How to Get Your Net Promoter Score

Analyze Your Success with One Beautiful Number

Earlier this month, Nathan made the case that attorneys should jump into the world of metrics, and start analyzing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

If you’re new to KPIs, you should start with a simple one. Fortunately, one of the simplest is also the most important: Your Net Promoter Score, or NPS.

This sweet little number is essentially a measure of customer/client loyalty. In the business world it’s touted as “the one number you need to grow,” and used by a full two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies. It’s a perfect fit for plaintiff-side attorneys, who are highly dependent on client referrals. While folks normally don’t consult family and friends about most of the everyday products they buy, when they need a lawyer, they’re highly likely to ask their social circle for recommendations.

To help attorneys join the metrics revolution, I’ve put together a quick tutorial on how to find your NPS and how to use it once you’ve got it.

How to get it:

People are intimidated by metrics and data analysis, but the NPS is absurdly simple. Instead of asking a laundry list of customer satisfaction questions, the creators of the NPS researched responses that were actually tied to business success, and honed it to a single question.

To find your NPS, all you ask your current and former clients is: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely is it you would recommend this attorney to a friend.” (You can also ask the question for the firm as a whole, depending on your target).

The responses divide into three groups:

9-10: Promoters. These are the people who are enthusiastic about you or your firm.

7-8: Passives. People who answer in this range won’t go out of their way to recommend you.

1-6: Detractors: Anyone answering in this range are likely to recommend against hiring you.

Find the percentage of responses for each of these groups. Then simply subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. If everyone hates you, your NPS score will be -100. If everyone adores you, your score will be 100.

Here’s an example for a theoretical attorney, with ten client responses:

Promoters = 3/10 = 30%

Passives = 5/10 = 50%

Detractors = 2/10 = 20%

NPS = 30 – 20 = 10

Getting your NPS is especially easy with a case management platform like Filevine. Filevine can send out a text to each of your clients at once, linking to the survey right on their cell phones. Their responses are then directly uploaded to Filevine, where your NPS can be generated. You can find scores for your firm overall, or break them down by attorney, and watch how those numbers move over time.

A high NPS means a steady stream of good clients; a low NPS is an alarm blaring that you need to change how you interact with your clients — and you’d better budget for more internet ads and billboards, since your clients are unlikely to refer others your way.

Most attorneys have been very slow to adopt the NPS. Part of this is probably just our typical sluggishness regarding new ideas. But it also may be due to a fear of what our numbers will be. Lawyers, after all, have notoriously low client satisfaction rates — maybe we just can’t bear to look.

But once we know where we stand with our clients, we’ll be able to make improvements to our process and measure their results. Many lawyers think customer satisfaction is a simple issue of outcomes: our clients will be pleased if we get them a good settlement or judgment, and will hate us if we lose. But research shows there are a variety of practices — especially around consistent, clear communication — that can greatly improve NPS scores, even if you haven’t increased your win rate.
So if you’re looking for a doorway into the brave new world of Key Performance Indicators, look no further than the NPS. It helps you grow by reorienting your practice around the needs and desires of the people you serve.