by Christine Salinas, Grants Manager

Have you ever wondered how successful brands like PayPal, Best Buy, and American Express measure their customers’ loyalty and satisfaction? 

They rely on something called the Net Promoter Score, a powerful metric that helps big brands “listen to their customers” by calculating their willingness to recommend the company’s products or services to others. The NPS is measured by calculating the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters of the product and it provides valuable feedback that’s sometimes used to shift brand strategy. While it’s used primarily in the for-profit world to evaluate customer satisfaction, nonprofits would do well to engage in this type of behavior too.

Being a youth-led organization means we value our young people’s goals, perceptions, and experiences. To do right by them, we consistently evaluate each of our programs’ compatibilities to ensure they align with our youths’ school needs and life circumstances.  Sometimes collecting feedback from busy high school and college students can be a real challenge.

That’s why we’re grateful to the Fund for Shared Insight’s Listen for Good grant, which offers us the financial backing to implement a more advanced survey system of our youth’s experiences with Pivotal.  The grant helped us think of better ways to ask and collect feedback and to add closed feedback loops to our survey process. Closed feedback loops allow us to go beyond analyzing data; they help us report results back to participants and to update them on improvements we are making, thanks to their feedback.

Ultimately, we wanted to know: What do our customers think of the services they receive from Pivotal and would they promote Pivotal services to other foster youth?  

The answer is YES! Thanks to the Listen for Good grant, we developed more sophisticated survey design procedures that improve the quality of our data. For example, we adapt the language in our surveys depending on the age group of students we are surveying.  At the end of each academic year, we ask youth for feedback about their coaching interactions, personal and academic growth, and overall satisfaction with each of the programs they engaged during the year. Once our data collection is complete, we close the feedback loop by sharing results with students and present solutions that we believe will increase their customer satisfaction.  They are thrilled to know their voices matter.

We’re excited to integrate the Net Promoter Score as a valuable analysis tool that enhances the quality of the services we deliver to foster youth. Pivotal’s priority is and always will be to listen to our youth so we can evolve our programs and strategies to meet their needs, and ensure our organizational resources are used in the most impactful ways.