An Interview with Chad Keck, Cofounder & CEO of Promoter.io

Promoter.io helps companies understand the true ‘voice of the customer’ by allowing them to easily build, launch, measure, engage, and take action on Net Promoter campaigns, all in one place.

Promoter.io offers a web based platform to easily build and manage your campaigns. Not only can you easily collect scoring data but manage the incredibly important raw feedback that comes along with it. Do deep analysis on customer feedback, engage your entire organization or team, follow-up and track historical data without having to use multiple systems.

Kevin William David, from Siftery.com recently interviewed Chad Keck, CEO at Promoter.io to learn more.

Hi Chad, So what is Promoter.io?

Promoter.io is a customer loyalty tool designed to help small- and medium-sized companies do Net Promoter the right way and get the best results.

Tell me more about why you are building this?

NPS piqued my interest while I was working at Rackspace, one of the largest hosting companies in the world. Rackspace is an incredibly customer-focused organization and has been using the Net Promoter System since it first became popularized. They’re frequently mentioned in The Ultimate Question for the incredible turnaround and company differentiation they made in part by utilizing NPS. In fact, the man who created NPS, Fred Reichheld, is on their board of directors. In my work at Rackspace, I got to see a lot of the NPS feedback we were getting from customers, and I learned what an amazing resource it was.

I later delved into the crazy world of startups, joining a small cloud startup, AppFog, as the head of customer experience. Naturally, I immediately instituted Net Promoter after seeing the incredible insights it brought to Rackspace. We had roughly 30,000 users when I started, and although NPS isn’t necessarily complex, I quickly realized the amount of time that went into implementing it properly. 30,000 people means 30,000 emails, (hopefully) quite a lot of follow up emails, tracking, tagging, etc. It’s a handful and begs for automation to lighten the load and to allow you to focus on customer interactions instead of tasks. So I started searching for the tools to automate the process. But when I looked around, I couldn’t find anything. Larger organizations already using NPS had created their own proprietary methods for implementing it and had the manpower (and money) to execute it. But for small and medium-sized businesses it was a barren wasteland. That set me on a journey to create a tool for automating NPS, which I now do through my company Promoter.io.

How is Promoter.io different from what already exists in the market?

We like to describe Promoter as the tool that companies turn to when they’re ready to take NPS seriously. We are a team of NPS practitioners and have built a platform that, from front to back, guides our customer to a best practice approach.

What really separates us from tools such as Wootric, Delighted and AskNicely is our advanced feature set. While from a price standpoint, we’re in line with those tools, from a feature standpoint, we’re more in line with enterprise-level solutions.

That doesn’t mean we’re a complex tool to use. In fact, we make it really easy to implement. From the point of signing up, you could up in running within 5 minutes.

Philosophically, we’re different than any other solution that exists in the sense that we see NPS as a profit center, not a cost center. The platform we’ve built supports this philosophy, which overall, means our customers tend to have more success with our tool.

Who uses Promoter.io? What types of roles do your customers have at their companies?

Promoter is quite fortunate to serve a pretty wide array of unique businesses. We work with some of the biggest names in SaaS, including Intercom, Active Campaign, Zapier, LiveChat etc.

SaaS is just one of our verticals though. We also work with enterprise customers such as Capital One, CenturyLink, IBM and many more.

Being a San Antonio-based company, we’ve had the good fortune of working with Rackspace from our beginning, which has really opened the door to a lot of opportunities.

Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in the number of eCommerce and Healthcare companies adopting NPS and signing on to Promoter. NPS is really cool in the sense that it’s relevant to nearly every department across an organization. In fact, one of our customers, Zapier, recent wrote a post describing how it applies to each role type.

With that said, the people we most often see owning NPS within the organization is typically someone in the customer success or marketing department. In other cases, we’ll see product managers or someone in operations taking charge. No matter who in charge of ultimately managing the Promoter account, we often see NPS become a company wide effort.

How are your customers using Promoter.io? Could you share a few different use cases?

Our customers range from recurring revenue driven businesses (SaaS, subscription, etc.) to service-based solutions to eCommerce companies.

Each of those models approach gathering customer intelligence differently. For example, SaaS companies have very active customers. In many cases, their customers will use their product on a daily basis. With that level of activity, it’s important for SaaS companies to maintain a pretty consistent pulse on the happiness of their customers because sentiment can change rapidly.

We see our SaaS clients survey their customers several times per year. Ecommerce companies, such as Jet.com, take a slightly different approach. Rather than continuing to survey customers each quarter, they’ll strategically send surveys that align with a purchase lifecycle. An initial survey shortly after the customer received their product, another 30 days later and possibly a third sometime after that.

Have there been unique use cases for Promoter.io that you hadn’t thought of or expected?

We are continually amazed at the ways that our customers are using Promoter (and NPS) to attack their growth.

With up to 80% of a company’s revenue driven by customer referrals, it’s pretty common that we’ll see our customers find unique ways to leverage their promoters for word of mouth growth.

We had a company recently that created a tool that took anyone that who provided a promoter score (9 or 10), cross referenced whether they’ve left a review online previously and if not, would automatically trigger a campaign to encourage them to do so. It’s a very cool application.

Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?

Our biggest growth hack to date, and I suspect will continue to be our biggest growth strategy in the future, is using our own product (and customers) for growth. We do this in two ways:

  1. We have built-in virality via a “powered by” message in every survey that our customers send out. We’ve built a strong enough brand and have established ourselves as a leader within the NPS space for this placement to become a benefit to our customers.
  2. We also benefit from the reputation of our customers using our product. This leads to an ongoing stream of referrals.

As an NPS company, we obviously understand the nuances of using Net Promoter for growth. We leverage our own product to maintain high customer retention and activate our promoters for WOM opportunities.

What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?

While Net Promoter as a methodology has been around for several years now, up until just a few years ago it was only used by large enterprise-level corporations.

Promoter literally introduced the Net Promoter System into the small and mid markets with the first, affordable SaaS-based platform. Building that market, along with a product that’s equally effective across many industries has been a big undertaking.

We listen intently to the NPS feedback from our customers and use trend analysis to find themes within that data. We focus on those top themes. Not only within our product development, but also in our marketing and customer communications.

What have been some of the most interesting integrations you’ve added? Are there any that have been particularly impactful for you?

The two most critical integrations for us have been Zapier and Segment. As much as we want to please every customer, it’s difficult to allocate the time and resources to build out direct integrations with every tool our customers need. This is where Zapier has been absolutely clutch for us. It’s wonderfully covered the gaps when needed.

Segment on its own is an amazing tool that we rely on daily to run Promoter.io. Combine that with our direct integration and you have a killer combo. Some of the clients that have the most success with their NPS programs are those that connecting their segment events to Promoter.

We’re also excited to be bringing a direct SalesForce integration to the platform in the coming months.

Before we wrap up, What are the top products that you depend on to run the company & how do you use them?

Intercom — This tool has quickly become our main source for technical support and helping customers while they’re in the app. As an NPS company, we really pride ourselves on over-delivering on customer service, so Intercom has been really clutch in addressing concerns immediately.

SumoMe — When content is a such a huge part of your marketing strategy (which it is for us), it’s critical that you have the right tool to properly promote it. That tool is SumoMe. It’s like the swiss army knife of content promotion — lead-gen, sharing, tracking, etc. It’s a must have.

Unbounce — With paid acquisition, it’s important to remember that your primary landing page copy won’t necessarily work to convert every audience equally. That’s where Unbounce comes in for us. Creating unique landing pages that match both the audience and the messaging we’re using within our ads has been essential to increasing our conversations and reducing our cost per acquisition (CPA).

Zapier — Not only do we rely on Zapier as a critical integration for our customers, we also rely on Zapier for our own everyday use. We use Zapier continually for things such as funneling Sales leads into our CRM, unsubscribing contacts from our own NPS efforts. Zapier has been invaluable to us in both saving time and money.

JoinMe — Join.me lets our team reliably hold meetings with audio conference lines globally. On a weekly basis, we have meetings from any given country. There are a lot of fancy features in web conferencing applications, but Join.me has a simple scheduling link to our gmail so it tells us if we’re scheduling a conflict and automatically adds it to the calendar.

This interview originally appeared on Siftery.com