Could an NPS score help you boost enrolments?
The Sector > Provider > General News > Could an NPS score be the secret to boosting the success of your service? 

Could an NPS score be the secret to boosting the success of your service? 

by Freya Lucas

June 03, 2024

Businesses of all types, including those which operate in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, all need one thing to continue to open their doors each day – enrolments. 


Without enrolled children, and adequate staff to care for them, ECEC services simply cannot operate. 


The ECEC landscape has evolved rapidly over the years, and parents and families now have multiple options for accessing education and care. With this high degree of choice comes an increased importance of understanding what parents are seeking, and, once enrolled, what will keep them enrolled. 


These insights have enormous value for service providers of all sizes, regardless of operating context. How can services understand more about what their parents and families are looking for, and respond to small issues before they become large ones? 


One popular method from other sectors and industries, which is slowly making its way into ECEC, is the use of Net Promoter Scores (NPS). 


What is a Net Promoter Score? 


Net Promoter Score (or NPS) is a metric used in customer experience programs, and measures the loyalty of a ‘customer’ (in an ECEC context, a parent with an enrolled child) to a business (in this case, an ECEC setting). 


NPS is measured with a single question survey, and reported with a number in a range from -100 to +100. 


The closer a score is to +100, the happier the ‘customer’ is with the business or service. 


NPS is widely used in a number of sectors and industries outside of ECEC, and is considered by many to be the ‘gold standard’ customer experience metric. The concept was developed by Bain and Company in 2003, and has stood the test of time, now being used by millions of businesses around the world to measure and track how they’re perceived by their customers. 


Poor feedback, positive feedback 


One of the advantages of the NPS method is that is segments out poor feedback and positive feedback, measuring customer satisfaction based on one simple question; 


How likely are you to recommend (product/organisation/business/service) to a friend or colleague? 


Respondents give a rating between 0 (not at all likely to recommend) to 10 (extremely likely to recommend), and, depending on their response, are placed into one of three categories: 


  • Promoters respond with a score of 9 or 10 and are typically loyal and enthusiastic customers.


  • Passives respond with a score of 7 or 8. They are satisfied with your service but not happy enough to be considered promoters.


  • Detractors respond with a score of 0 to 6. These are unhappy customers who are unlikely to use what it is you have to offer, and may even discourage others from doing the same.


To reach a final NPS score, it’s a simple matter of subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters to get a full picture of how your service is performing.


For example, if 10 per cent of the parents and families who respond to your NPS survey are detractors, 20 per cent are passives, and 70 per cent are promoters, your overall NPS score is 60 (70 – 10).


Detractors = opportunity for growth 


The magic of the NPS score lies in hearing from the passives and the detractors about what would make their score move. 


Underneath the ‘1-10’ scale question, a question such as “what was the reason for  your score today?” or “is there anything we can do to improve your experience with us?” will give services invaluable insights into things parents and families are unhappy about.


In the negative space, this could be anything from fee increases through to the brand of nappies the service supplies, and in the positive, services will learn more about what parents and families value, and therefore what they should continue to put effort into, but all of the information yielded is useful, particularly when it comes to following up with parents. 


It is strongly recommended that the NPS survey includes an option for the respondent to provide their details for following up, that way the service can reach out directly to share the steps they have taken to respond to feedback from passives or detractors. 


Even if details are not provided, services may like to consider sending an email, newsletter, or placing up signs around the service to let parents and families know their feedback has been received and attended to. 


Repetition brings success


Repeating the NPS surveys over time, whether it is quarterly or annually, allows a service to track their progress over time, and to respond to any patterns they see emerging. 


In an ECEC context, NPS scores can complement the Quality Improvement plan, providing areas for improvement, and demonstrating a commitment to connection with families and continuous improvement. 


Further resources, information and support


There are a number of free NPS tools available which services can use to undertake a journey into learning more about the experience of children and families. 


A guide with some supplementary information and questions, contextualised to the National Quality Framework, is available here

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