaction rating of your current families?


Conducting surveys can either be simple or complicated depending on the type of feedback you are looking to solicit. Regardless, the information you collect about your students and parents’ behavior, opinions, and their needs will go a long way in assisting you with your next course of action as it relates to addressing their needs and concerns. By asking them directly, you are going straight to the primary source of information which is indisputable, more so than relying on secondary sources such as documents or records.

There are numerous tools and methods available for collecting survey data. One to consider that will allow you to effectively gauge your school community’s feelings and opinions is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system.




On a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest, what is the likelihood that you would recommend us (our school) to a friend or colleague?


Have you ever asked this question before? You probably have, more times than you can remember. It may seem like a simple question, but the reason why it’s so familiar is because of the concept behind it.

The question is part of the Net Promoter Score system, which was developed by Fred Reicheld and Bain & Company back in 2006 and has been widely used by most companies and schools like yours ever since. It’s also been recognized for its effectiveness in that it uses simple questions in the form of a survey to have people rate their interest (or the lack of it) through a numerical system.

NPS has several values associated with the range of numbers the respondents answer, and thus offers a similarly broad insight into customers’ sentiments.


The NPS Scale and Equation


The NPS system’s effectiveness relies on its being short and simple by answering these two questions:


1. “How likely are you to recommend this school on a scale of 0-10?”

2. “Why did you give it that score?”

Due to its simplicity, your respondents are more likely to answer since it doesn’t take up much of their time nor do they need to write anything too lengthy. And for you, the evaluators, it’s also very simple to calculate since you have one simple formula to work with.

The rating scale numbers and its values are listed below:


The Net Promoter Scale gives numerical values to Detractors, Passives, and Promoters.


Promoters (scored 9-10): These are your loyal families who are enthusiastic about your school and also candidates for retention. They will refer your school to other parents, which is a source of growth for you and your school.

• Passives (scored 7-8): These are your satisfied families, but not as enthusiastic about your school. If not attended to properly, they are vulnerable to leave or direct their attention to your competitor schools.

• Detractors (scored 0-6): These are your unsatisfied, unhappy families who can harm your school’s reputation. They have the potential to spread negative word-of-mouth about your school and deter its growth.


To obtain your overall Net Promoter Score, use this equation:


% Promoters - % Detractors = NPS (Net Promoter Score)


On average, if your school is doing poorly, you can get a low score of -100. This rare, unfortunate case means that your parent respondents are all Detractors. Yes, you might consider breaking the glass on that red box at this point.

In contrast, if your school is performing perfectly, you can achieve 100, which means all your parent respondents are very satisfied and which makes them all your Promoters. It’s confetti and balloons for you and your staff, then.


The NPS can determine if you're doing good or otherwise...but does your school need it?



Does Your School Need It?


NPS is one of many tools for measuring Customer Satisfaction and is used mainly by industries that focus on it. It is an extensive system that requires procedures with different objectives that may not be applicable to the education sector. We can adopt its methodology through its survey questions and scoring without having to enroll in its corporate evaluation program and measure what is relevant for our schools.


What does NPS measure, exactly? It focuses on your customers’ satisfaction. In other words, your current parents. By being able to gauge their opinion of your school on a scale, through NPS parents can provide feedback on your school, or your brand’s, performance. As a result, NPS can be a valuable tool in providing feedback for policy review.


Here are 3 school strategies you’ll be able to measure as well :


1. Word of Mouth


Are the effects of Word of Mouth marketing (WOMM) qualifiable? If you’ve ever sought out recommendations from friends and colleagues to influence you in your purchasing decisions, you’re undergoing the processes of a WOMM strategy. Over 83% of consumers rely on personal recommendations, and most claim that it is quite a dependable form of advertisement. With your NPS results, you’ll be able to assess if your WOMM strategy is working or not. You may also try to win your Detractors over by having your Promoters perform a WOMM campaign focused on them.


You can measure how your Word of Mouth Marketing efforts are faring through the use of NPS methodology.


We've discussed Word of Mouth Marketing quite extensively in several of our blogs. If you want to catch up on it, you can download our Ultimate Guide to Word of Mouth Marketing for Private Schools. You can also view our infographic about WOMM facts and recommendations in implementing it for your private school.



2. Customer Satisfaction



Since customer satisfaction directly relates to your school’s growth, make sure your parents and students’ Customer Experience is always addressed. NPS is a factor behind 20-60% of the variation in organic growth rates between competitors, and your customers’ loyalty should always be paramount.


Since customer satisfaction directly relates to your school’s growth, make sure your parents and students’ Customer Experience is always addressed.


To ensure this, you should always be measuring NPS, if you are able to. Track whether your current parents will be likely to refer your school to other parents. Establish an overview of whether they are fans or, better yet, promoters of your school.



3. Your School Staff Experience


In aiming for a positive experience for your parents and students, this unites your staff in striving to project and deliver better experiences for them. In a way, this creates a common goal that benefits their outlook, as well as morale, benefitting your school’s reputation.


Give your school staff clear goals that they can focus on so they can strive to reach your school’s mission and strategies better.


A 2017 Gallup study reported that 67% of US employees were actively disengaged at their jobs. Since this affects the company’s performance and revenue and overall growth, giving them a clear goal to work for will shift its focus. If your entire staff strives to reach your school’s mission and strategies, they’ll be more engaged and committed.


NPS measures your customers’ loyalty while providing your staff with guidelines on strengthening theirs, as well.



Improving Your Score, Your Services


Here at Schola, we’ve performed surveys in all of our client schools throughout the year. We see to it that our surveys incorporate questions for NPS, as well as several that complement them, to arrive at in-depth results.


To assist you in implementing your own NPS survey for your school, here are 5 tips that can help your school grow from its results:



1. Get everyone on board


Brief and train your staff on ways on how to engage with your customers. Ask each department to participate, notably admissions and marketing. Your admissions people should improve their communication with potential parent enrollees. Meanwhile, make sure your marketing people are creating strategies on how to draw and excite more potential parents about your school.



2. Promote Through Social Media


Ask your Promoters to share their positive experiences on social media. Encourage engagement by conducting polls, or asking questions. You should also consider that social media platforms usually have survey applications that you can use for your NPS campaign.



3. Ask for Suggestions and Feedback


Parents will appreciate any and all the attention you can give them. Make them feel you value their opinion. Ask your Promoters for their suggestions, with emphasis on what they think can be done differently. In the same vein, your Detractors may have important criticisms that you need to hear. There’s no better source for it, and there is no better solution than by giving them extra care and attention.



Parents will appreciate any and all the attention you can give them. Make them feel you value their opinion.



4. Improve Your Frontline Communications


Train your front office staff to be more pleasing when they talk to your parents and students, in person or when they answer the phone or reply to e-mails. This applies to all your staff, but especially those whose tasks involve direct customer relations.



5. Provide Better Services


Even with successful WOMM campaigns, you’ll still get low NPS ratings if you ignore feedback and fail to improve the quality of your services. You can conduct focus groups and talk to individual parents to determine and address these as soon as you can.





The Net Promoter Score may be a simple tool but its effectiveness lays in its simplicity. When used with other survey questions, tools, and metrics, you’ll increase its potential to offer you a deeper insight into what your school needs to improve in order to get higher NPS ratings. You and your staff will also understand the importance of tracking your performance using this system, as this will serve as your guideline for increasing Promoters and recovering Detractors. You’ll be able to track your customers’ loyalty, too.


There's a reason as to why NPS is still trusted and used today by large, successful companies, as well as startups and those in the education sector. Its simplicity to implement and interpret keeps it on top of the list in determining customers’ satisfaction. While it should not be the only metric you can use as a basis for your school’s enrollment and marketing strategies, it definitely should be a part of it.

 Download eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Word of Mouth Marketing For Private Schools

Topics: Buyer Personas, Word of Mouth Marketing, School Marketing Strategy